William G. Burke is Arc’s Person of the Year.
William G. Burke is Arc’s Person of the Year.

AWARD FOR SERVICE: William G. Burke followed in the footsteps of his father, William H. Burke,  who ran Burke Distributing Corp. with his brothers Walter  and Austin. The three-generation beer-distribution business, still ruled by the Burke family, began in Clinton in 1935, then moved to Dorchester and its current headquarters in Randolph.

The family has long had a history of giving back to the community, including to the Arc of the South Shore in Weymouth, a nonprofit that helps people with disabilities. For much of the last 10 years, William G. Burke has chaired a golf tournament for the agency, which over that time has raised more than $100,000.  

For his continuing support, Arc of the South Shore has named Burke its “Person of the Year.” The award will carry a familiar name: In 1984, his father, who died last year, earned the same one.

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“It’s quite an honor, and to follow in my dad’s footsteps is even more of an honor,” Burke said. “It means a lot to me.”

His father’s involvement in helping the organization predated the golf tournament, his son said.

“We just support them any way we can,” Burke said. The reason is simple, he said: “I come from a family of seven, and have four daughters of my own. We’ve been very fortunate in terms of having a family born without disabilities, we’re very lucky and want to help those not as fortunate as us.”

In addition to raising money for Arc, the agency’s officials said, Burke contributes to its auction and supplies event-related gift bags and other items. He has been a contributor since 1984, when his father won the award.

“Without Bill, we could not fulfill our mission of providing the highest quality of services,” said Jennifer Lynn,  Arc’s director of development. “His contribution has also enabled an extensive outreach program, which will allow us to expand our reach within the communities we serve. I’m constantly astounded by Bill’s generosity and the support of everyone associated with his company.”

The award will be given at the agency’s annual gala at Boston Marriot Quincy on March 14. For information on the event, visit www.arcsouthshore.org, call 781-335-3023, ext. 2222, or e-mail jenniferbowman@arcsouthshore.org.

MILTON GROUP HONORS GRADS: The Milton Foundation for Education has named this year’s Milton High School  graduate honorees, who will be recognized at the group’s annual Celebration for Education  fund-raiser. This year’s event, dubbed “Livewire,” is scheduled for March 9 at the Boston Marriott Quincy.  

Honorees are Ken Quigley Jr.,  president of Curry College  and 1975 Milton High grad, and John and Maritta Cronin,   lifelong Milton residents and community leaders. John Maritta is a 1955 Milton High grad, and his wife a graduate of Notre Dame Academy in Hingham. According to Margaret Eberhardt,  president of the board at the Milton Foundation for Education, in honor of her “unwavering commitment to the town of Milton, Maritta Cronin will be made an honorary grad of Milton High School.’’

HINGHAM TEEN LEADS GROUP: Andrew Foskett of Hingham, a student at Boston College High School, took a group of Irish students to Concord recently, along with his sophomore classmates. Every year, BC High hosts students from Belvedere College in Dublin, Ireland, with the students spending two weeks at the high school shadowing their host classmates, and exploring historic sites around Boston. Foskett took the group to Concord to see sites associated with the town’s political and literary revolutions, including Minuteman National Park, the Old Manse, and the homes of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne.  

SCITUATE WOMAN EARNS HONOR: Elise Beaulieu of

Scituate has earned the 2013 Boston College Distinguished Alumni Award from the college’s School of Social Work. She is a 1980 graduate of the school’s master of social work program, and has more than 25 years of experience with older adults and those with disabilities in nursing homes, nonprofit housing, rest homes, and visiting-nurse organizations. She has also taught at several colleges and universities, written online courses about aging for Boston University’s School of Social Work, and wrote “A Guide for Nursing Home Social Workers.”