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Salute to Framingham announces this year's honorees

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  January 30, 2012 11:58 AM

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Salute to Framingham, an event that since 1992 has honored individuals for outstanding commitment and service to the town's youth, last week announced that Mark Curtis, Karen Curtis, and Dave Gudejko will be singled out March 22.

Since 1989, Mark and Karen Curtis have been sponsoring a free Thanksgiving Day dinner for those in need. With the help of volunteers, the Curtises have prepared and served traditional meals to thousands of needy families over more than two decades.

Last year, the coupled helped feed nearly 1,700 people with dinners either delivered to their door, or served at Eagles Hall in Framingham. The annual Curtis Family Thanksgiving dinner brings together more than 400 members of the community including local business owners, Framingham Girl Scouts, students from Fuller Middle School and Framingham High School and members of Framingham Youth Hockey who donate supplies, money or time.

As owners/operators of the Eagles All-American Grill, the Curtis' service to the Framingham community continues year round with service to senior residents of Memorial House and the Callahan Senior Center. Through the years, they have also been a part of community family events, ranging from Concerts on the Common to the groundbreaking at Bowditch Field.

The third honoree, Gudejko, has been involved in the town of Framingham since arriving in 1978. For almost three decades, he has been active in Framingham Baseball, serving as president of both Little League and Framingham Babe Ruth.

Gudejko has coached and chaired many fundraising activities, and has worked closely with Framingham Parks and Recreation Department as field liaison, scheduling fields for more than 1,000 players.

For many years, Gudejko volunteered to get up before sunrise on cold Sunday mornings to make sure that the kids got safely onto buses to enjoy the Framingham Parks and Recreation department's ski and snowboard program. He also served as president for the Marian Boosters, where he helped shape the organization.

Additionally, Gudejko has coached CYO basketball and administered many youth programs through St. Bridget's CYO, including community outreach programs, ski trips and bowling.

This year, the Salute to Framingham will present the Jim O'Connor Community Service Award to the Framingham Co-operative Bank Charitable Foundation. Named for former FHS Athletic Director and founder of the Salute to Framingham, this award honors an organization whose work benefits the youth of Framingham.

The Framingham Co-operative Bank Charitable Foundation was established by Framingham Co-operative Bank in 1998 as a reflection of its long-standing commitment to the local community, according to event organizers.

In addition to these honorees, the Salute program will also recognize Framingham High School teachers, staff and graduating students who positively impact the school community.

The Salute to Framingham will start at 6 p.m. at the Sheraton Framingham Ballroom. Complete details and ticket information are available at www.salute-to-framingham.com.

Proceeds from the Salute to Framingham benefit the Framingham High School Foundation. All proceeds from the event are used to benefit students by supporting activities, the arts, and athletics at the school.

Salute to Framingham is presented by NMTW Community Credit Union in partnership with other community sponsors.

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Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jreiss.globe@gmail.com

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