Community Relations

Suffolk Downs has been a trusted community partner since we first opened our doors in 1935. Our historic track is active in the local community and the Thoroughbred racing community through numerous charities, service organizations and youth programs. We value the relationships we have built with these groups and continue to work toward strengthening and expanding our involvement with them. Our current leadership team is comprised of members who have a proven track record of civic-mindedness.

Community Winner's Circle

The “Community Winner’s Circle” was established in 2008 by Suffolk Downs in a continuation of the track’s long-standing community outreach program. Each “Community Winner’s Circle” honoree is recognized by the track in a winner’s circle ceremony and with a contribution to a cause of their choice.

2012 honorees:

The Eighth Pole (October 27)

The Eighth Pole is committed to the health and wellness of backstretch workers at Suffolk Downs, assisting them in obtaining medical and dental care and providing services and support for those in need of additional assistance. Earlier this year, The Eighth Pole earned the Boston Neighborhood Fellows Award from the Philanthropic Initiative of Boston for its efforts. Founded in 1989 by horse owner Jim Greene and trainer Shirley Edwards, The Eighth Pole earned national acclaim in 2002 when it won the prestigious Dogwood Dominion Award presented annually to an unsung hero in the Thoroughbred industry.

Chaplain Lee Alphen (October 27)

Chaplain Lee Alphen has been serving members of the New England Thoroughbred racing community since 1975, first at Rockingham Park and continuing at Suffolk Downs. She also serves as a Chaplain in the harness racing community. As leader of the local Racetrack Ministry program, Chaplain Lee leads weekly services and organizes group activities such as barbecues and softball games. At the end of each summer, she leads a drive to provide school supplies to children of families within the local racing community.

Team Betty Boston (October 13)

Earlier this year at a fundraiser for East Boston High School, Denise Banks of East Boston won the opportunity to name a race at Suffolk Downs. Denise is a member of Team Betty Boston, a group that walks in honor of Betty Wood, mother of New Kids on the Block’s Danny Wood, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 1999. Denise decided to name a race in Betty’s honor as a way of generating interest in her team’s fundraising efforts. Since 2009, Team Bettys worldwide have raised over $900,000 in her name for breast cancer research. For more information or to donate, visit

CAPIC (September 22)

Community Action Programs, Inter City, Inc. (CAPIC), chartered in 1967, is dedicated to identifying and eradicating the root causes of poverty in Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop. In addition, CAPIC provides housing services to residents of East Boston through its local program and twenty-five other communities regionally. CAPIC offers a wide variety of programs and services. Currently, one of its primary initiatives is to provide meals for the growing number of local residents who are in need of assistance.

East Boston Social Centers (September 22)

East Boston Social Centers, Inc. was founded in 1918. It is a multi-service agency, serving culturally diverse families and individuals of all ages in East Boston and throughout Greater Boston. The programs offered by the Social Centers are designed to meet people’s educational, social and recreational needs and to build community and strengthen families. The Social Centers seek to create a welcoming and supportive environment, characterized by a spirit of goodwill and caring, in which members of our community are empowered to lead productive and fulfilling lives.

Salesian Boys & Girls Club of East Boston (June 9)

The Salesian Boys & Girls Club of East Boston has been serving the youth of East Boston and the neighboring communities of Revere and Winthrop since 1945. The club has an after-school program during the school year and a day camp during the summer. Our clubhouse was built in 1965 to house the gymnasium, cafeteria, and several classrooms for Dom Savio High School (which is now closed). It provides a place for our youth for recreation, to receive assistance in education, and to participate in other projects and services. It also serves as a site for other neighborhood activities.

Revere Beautification Committee (June 9)

The Revere Beautification Committee was established in February 2000 to help clean up the Revere community. This volunteer committee consists of approximately 15 members, and continues to grow. It is a non-profit organization that meets monthly to plan and execute programs that restore, maintain and beautify the city of Revere.

HarborCOV (June 9)

Founded in 1998, HarborCOV of Chelsea provides free safety and support services, along with housing and economic opportunities that promote long-term stability for people affected by violence and abuse. HarborCOV specializes in serving survivors who face additional barriers, such as language, culture and economic, by working to create connections to the supports survivors need to rebuild their lives through a continuum of options. With a commitment to social and economic justice, HarborCOV takes a comprehensive approach to addressing violence within the context of family, culture and community.

