Madonna del Soccorso Society of Boston
The organizers of the North End’s annual Fisherman’s Feast will name Mayor Thomas M. Menino their Italian American of the Year this week.
The Madonna del Soccorso Society of Boston, which has hosted the feast each year since its founding in 1910, said in a statement that it will award Menino the honor in recognition of his 20 years of service as Boston’s mayor.
“We are honored to be able to give this award to the mayor for everything that he has done,” said Louis Strazzulo, president of the society, in the statement. “He was not only the mayor of this city, but he served as a leader, a role model and a generous individual to all.”
Menino ascended from City Council to the corner office in July 1993, after President Bill Clinton appointed former Mayor Raymond Flynn to be US ambassador to the Vatican.
Menino won his first mayoral election that fall and went on to triumph again every four years for two decades, serving an unprecedented five terms before announcing in March that he would not seek re-election due to health issues.
For the past decade, the society has presented its Italian American of the Year award annually during the Fisherman’s Feast “to an Italian American who exemplifies the traditions and values of the Italian American heritage and who has given back to the local Boston community,” it said.
Previous honorees include former World Welterweight Champion and North End native Tony DeMarco, celebrity chef Mary Ann Esposito, and Larry Lucchino, president and CEO of the Boston Red Sox.
The society is scheduled to present the award to Menino at its headquarters at 9-11 Lewis Street at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 15, the opening night of the 103rd annual feast.
Following the presentation, a procession will make its way through the North End to Christopher Columbus Park, where an opening ceremony for the feast will begin at 7:30 p.m. The festival will continue through the weekend, closing at 11 p.m. Sunday after the annual “Flight of the Angel” ceremony.
For more information on the Fisherman’s Feast, visit www.fishermansfeast.com.