Tony Khoury to Receive WMRC Award
Bellingham businessman Tony Khoury
Bellingham businessman Tony Khoury will be honored for his generosity on March 16 when Radio Station WMRC presents him with the Butch Moore “You Touched Upon My Life Award.”
Moore was a local singing legend who toured Ireland, Europe and the United States with the Capitol Showband and later with his wife, Maeve, according to a WMRC release. His signature song, “You Touched Upon My Life,” defined a man who had touched the lives of so many around him with his music, smile, generosity and big heart. When he died in 2001 at the age of 63, WMRC created the award in his honor.
Previous recipients include Judge Francis and Virginia Larkin, former State Senator Richard Moore, Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick (Blackstone Valley Tech Superintendent), Frank Saba (CEO of Milford Hospital) and his wife, Wendy, Justine Brewer (Southwick Animal Farm), Kevin Meehan (Imperial Cars), Chris Morcone (Milford Legion baseball), Linda Varney (Varney Brothers Concrete), Gina Oliva-Tarolli (Oliva’s Market), the Ellis family (Karl Bright Insurance), the Kimball family (Kimball Sand Company), Tony and Virginia Brenna (My One Wish of Milford), Paul Surapine (Claflin Hill Orchestra), Billy Hood (Hood Enterprises) and Tom McGovern (TWM Computer Systems).
Khoury, who has a PhD in electrical engineering, isn’t a stranger when it comes to funding civic or charitable causes in his town. He’s helped with projects at the public library and the high school. He’s supported the Bellingham Women of Today in various efforts, and he’s usually the first in line to assist with the Thanks to Yanks program for military veterans. He was instrumental in funding the town’s Vietnam Memorial, and he didn’t hesitate to write checks for the revitalization of the First Baptist Church in Bellingham Center and to Milford Hospital for expansion of its emergency room.
Khoury, who came to the United States from Syria in 1971 with $100 in his pocket, wanted an education, an opportunity and his freedom. Because he received all three, the 36-year resident of Bellingham, who founded Khoury Industries and owns Khoury Plaza and Gateway Liquors, considers himself blessed and extremely fortunate.
As far as being selected for the award is concerned, Khoury said he became emotional. “When I was informed, I was speechless and truly humbled,” he said. “I thought ‘Why me?’ There are so many others who deserve this honor. This award isn’t about me or for me. It’s for the town of Bellingham. I want the town to share in this award too.”
The award will be presented to Khoury at Scioli’s on Route 140 in Milford in conjunction with the WMRC-Milford Area Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours program, starting at 5 pm.
Khoury earned his bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees in Michigan. After five years as a professor of engineering, he worked for Honeywell Corporation in the mini-computer division, then joined Raytheon as an engineering manager. After 10 years at Raytheon, he founded Khoury Industries. He invented the Khoury Box, a device that simulates actual environments for the military and the aerospace industry. That device has been sold to businesses in Asia, Europe, Canada, the Middle East and all 50 states.
Khoury’s children are all involved in philanthropic endeavors. His oldest daughter (Shadia) raises money for cancer; his son (John) assists families dealing with autism and his younger daughter (Jackie) works in the medical field.
When Khoury financed the renovation of the sanctuary at the First Baptist Church of Bellingham, the congregation’s pastor—Rev. Baron Rodrigues—emphasized what makes Khoury so remarkable: “When you meet Tony, you feel warmth and hospitality. You see a man with a big heart who has passion for people and his community.”
Butch Moore was a friend of WMRC and knew Dick Ferrucci, the station’s senior sales executive, very well. “We wanted to honor those who’ve touched other people’s lives,” Ferrucci said, “and by doing that, this is a way to keep Butch Moore’s memory alive.”
Khoury is the 15th recipient of the award and the first Bellingham resident chosen for it.