Viking Pride Foundation (June 9)

A group of proud Winthrop High School alumni and friends came together to form the Viking Pride Foundation in February of 2004 to help fund co-curricular activities at the Winthrop Public Schools. Their goal is to raise over $1,000,000 to lower user fees and to restore other co-curricular activities that have been cut or reduced over the years. The Fund is a professionally managed, perpetual endowment fund so that current and future generations of Vikings will benefit from the efforts. Since formation, approximately 30% of the target has been raised through the dynamic energy and generosity of nearly 600 alumni, family and friends of Winthrop's public school children.

Paul Antonino (June 2)

On April 1, Paul and his daughter had stopped for lunch in East Boston. While driving on Chelsea St., they noticed a fire on the third floor of a triple-decker. Selflessly, and without hesitation, Paul jumped into action, entering the building to alert residents of the fire that was raging above them and assisting elderly residents in escaping the building safely. All residents evacuated safely. Paul was honored by the City of Boston on April 4 when Mayor Menino declared the day “Paul Antonino Day” in the city. In recognition of Paul’s heroic act, Suffolk Downs is making a contribution to the fund established to help the families affected by the fire.

Generations Incorporated (June 2)

Generations Incorporated unites older adults and youth in partnership to strengthen individuals and communities in the Greater Boston area. It recruits, trains, and supports hundreds of senior citizens to serve as literacy volunteers to thousands of children who are not proficient in literacy. Generations Incorporated operates programs in three Revere elementary schools (Garfield, Whelan, and McKinley), a Boys & Girls Club in Chelsea, and at the Adams Elementary in East Boston. This year alone, 82 older adults have volunteered in these programs in East Boston, Revere and Chelsea, serving over 1,100 students.

2011 honorees:

East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (October 22)

The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) has been a vital part of the community for over 40 years. Its mission is to provide easily accessible, affordable, appropriate, high-quality, personalized, coordinated primary care, for all who live and work in East Boston and the surrounding communities, without regard to age, income, insurance status, language, culture, or social circumstances. The EBNHC is the leading health care provider in its service area, and among the largest community health centers in the country. During the past two decades, the EBNHC has grown to care for more than 300,000 patient visits per year – more than any other ambulatory care center in New England. It delivers 1,000 babies annually, and its Pediatrics Department cares for almost every child living in East Boston.

Friends of Belle Isle Marsh (October 22)

The Friends of Belle Isle Marsh is a non-profit organization which promotes preservation, protection and enhancement of the Department of Conservation's (DCR) Belle Isle Marsh Reservation, a passive 360-plus acre wildlife habitat nestled in the middle of East Boston, Winthrop and Revere. In addition to providing an unusual opportunity to experience wildlife within an urban environment, this wetland provides significant flood control. The Friends, along with the DCR and other environmental organizations, sponsor events that encourage first hand exposure to a natural environment.

Winthrop Charities (October 22)

Winthrop Charities is a family run non-profit charity that contributes to the Winthrop community in various ways. Within the past year, Winthrop Charities made significant contributions to the Fort Banks School for a new and safer playground and to Winthrop High School for new fitness and weight rooms. Winthrop Charities also helps families in need of assistance with recovering from house fires and with medical payments and athletic user fees. The charity makes regular donations to the Viking Pride Foundation and WINARC and has provided a scholarship to a deserving high school senior for many years.

Beachmont Improvement Committee (August 6)

The Beachmont Improvement Committee (BIC) is an open, non-profit organization whose primary membership consists of residents in the Beachmont neighborhood of the City of Revere. Many of the group’s activities involve cleanup and beautification projects that improve the visual as well as functional quality of the public spaces in the Beachmont neighborhood. Its mission is to undertake projects and activities that improve the quality of life for residents in the area. It is the committee’s belief that through these activities, residents will develop a better sense of pride in their neighborhood. It further believes that this sense of pride will foster a greater willingness, on the part of residents, to individually and collectively initiate and support activities to improve the quality of life for their families and the community as a whole.

East Boston Athletic Board (July 16)

The East Boston Athletic Board is a non-profit organization dedicated to a program of youth betterment. Established in 1950, the board conducts a variety of youth programs, including basketball, roller hockey and Wiffle Ball tournaments. The board also supports Little League baseball and softball, Pop Warner youth football, and youth hockey and soccer programs in East Boston. The board offers SAT preparation classes and puts on movie nights during the summer. The board awards scholarships annually to outstanding student-athletes who live in East Boston who are furthering their academic endeavors.

Winthrop High School 2010-11 Boys Varsity Basketball Team (June 11)

The Winthrop High School Boys Basketball team captured the 2010-11 MIAA Division 4 State Championship. After advancing to the North sectional finals the previous three seasons, the Vikings went all the way this year, knocking off Cohasset 58-55 in the title game played at the Boston Garden. Coached by Dave Brown, the Vikings finished the season with a record of 19-6.

