M.A.N. INC.’S LINDA SOUCY NAMED ‘UNSUNG HEROINE’

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METHUEN — On May 14, the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW) will host its fifth annual Unsung Heroine Celebration at the Massachusetts Statehouse in Boston.

This event will honor 287 Unsung Heroines — women who quietly, without fanfare or recognition, make their communities and the Commonwealth better places. Our Unsung Heroines don’t make the news, but they truly make a difference.

One of those being honored is Linda Soucy, founder of the Methuen Arlington Neighborhood group and coordinator of Safe Haven.

She and many other contributors celebrated the grand opening of the Methuen Arlington Neighborhood’s new Lena Lahey Community Center at 141 Tenney St. on Feb. 12.

A standing room only crowd of about 100 neighbors, friends and supporters, and a palpable spirit of community filled the third floor of the center, as Soucy officiated over the ceremonies and gave accolades and awards to members of the community, donors, contractors, public officials, and others who helped make the project come to fruition. Joan Mejia, M.A.N.’s Youth Programs director, opened the event with poignant remarks about his experience working with children and teens in the community at M.A.N.’s old community center.

M.A.N. Inc. board President Richard Dewhirst concluded the ceremony with a warm tribute to Soucy for her selfless, dedicated service to the people of Methuen’s Arlington neighborhood and the community at large.

The 1,630 square-foot, three-story community center houses educational and recreational opportunities, health outreach, social services, an after-school homework center, and a satellite library. The building is a modular construction that was delivered to Methuen and installed on the foundation. Much of the labor and materials needed to build the center was donated by local contractors, even during the Christmas holiday season.

This is the fourth year that the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women has sponsored its Unsung Heroines initiative and sought the assistance of all residents of the Commonwealth in identifying the extraordinary women from every community who perform unheralded acts on a daily basis that make our neighborhoods, cities and towns better places to live. Last year 280 Community Unsung Heroines were celebrated.

The commission hopes that women who are nominated will truly be unsung women who quietly, without fanfare, recognition and usually behind the scenes, use their time, talent, spirit and enthusiasm to enrich the lives of others. They are mentors, volunteers and innovators. These women are the glue that keeps a community together.

That in essence sums up the accomplishments of Linda Soucy.