Photo provided by the Beverly Police Department
Matt Owens, store director at Shaw's Supermarket, and Tom Walsh, a middle school teacher at St. John the Evangelist, were awarded the Beverly Police Department's Community Police Partnership Awards for 2012 on Tuesday.
Owens served as the fuel to power the department's first annual "National Night Out" event this summer, a nationally recognized event aimed at raising awareness about drug and crime prevention initiatives by bringing together the public and those in place to serve and protect it.
It also serves to "send a message to criminals, letting them know that the community is organized and fighting back," police spokesman officer Dave Costa said in a statement announcing the awards.
Owen's helped coordinate the event with the North Beverly Shopping Plaza management, and the event took place in the parking lot on August 7. Shaw's also donated food, drinks and the labor of a few select employees to help the program run successfully.
But according to Costa, giving back to the community is nothing foreign to Owens. He donated Shaw's gift cards to the displaced victims of the 2010, 4th of July Mill Street fire, and has also made donations to Beverly Bootstraps, Landmark School, Beverly Little League, Girl Scout Troop 60111, the Patria e Lavoro Society annual Christmas Basket Program for the needy, and the North Shore Educational Consortium.
"Matt's actions demonstrate what one can do to raise the quality of life for the community," Costa said.
Walsh, a middle school teacher at SJS, was recognized not only for his ability to connect with the young teens who come through his classes at the Catholic school in North Beverly, but for what he and his students give back to Beverly, through volunteer efforts such as doing yard work for city residents who otherwise can't keep up with it on their own, and working in the city's churches.
"Tom has high expectations for all of his students and recognizes students as the individuals they are," Costa said. "He is frequently found before and after school hours working on required instructional tools and strategies, so all of his students can access the curriculum.
"In addition, the students at SJS have volunteered to cook, serve, and clean at churches in Beverly and Tom is always there not only supervising, but working side by side with the students."
Out of the public eye teaching in a private school, Walsh's impact on Beverly's middle school students often goes unnoticed, but those who know him realize the value of the principles he instills in them, Costa said.
"The Beverly Police Department and the Community Advisory Council would like to congratulate this year's Community Police Partnership Award winners," Costa said. "Both have made a tremendous impact on our community and have set a great example for others to follow."