Let’s Get Runnin’ (June 4)

Let's Get Runnin' is a youth walk-to-run program developed through the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, in partnership with the Mario Umana Middle School in East Boston and the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. The program aims not only to improve physical fitness and health, but also to instill values like teamwork, self-confidence, leadership, and goal-orientation. This year, twelve sixth-grade boys participating in Let's Get Runnin's pilot group have completed over 900 miles and improved their mile times by an average margin of over five minutes. The program, which was profiled in the Boston Globe and on Neighborhood Network News, will be re-implemented and expanded for East Boston children in the coming year. 

NOAH of East Boston (May 21)

The Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH) of East Boston is in its 24th year as a multi-service non-profit community development corporation. NOAH began serving East Boston in 1987 as a two-person organization operating from the basement of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. The early faith-based founders were members of the East Boston Ecumenical Council. NOAH now serves the Greater Boston region. While both original employees remain, the organizational capacity has grown, and NOAH has 22 adult staff members and 12 youth interns governed by a multi-cultural 15-member Board of Directors. While NOAH’s business lines and initiatives have multiplied, its original goals remain the nucleus of its work: creating and preserving affordable housing opportunities and building safe and healthy neighborhoods for those most in need and others challenged by today’s housing market.

Revere High School 2010-11 Girls Varsity Basketball Team (May 21)

The Revere High School Girls Basketball team made the city of Revere exceptionally proud this past season. The Lady Patriots posted a perfect 20-0 regular season to win the Northeastern Conference Large championship and earn the number one seed in the MIAA Division 1 North sectional state tournament. The squad ran its winning streak to 21 games, advancing to the quarterfinal round of the North sectional.

Winthrop Parks & Recreation Department (May 21)

The Winthrop Parks and Recreation Department recognizes that there is a universal growing public awareness relative to the benefits of recreation. Its wide variety of programs are designed to improve the quality of life for local residents of all ages by meeting social, educational, cultural and physical needs. The goal of the recreation department is to provide affordable, self-sustaining programs that offer participants a variety of opportunities for passive and active recreation.

2010 honorees:

Winthrop Police Explorer Post 99 (June 26)

The Winthrop Police Explorer Post 99 was formed 14 years ago for Winthrop youth and has expanded to include kids from surrounding communities. This award-winning program offers a comprehensive law enforcement training program as well as career guidance for its explorers. The group has won first place awards at national competitions and is planning on attending the national conference at Georgia Tech in Atlanta later this year. Graduates of the program include current U.S. Secret Service and FBI Agents, U.S. Customs Inspectors, U.S. Sky Marshals, MBTA Police, Winthrop officers and several area campus officers.

East Boston YMCA (May 15)

The East Boston YMCA is a proud member of the YMCA of Greater Boston, the largest provider of social services in the Commonwealth. The East Boston Y is committed to helping children, families and individuals live longer, healthier lives through affordable and accessible programs and activities. The facility includes a licensed, NAEYC accredited full day care center. In 2009, students from the East Boston Y summer program participated in an introductory horse riding program in the paddock at Suffolk Downs. The program continues in 2010.

Pope John XXIII High School (May 15)

Pope John XXIII High School is a fully accredited private co-educational college preparatory day school located in Everett, MA, five miles from downtown Boston. Pope John provides young men and women with an excellent college preparatory education that radiates with the gospel values of love, respect, community, and justice. The school offers a rigorous course of studies in the following formats: College Prep, Honors, and Advanced Placement. Each senior explores their future through a senior thesis and an internship in a corporate, cultural, or civic setting in Greater Boston. Ninety-eight percent of the graduating classes are accepted into college, with more than 85% of students getting into their top choice. In 2009, Pope John was included in Boston Magazine’s prestigious Best of Boston issue in the category of Best High Schools.

2009 honorees:

East Boston Day (August 22)

Founded over twenty-five years ago, EBARC is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing information, motivation, assistance and activism for the physically and mentally disabled people of East Boston. Throughout the year, the organization sponsors activities and trips, which enable members to broaden horizons, build self-esteem and grow with their peers.

East Boston Ecumenical Community Council
Founded in 1978 to promote racial harmony, East Boston Ecumenical Community Council (EBECC) is a neighborhood-based organization that today promotes the advancement of Latino immigrants of all ages through education, services, advocacy, community organizing, and leadership development. By participating in EBECC programs, newcomers build support networks and acquire information and skills to achieve their own goals. By participating in EBECC organizing initiatives, individuals engage in collective action to improve the quality of life in East Boston and to advance immigrant rights at the local, state, and national levels.

