Quincy agency honoring those who help

Veronica Polsgrove, a freshman at Canton High, won a video-making contest on beautiful smiles.
Veronica Polsgrove, a freshman at Canton High, won a video-making contest on beautiful smiles.

RECOGNIZING THOSE WHO HELP: Helping people in need is what the Quincy-based Good Shepherd Maria Droste Agency is about, said Maralin Manning, a board member of the agency since its inception in 1992. And this year’s Maria Droste award winners “embody the spirit of what we do,” she said.

Earning the agency’s Personal Commitment Award are Chris and John Driscoll, who run the Braintree-based One Life at a Time agency, a nonprofit they established in 2008 in response to rising unemployment in New England. Chris Driscoll was a longtime volunteer at Maria Droste, Manning said.

“This couple are friends of Maria Droste in far too many ways to enumerate,” Manning said. “Their organization has helped more than 8,000 people who may have been knocked down either professionally or personally, helped them get back up and move on. Their mission is a mirror image of our agency’s mission.”


The Maria Droste’s Corporate Award this year is going to The Lantana in Randolph, which will be accepted by company CEO Paul Hart.

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Manning said her agency has worked with The Lantana for many years in hosting its annual fashion show and “they do all the little extra things that always come up and they don’t charge extra for them. I’ve done events all over Boston and there are always extra costs here and there, but the Hart family has been most pleasant and are wonderful people to work with.”

Maria Droste’s Inside the Agency Award is being given in honor of the director Lorraine Bernier, who died last spring at age 68, suffering a heart attack the day after the agency’s annual fund-raising fashion show.

The award is going to Bernier’s family members, who Manning said have been instrumental in the success of the agency’s fashion show.

“Every year, Lorraine’s three sisters and two of their husbands show up with about 30 gift baskets they’ve started to gather the day after the last fashion show,” Manning said. “They show up like angels the day of the event and work so hard for us the whole night.”


The award ceremony is scheduled for Nov. 21 at the River Bay Club in Quincy. For more information on the agency, which offers mental-health and substance-abuse counseling, visit

CANTON GIRL WINS CONTEST: Veronica “Roni” Polsgrove, a Canton ninth-grade student, was named winner of a video-making contest sponsored by ARCH Orthodontics, based on the theme “Beautiful smiles make the world go ’round.”

Her 90-second production follows her morning activities, such as brushing her teeth, which starts out in black and white and turns to color when she’s done, arranging pastries in the shape of a smile, and making pancakes with raisin smiles. It can be seen on YouTube on her RoniPTV channel.

Polsgrove, who won an iPad mini for her efforts, said she loves making videos and is active at Canton High School’s Eye in the Sky school TV production club, and one day hopes to direct and produce feature-length films.

WALPOLE VET UP FOR AWARD: Dr. Denise Trapani, of the Animal Health Center in Walpole, is one of six finalists for the nationwide “My Vet’s the Best” contest, sponsored by Pets Best, a pet-insurance agency. The contest honors the country’s most outstanding veterinarians, the company said, who go “above and beyond in caring for animals.”


Trapani is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and works with several rescue organizations in the state to treat and place homeless pets. The other vets in the finals are from Florida, Alaska, Ohio, and Michigan.

The public can vote on the finalists until Nov. 11, at The winning vet gets $1,000 to help treat animals in need, Pets Best officials said.

AREA NATIVES RELEASE BOOKS: Two writers who hailed from this region have released books, one about growing up through baseball, another about life on a private beach south of Boston.

Jonathan Curelop’s “Tanker 10” is a coming-of-age revolving around baseball, he said. Curelop, who now lives in New York City, was born and raised in Brockton, and graduated from Brockton High School and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He said the novel is set in the 1970s and almost entirely in Brockton, except for the last few chapters, which take place in Amherst.

“Forty Years at Saquish Beach” was written by Connie Matuzek, and consists of true stories from his life on a remote beach with his wife, raising two daughters. Gurnet Saquish in Plymouth is a private community, and Matuzek said his tale of “adventures and experiences at Saquish Beach is a story that many people will relate to and enjoy.”

He said his experiences included raising children, building a house without power tools, saltwater fishing, living with wildlife, and forming friendships. He and his wife, Ann, are retired and living in Florida.

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Amy F. Trow of Mattapoisett, a licensed independent clinical social worker and risk-reduction specialist, was named an outstanding employee in 2013 by the board of directors at the Greater New Bedford Community Health Center. She was one of three workers to earn the award.

Attorney Patricia D. Stewart of Norwell was named executive director of the Massachusetts Citizens for Life.

Stewart is an allied attorney of Alliance Defending Freedom and author of “The Health Care Decision Guide for Catholics.”

Paul E. Kandarian can be reached at pkandarian@