Grammy & Tony Award Winner Leslie Odom Jr. of Broadway’s Hamilton Headlines ABCD’s Community Heroes Celebration “In It Together!”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                   CONTACT:
October 9, 2018                                                                      Colneth Smiley Jr.

Grammy & Tony Award Winner Leslie Odom Jr. of Broadway’s Hamilton

Headlines ABCD’s Community Heroes Celebration

“In It Together!”

  ABCD to pay tribute to 20 extraordinary community volunteers,
Special honorees peace activist Tina Chéry and Attorney Sam Nagler

Will induct NBA Coach Doc Rivers into the ABCD Hall of Fame

(BOSTON, MA) – Action for Boston Community Development will once again dedicate an evening of reverence, reflection and festivity to honor several outstanding unsung heroes – volunteers who uplift their communities by helping children, adults, elders and families overcome the oppression and struggles of poverty.

The annual gala will feature guest speaker and award winning performer Leslie Odom Jr. on Friday, October 26th, at Boston Marriott Copley Place, 110 Huntington Ave, Boston. The evening kicks off with a Social Hour at 6 p.m., and the Dinner Program at 7 p.m.

Together we have strength. Together we can strive for more. Together we can better overcome any obstacle and achieve success. No matter our individual challenges or difference, as friends and neighbors, we are In It Together!

This year, ABCD honors NBA Coach Doc Rivers as the co-founder of ABCD Hoop Dreams – our signature basketball tournament fundraiser for ABCD youth services & educational initiatives, including WorkSMART and SummerWorks. Since its inception in 2011, ABCD Hoop Dreams has enabled thousands of low income underserved youth overcome the odds by financially funding programs that set goals in education and a successful career path. Coach Rivers continues to be an integral part of ABCD Hoop Dreams and has committed to continuing his connection, even though he’s moved on to Los Angeles.

The event will be hosted by WCVB-TV Chronicle’s Shayna Seymour and will include a special invocation by Rev. Liz Walker, Pastor, Roxbury Presbyterian Church.

With a mission to help those in need transition from poverty to stability to success – through advocacy and collaboration with local leaders, politicians, businesses, and of course the humble heroes among us – ABCD provides a ladder upward to overcome seemingly insurmountable barriers.

“Once again, ABCD is proud to put the spotlight on the volunteers and community members who go above and beyond to assist, serve, and educate our most vulnerable residents and economically disenfranchised families,” said John J. Drew, ABCD President/CEO.

“We welcome Broadway actor, singer, and new author Leslie Odom Jr. He is an amazing entertainer and vocalist, and the Grammy Award winner’s message of discovering your own potential and making your dreams come true will resonate with or inspire our supporters and those we serve,” said Drew.

“We’ll also pay special tribute to an extraordinary peace activist, Chaplain Clementina “Tina” M. Chéry, founder of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, and to ABCD’s longtime partner and friend, Sam Nagler, Esq.,” Drew continued. “And it will be a great honor to welcome a true Boston sports icon, NBA Coach Doc Rivers, to our Hall of Fame. It will be a night to remember!”

Support for the evening is possible thanks to the ABCD Friends Committee, which welcomes Amy Latimer, President of TD Garden, as event chair. TD Garden has been integral to the success of ABCD Hoop Dreams, helping the organization raise over $500,000 for youth programs, including ABCD SummerWorks, since the fundraiser’s inception.

The high point of the event, ABCD will recognize 20 outstanding community heroes for their selfless contributions of time, energy and compassion!

The heroes of 2018 are: Patricia McShane, ABCD Allston/Brighton NSC; Irene Chu, AACA; Philip Carver, ABCD Dorchester NSC; Joseph Cinelli, ABCD East Boston APAC; Evelyn House, Elder Services; Karen Dottin-Ricketts, ABCD Roxbury/North Dorchester NSC; Chien-Chi Huang, Health Services; Nicole Graffam of Everett, Renee Cammarata Hamilton of Malden, and Marie Cassidy of Medford, ABCD MVOC; Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, ABCD North End/West End NSC; Veronica Serrato, ABCD Parker Hill/Fenway NSC; Marie Laundry, ABCD South Boston Action Center; Jehla Johnson Lugo, ABCD South End NSC; Claudia Arrecis, Head Start; John Moore, ABCD JFK Center; Antonette Cabral, ABCD Jamaica Plain APAC & Citywide Boston Hispanic Center; Shavel’le Olivier, ABCD Mattapan FSC; John Crump, ABCD Harbor Point/Project Care & Concern; and Marchelle Raynor, Women’s Service Club of Boston.

Action for Boston Community Development hopes you will join us, Leslie Odom Jr., and our revered heroes and special guests on October 26th. With determination, gratitude, and a spirit of community, we celebrate each other, and we celebrate being In It Together!

For more information about the event, please contact Amelia Aubourg at
617-348-6238 or, and visit