East Boston Little League
At the East Boston Little League, every child is an all-star and this program assists youth in developing the qualities of citizenship, discipline, teamwork and physical well-being.

East Boston Pop Warner
The mission of Pop Warner is to enable young people to benefit from participation in team sports and activities in a safe and structured environment. Through this active participation, Pop Warner programs teach fundamental values, skills and knowledge that young people will use throughout their lives. Pop Warner seeks to provide fun athletic learning opportunities for children, while emphasizing the importance of academic success.

East Boston Youth Hockey
East Boston Youth Hockey offers a variety of programs for different age and skill levels and introduces youth to the sport of hockey while promoting an active and healthy lifestyle.

Harborside Community Center
The East Boston Harborside Community School is a non-profit, incorporated, multi-service agency serving East Boston and the surrounding communities. The Harborside is charged with meeting the educational, social, cultural, and recreational needs of its service population including all ages and ethnic groups. The East Boston Harborside Education Program’s Mission is to provide quality educational programming for the East Boston Community. The Education Program offers courses that will help residents improve their quality of life by empowering them with the tools to succeed in their jobs, furthering their education, and contributing to their communities through civic participation.

Roca is an outcomes-driven, high performing youth development organization in Chelsea, Revere, East Boston, and Charlestown, serving very high-risk young people and young parents ages 14-24. Based on a belief that everyone belongs and can succeed in the world, Roca deliberately seeks out young people who other people, organizations, and institutions have left out, given up on, or turned away.

Saugus Day (August 8)

Saugus Youth and Recreation Commission
The mission of the Saugus Youth & Recreation Commission is to provide the children of the Saugus community with opportunities to interact with one another in a safe and positive social environment. They provide them constructive alternatives to spend time, such as educational and extra-curricular programs that address their needs. They also collaborate with other departments and initiatives within the Town of Saugus to help the children develop the skills they need for the daily pressures and decisions they face.

Saugus Youth Hockey
Saugus Youth Hockey began nearly 70 years ago and continues to teach children ranging from ages three to fifteen the sport of hockey, offering a variety of programs for different age and skill levels.

Saugus Public Library
The Saugus Public Library is regarded as a community and cultural center. Its mission, as Melville Dewey stated in 1926, is to give the public 'information, inspiration, and recreation,' providing an opportunity for all of the citizens of Saugus.

Saugus Council on Aging
The mission of the Saugus Council on Aging is to provide services that will assist people 60 and older live fuller and more independent lives, safely and with dignity. The SCOA offers a wide range of activities, a Daily Lunch Program, Home Delivered Meals, Outreach, Transportation, Social Events, Educational and Exercise Programs. Their goal is to keep seniors fit in their mind, body and soul.

Cpl. Scott J. Procopio Memorial Scholarship Fund
A lifelong Saugus resident, Corporal Procopio graduated from Saugus High School in 2003 and joined the Marines shortly thereafter. In January of 2005, he was deployed to Iraq for the first time. When he returned from his first tour in August of 2005, he had been awarded a number of ribbons, including several for valor in combat. He was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat "V" for his actions during the Abu Ghraib prison assault. While home from his first tour, he married his longtime sweetheart Kristal Cerbone. He began his second tour in Iraq in March of 2006. Just a few weeks later, Cpl. Procopio died on April 2, 2006 while conducting combat operations in Iraq. He was 20 years old.

Cpl. Scott J. Procopio Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Deb Alphonse
Saugusbank, P.O. Box 988, Saugus, MA 01906

Revere Day (August 1)

Revere Beach Partnership The goal of the Revere Beach Partnership is to maintain and revitalize Revere Beach, strengthen it as an asset to the community, and preserve the beach's unique historic and natural assets.

Revere Beautification Committee The Revere Beautification Committee was established in February 2000 to help clean up the Revere community. This volunteer committee consists of approximately 15 members, and continues to grow. It is a non-profit organization that meets monthly to plan and execute programs that restore, maintain and beautify the city of Revere.

Revere Society for Cultural & Historical Preservation Revere Society for Cultural and Historic Preservation (RSCHP) is a non-profit, all volunteer organization formed to foster and promote community wide interest in the culture and history of the city of Revere. The Society seeks to educate the community, foster an awareness of the city's history and instill pride in its citizens about their heritage. It does this through projects that document, preserve and interpret the city's history.

