Laurie Sugarman- Whittier Wellness Award winner and nominees

Above: Last week’s Coffee Talk featured the 2021 Wellness Award winner. (video)

Southborough Youth and Family Services issued an announcement about their annual award.

This May, the Southborough Youth Commission Board was presented with “a well-rounded and deserving list” of seven nominated community members. They selected Chelsea Bradway as the 2021 Laurie Sugarman- Whittier Wellness Award winner:

Chelsea is a local artist and mental health advocate who uses her art to connect with others and build community. Her work often uses wings, which she uses to symbolize freedom, hope, personal growth, and kindness. 

In addition to her well-known Front Porch Project last year that raised thousands of dollars for the Southborough Food Pantry and Friends of the Southborough Youth Commission, she recently donated her time to help SYFS during Mental Health Awareness Month in a collaboration with the Trustees/Chestnut Hill Farm displaying artwork along the trails connecting wellness with nature.

Chelsea truly embodies what it means to be an outstanding community member who lifts up others and celebrates individuals as they truly are. 

The award was timed with Southborough Youth and Family Services’ celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month.  In May, Southborough residents and employees were asked to nominate individuals who represent one or more of these areas:

  • Someone that has promoted the mission of making Southborough a better place for all 
  • A person who is a mental health or human services advocate 
  • An individual that embodies wellness and resilience after overcoming challenges and adversity 
  • Or someone that has worked in some other capacity to promote human welfare in Southborough. 

Nominees didn’t have to live in Southborough, as long as they serve the Southborough community. 

The other six nominees this spring were:

Cami Aspesi, a Southborough resident led a team of volunteers in scheduling hundreds of COVID-19 vaccination appointments for residents, teachers, and support staff.

Delaney Cosentino, an Algonquin Regional High School student promoted human service excellence through volunteer efforts supporting community workers and fundraising. 

Liz Kaprielian, a long-time supporter of the Southborough community as the former President of the Rotary Club dedicated her time to coordinating Food Pantry drives, and Summer Camp scholarship fundraising efforts for local youth.

MaryEllen Duggan, District Wellness Coordinator, poured her time and efforts into setting up free COVID pool testing throughout the schools and coordinated vaccination assistance for staff and families.

Kelly Kiley, Woodward school nurse, was recognized for her dedication in performing contact tracing and implementing the highest rate of pooled testing in the district.

Jennifer Lipton-O’Connor, Algonquin Regional High School psychologist was greatly acknowledged for her tireless efforts working with families and staff within the community sharing her expertise and advocating for those in need. 

The announcement from SYFS thanks: 

SYFS and the Youth Commission Board would like to formally thank the Southborough community for nominating such wonderful, caring individuals and to all of the nominees for their incredible contributions during a very difficult year.  A special thank you is also sent out to the Friends of the Southborough Youth Commission for their generous gifts in recognizing this year’s nominees with a token of appreciation for their contributions to the community over the past year.

Bradway also thanked the community for the nomination and award. This week, she posted to Facebook:

Dear Southborough,

You never cease to amaze me. Last year when I grabbed my camera and showed up at your front door you were there with the brightest of smiles. even though it was the bleakest of times. We raised $14,000 for SYFS and Southborough Food Pantry and when I say WE, I mean all of you! That was incredible!

You showed up for yet another “Chelsea” Idea when I said, let’s do Women Empowerment photos to really make an impact. And do not worry, that project is just growing legs.
You show up every day for me and my family. When I moved here in 1997 I did not think I would fit in. I was too wacky, too out of the box but I was never more wrong. I found my people and you, Southborough are my people! A girl from the Berkshires has never felt so at home with the open spaces, open hearts, and open minds of this community.

Today, I came home from a trying day at school, which is a lot as we are almost done. It has been a year has it not, only to find this wonderful gift at my door. I am so honored to have won the Laurie Sugarman-Whittier Wellness Award. I have to say I did not do this alone, no woman can. Kylee Ramsey was my left hand during Front Steps and Amy Koral continues to be my right hand in the Women Empowerment shoot. And YOU! All of you are right there with me. I am accepting this award for all of you. And the biggest shout out to the other nominees! You are AMAZING! I am grateful to you! . . .

So, Thank you Southborians, let’s keep making the world a better place to live in. I love you and appreciate you!

With many warm hugs!
Chelsea Bradway

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Kate Battles
2 years ago

Chelsea is so incredibly kind, generous, and talented. She is such an asset to our community. Thank you for all you do for Southborough. Congratulations on a well deserved honor!

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