A woman who was born in the Dominican Republic, grew up in Salem and has been devoted to her community for 15 years is a winner of the Peter J. Gomes Award.
Elsabel Rincon was selected for the award by US Representative Seth Moulton and his team ahead of three other finalists on Thursday evening.
“Elsabel’s more than decades of work to support, strengthen and promote immigrant communities in the North Shore has an enormous impact on the entire region,” announced Moulton on his Facebook page.
“Your dedication to the immigrant community is not only a testament to their dedication to the service, but their work in helping victims of domestic violence has saved countless lives and helped make our community a better and safer place for all,” continued he goes away. “Elsabel is a true servant and an irreplaceable asset to our district.”
Rincon is the founder of Sale-based WIN, The Welcome Immigrant Network, which supports acculturation, economic stability, career advancement and civic engagement of immigrants in the community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization distributed care packages to over 250 families on the North Shore.
Rincon was a member of the Latino Leadership Coalition and HAWC, Healing Abuse Working for Change, where she cared for victims of domestic violence. The 6th district resident who nominated Rincon described her as “continually concerned and committed to the welfare of the community … while raising two young children who supported her husband and close extended family.”
The other finalists were:
John Rosenthal of Gloucester, a social justice advocate who co-founded Stop Handgun Violence with Michael Kennedy in 1995.
Rosenthal’s commitment to the service includes co-founding the nationally recognized initiative for police-assisted addiction and recovery with the Gloucester Police Department, an innovative approach to containing the opioid epidemic. He also supports the Friends of the Homeless of Boston. When he’s not serving his community, Rosenthal leads Meredith Management as president.
Pam Blaquiere, Director of the Council on Aging at Boxford for 19 years.She also directs the city’s Tax Work-off program, which enables seniors to lower their property taxes by volunteering at the COA and other locations in Boxford.
Blaquiere is also treasurer of the Merrimack Valley Council on Aging Directors, regional representative of the Massachusetts Council on Aging Advisory Committee, and a board member of the Elder Services of Merrimack Valley.
Christine “Chris” Allen, a longtime volunteer. She served as the backbone of the North Andover Music Association for many years before serving as an elected member of the North Andover School Committee for six years.
She also volunteered as a member of the North Andover Historical Society and the North Andover Planning Board. She serves as an honorary member of the North Andover Finance Committee and is Treasurer of North Andover Farmers Market.
The award is named after Rev. Peter J. Gomes, a Christian pastor who served in Harvard University’s Memorial Church for nearly 40 years who emphasized the importance of giving back.