Banner honors Hometown Heroes

CAMBRIDGE — Recognizing community members for doing something right instead of always looking for things people are doing wrong, that is what Hometown Heroes is all about.

On Thursday night at the Dorchester Center for the Arts, the Dorchester Banner recognized eight unsung individuals for their work to make Dorchester County a better place. Darel LaPrade, publisher of the Banner, honored the award winners at the dinner party.

He said success in journalism comes down to trust and credibility. Public trust in the free press has eroded to the point that a great many citizens no longer believe what they read in any newspaper, yet a free press is vital to democracy. It’s crucial for news outlets to do their job fairly, honestly and without a hidden agenda, he said.

“It’s more important than ever for legitimate news outlets and journalists to take their jobs very seriously — very, very seriously,” Mr. LaPrade said. “It seems to me we would all be better off if we spent more time recognizing what people are doing right instead of constantly trying to catch someone doing something wrong. And that is what tonight is all about, recognizing people, ordinary people, who live extraordinary lives who are doing something right.”

Dorchester Banner/Bob Zimberoff
The Dorchester Banner recognized its 2017 Hometown Heroes on Thursday evening at the Dorchester Center for the Arts’ George B. Todd Performance Hall. From left are Dave Cannon, of the Banner; Pastor Andre Kane spiritual/faith award; Jason Shorter, youth leader; Arneda Hopkins, educator; Brad Walters, emergency responder; Gail Benjamin, mentor award; Katie Smith, business volunteer; Raymond Farrare, community volunteer; Ruth Stanley, lifetime achievement award; and Darel LaPrade, Banner publisher.

This is the fifth year that the Banner has honored its Hometown Heroes.

In the first year, Mr. LaPrade said, “… I remember there were like two tables, three tables, filled in this room. Last year, we had almost 60 people here. This year, it’s 70 or more. So, we know that people appreciate this sort of recognition. We want to turn this into an annual tradition.”

Earlier in March, the Banner hosted a one-person play, “Harriet Tubman: Defender,” at the arts center. Thursday night, a portion of the proceeds from the play were donated to Bill Jarmon and Herschel Johnson, of the Harriet Tubman Museum in Cambridge.

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