It’s become common to see a drive-by birthday celebration during the pandemic. Recently there were two extra-special such events.
On June 5 Hopkinton High School senior Liam Finnegan turned 19, and a parade of cars carrying well-wishers made its way through his Rocky Woods Road neighborhood.
The Class of 2020 dedicated its yearbook to Finnegan, a member of the unified basketball and track teams at the school.
“Liam teaches us every day, in his many acts of kindness, what it means to be a friend,” class secretary Bobby McGuire said in announcing the honor on Senior Recognition Night late last month. McGuire lauded Finnegan, who has autism, as “our role model for tolerance, acceptance and kindness.”
Five days earlier, on May 31, friends and family — along with a few police and fire vehicles — headed out to Hopkinton High School, where Scotty Mackin was celebrating his 56th birthday.
Mackin has served as manager of the Hopkinton High School football team since he was a teenager, and he added baseball and basketball managing duties to his resume about 20 years ago.
“Scott Mackin is a true pillar of the Hopkinton community,” said HHS unified basketball, freshman basketball and freshman baseball coach Jay Golden, who also teaches special education. “From HHS athletics, to the Senior Center, to events such as the Marathon and Timlin race, and well beyond, Scott is usually front and center. His kind and compassionate outlook is a positive influence on everyone in town, and has been for decades. We all wish Coach Mackin a happy 56th birthday!”
Shield Team sets standard
One of the great positive stories coming out of the pandemic was the work of Hopkinton High School teacher Doug Scott and The Shield Team, a group of students and school staff members who used 3-D printers to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care and front-line workers.
Scott sent out a wrap-up/thank you email recently, reviewing all the group accomplished — and it was impressive. The Hopkinton continent produced almost 4,000 face shields, more than 6,000 replacement sheets and 600 ear guards, with more on the way.
“The bulk of our work is completed for now, but the team continues to make small deliveries,” Scott stated.
Members of the Hopkinton team included Kathleen Beauvais, Sucheta Sunder, Tyler Rhodes, Max LaCascia, Victoria Allen, Rylee Blair, Robert Maher, John Dionne, Simran Kaur, Jahnavi Prudhivi, Sreya Ravi, Shishir Sudhaman, Ceara Perry, Sarah Patterson, David Stedt, Cameron Jerrett, Jason Battikha, Nicholas Rogerson, Cindy Yang, Holly Burns, Eleanor Nealon, Kamala Chuss, Nathaniel Kapelos, Julian Tatro, Pat Allen and Jen Parson.
Nationally, The Shield Team boasted 270-plus members who produced and delivered more than 42,000 face shields along with more than 70,000 replacement sheets and almost 8,000 ear guards.
Mental Health Collaborative needs votes
The Hopkinton-based Mental Health Collaborative is one of five Massachusetts organizations nominated for a 2020 Red Sox Impact Award, which is presented to a nonprofit for its impact in the community.
The organization that receives the most online votes by June 22 will receive a $10,000 donation from the Ruderman Family Foundation. The runner-up will receive a $2,500 donation.
The Mental Health Collaborative provides programs to teach mental health literacy and empowers communities through awareness and education.
“We are all on the front lines right now when it comes to the mental health of our family, friends, neighbors and community members,” Mental Health Collaborative executive director Abbie Rosenberg said. “If Mental Health Collaborative were to win this generous grant from the Red Sox Foundation it would enable us to impact the lives of more youth and community members through mental health education and decreasing stigma.”
The other organizations nominated are Doc Wayne Youth Services, Let’s Empower Advocate and Do, KyleCares and the Home for Little Wanderers.
For more information or to vote, visit mlb.com/redsox/community/impact-awards.
Legion lives in Hopkinton
In the Sports Roundup in our May 20 issue, we wrote that American Legion Baseball had canceled its season (although some local teams are trying to schedule games on their own), and we noted that Hopkinton players are placed on teams in Ashland or Milford because there is no post in Hopkinton.
We meant to express that there is no post-sponsored team in Hopkinton, but there is an American Legion post in town. While McDonough-Carlberg Post 202 does not have a building nor a baseball team, members gather regularly at the monthly Veterans Breakfast at the Senior Center (indefinitely postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic).
Thanks to longtime resident Bill Hamilton, who called up to point out our mistake. Hamilton, who served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, added that he is working on a memorial to honor the 416 Hopkintonians who served in World War II. There will be an item related to his project on the Town Meeting warrant.
Running community mourns Lyons
There is some sad news from the running community, as Bryan Lyons, a dentist from Billerica who had taken over for Dick Hoyt and pushed Rick Hoyt in his wheelchair in the Boston Marathon since 2015, died May 31.
According to a tweet from Dick Hoyt, Lyons died in his sleep. He was 50.
Lyons joined Team Hoyt in 2009, initially as a runner for the charity team.
His family requested donations in Bryan’s name be made to the Michael Lisnow Respite Center in Hopkinton.