BBA Honors 2018 Scholarship Recipients & Unsung Hero Jim Hastings
Jul 18, 2018 06:00AM ● Published by Pamela Johnson
Scholarship recipients Joseph Oliver and Lindsay McNulty with BBA President John Orthman.
story & photos by PAMELA JOHNSON, Publisher
The motto of the Bellingham Business Association is “building a better community through business,” and the meeting that perhaps best personifies this is the BBA’s annual Awards Night.
Members come together to award $1500 scholarships to two Bellingham students going on to higher education, and to name their “Unsung Hero” of the year- an individual who goes above and beyond his or her normal activities and responsibilities for the betterment of the community.
At their meeting held at Lowell's Restaurant on June 13, BBA President John Orthman announced that this year’s scholarship recipients are Lindsey McNulty and Joseph Oliver.
“Lindsay has been an ongoing volunteer with the student council since middle school; she helped to organize events like the ice cream socials for disaster relief and events like the ice cream socials for disaster relief and the prom at the senior center, as well as many, many food drives.
She is ranked in the top 10 percent of a class of 125. Lindsay is a member of the National Honor Society and has worked in the community to raise money for charity, assisted at the blood drive and worked at the school on the day of the presidential election.
In her junior year, she ran both indoor and outdoor track and was the secretary of the Student Council. In her senior year, Lindsay was Vice President of the Student Council and a captain of the girls outdoor track team during the spring season.
Through her high school years, Lindsey learned the importance of what seems to be her family tradition of community engagement [referring to Lindsay’s mother, Selectman Cindy McNulty], along with the importance of being involved and helping others,” said Orthman.
He continued, “Academically, she has come to love science—biology in particular. Her career aspirations vary from being a physician’s assistant to becoming a science teacher, depending on the day; but what she knows for sure is that the knowledge she gains will be used to interact with and improve the lives of others around her. She is planning to attend Westfield State in the fall, major in Biology, and is confident that her training will aid her in her efforts to help others and improve the lives of those around her.”
Orthman quoted Lindsay as saying, “I will continue to be involved in my community in any way possible in the future because the joy I get from helping others is unmatched by any other joy in my life.”
The second recipient, Joseph Oliver, also has impressive credentials. The son of Colleen (Murphy) Oliver and Robert Oliver Jr., Joseph was Salutatorian of Bellingham High’s class of 2018.
He was President of the National Honor Society, Vice-President of the Math Club for the past two years, President of the Drama Club this year and Vice-President last year, and Bass Section Leader of the BHS Chorus for the last three years. Joseph was accepted to the MA Central District Chorus for six consecutive years and received three MA All-State Recommendations.
He was honored to be named to the 2018 MA All-State Chorus. Joseph was a member of the BHS Chorus throughout his high school years and a MICCA Solo Silver Medalist, and he recently received the National School Choral Award.
He has also been a soloist for the last four years at numerous community events, student-artist recitals, and local sports and fundraising events. Joe has been a member of the Bellingham Drama Program for eight years, landing several prominent roles. Throughout high school, he performed in local community musical and Shakespearean theatre productions.
“To top all that off,” Orthman joked, “Joe is the only 2018 graduating senior to receive a Perfect Attendance Award for all four years of high school.” He also noted that Oliver has been active with his church in many roles over the years and is a food-pantry volunteer. He served as a youth representative to the Catholic Youth Summit and is currently a member of his church’s pastoral planning committee. Recently named as a recipient of the Waters Corporation Award for Excellence in Science, Joseph plans to major in mathematics and minor in music at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth in the fall.
2018 Unsung Hero: Jim Hastings
The 2018 Unsung Hero Award was presented to Jim Hastings, a key figure in veterans affairs in Bellingham. Orthman said, “I don’t know how long Jim was in the U. S. Marines, but I know that most of the people in Bellingham consider him a ‘career serviceman.’ Along with being a U.S. Marine and Vietnam veteran, Jim works determinedly every year to make sure that Bellingham’s service veterans get the recognition, respect and remembrance that they so deserve.
Jim Hastings (center) is awarded the Unsung Hero award by BBA President John Orthman, while his wife, Marsha, grabs a quick photo.
“He has served on the Bellingham Memorial Day and Veterans Day Committee since 2001, and he works tirelessly every year to make the Memorial Day parade and the ceremony that follows on the town common a success,” Orthman continued, and noted that, since 2011, Hastings has also worked to ensure a successful Veterans Day program and wreath ceremony at the Bellingham Public Library.
“In between,” Orthman noted, “Jim works on projects like getting new signs around Bellingham for those servicemen who have made the ultimate sacrifice, and sprucing up the monuments around town. I think the best way to sum up what this man means to our town is to read a letter from our town clerk, expressing her admiration and esteem for our winner.”
Orthman went on to read the following letter: “Jim, I cannot think of a more deserving person to be named as the Bellingham Business Association's Unsung Hero for 2018. I am so sorry I cannot be there to watch you presented with your plaque. You give your heart and soul to make sure the veterans in Bellingham are represented and never forgotten.
“From the Memorial Day Parade to the monuments throughout Bellingham, you’re constantly diligent in keeping veterans alive and remembered in our town. I am always amazed at the tenacity of your cause to be accessible to all of the veterans here. The care you take to make sure that all the wreaths are put on the Memorials and that each veteran is on the proper monument is not an easy task. You also, along with your beautiful wife Marsha and the rest of the Hastings family, work hard to make sure the flowers are planted and the monuments look fitting for the veterans they represent.
“I want to let you know how much we appreciate your hard work, and how much it means to all of our veterans, as well as the rest of this community. I also want to thank you for your service to our country.
“This is a most well-deserved award for one of the most giving people I know. Congratulations! Your friend always, Ann L. Odabashian.”