Revere League for Special Needs The Revere League for Special Needs has been in existence for over 50 years and serves over 250 individuals from Revere and the surrounding communities. The League is made up of special needs individuals between the ages of 19-65 and many have been members since they were children. The League organizes numerous fundraisers and parties and has a bowling league that meets weekly, culminating with a banquet for the participants. There is a telethon held every October.

Revere Public Library The Revere Public Library is dedicated to meeting the recognized and perceived recreation, information and educational needs of the community through providing access to traditional and modern library materials and services. The Revere Public Library's services are provided free of charge to all and its Director, Staff and Board of Trustees fully support The American Library Association Bill of Rights in carrying out the library's mission.

Revere 1st Revere First charitable organization conducts events throughout the year to foster community spirit and charity. The group focuses on assisting children, elderly and veterans and organizes various events throughout the year including barbecues, a Thanksgiving dinner and a prom for the elderly.

CRW Elder Services Chelsea Revere Winthrop Elder Services was incorporated in 1972 and provides a wide variety of services to elders who reside in the communities of Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop. The mission of CRW Elder Services is to assist elders to live in their own homes and in their own community with dignity, independence, safety, and to promote a good quality of life through a wide range of long-term support and service options.

Winthrop Day (July 25)

Winthrop Community Access Television
Winthrop Community Access Television is a non-profit corporation established in 1987 to administer public, educational, and governmental access television to the town of Winthrop. WCAT offers video production classes throughout the year for residents who want to create their own TV shows with free use of the equipment. The station, which can be seen on channels 3, 15, and 16, receives a percentage of Comcast Cable's gross revenue and is also funded by local corporations, businesses, and individuals.

Friends of Winthrop Council on Aging
The Friends of the Council on Aging is a non-profit corporation in the State of Massachusetts that supports the Winthrop Council on Aging. Their purpose is to seek donations through solicitation, fundraising events, donations of gifts and/or services to assist the WCOA. These funds help provide programs and services and otherwise advance the welfare of senior citizens in Winthrop.

Winthrop Parks & Recreation Department
The Winthrop Parks and Recreation Department recognizes that there is a universal growing public awareness relative to the benefits of recreation. Its wide variety of programs are designed to improve the quality of life for local residents of all ages by meeting social, educational, cultural and physical needs. The goal of the recreation department is to provide affordable, self-sustaining programs that offer participants a variety of opportunities for passive and active recreation.

Viking Pride Foundation
A group of proud Winthrop High School alumni and friends came together to form the Viking Pride Foundation in February of 2004 to help fund co-curricular activities at the Winthrop Public Schools. Their goal is to raise over $1,000,000 to lower user fees and to restore other co-curricular activities that have been cut or reduced over the years. The Fund is a professionally managed, perpetual endowment fund so that current and future generations of Vikings will benefit from the efforts. Since formation, approximately 30% of the target has been raised through the dynamic energy and generosity of nearly 600 alumni, family and friends of Winthrop's public school children.

Winthrop CASA
The Community Against Substance Abuse (CASA) coalition aims to help improve the quality of life for all Winthrop residents and provide a safer environment for children and youth by addressing issues of substance abuse through the use of substance abuse prevention strategies. CASA is a non-profit organization committed to identifying and providing resources within the community to help families deal with substance abuse as a complex social and health problem

WINARC is a nonprofit organization serving individuals with disabilities residing in Winthrop, Boston, Chelsea, Nahant, Revere, Everett and other surrounding communities. WINARC currently serves over 150 individuals and families by providing educational, recreational and social activities in the community. WINARC participants include individuals aged 6-66 living at home with their families and in residential group homes.

Lynn Day (July 18)

Girls Inc. of Lynn
Girls Inc. of Lynn inspires girls to be strong, smart and bold by meeting the needs of girls in the community, developing girls' capacity to overcome the effects of discrimination and be self-sufficient, responsible members of the community, and serves as a vigorous advocate for all girls. Girls Inc of Lynn has been an active member in the community responding to the needs of girls through their programs, workshops and by providing essential family resources since 1942.

Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development
Since 1948 the Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development (LHAND) has had a mission of assisting low and moderate-income families and individuals with safe, and affordable housing. The LHAND continues to be committed to enhancing the quality of the community and building stronger, healthier neighborhoods by providing a wide range of neighborhood services and funding a variety of grant and loan programs that address the needs of renters, owners, homebuyers, and nonprofit housing providers.

Greater Lynn YMCA
Since 1870, the Greater Lynn YMCA as a charitable community based organization with a commitment to service has utilized its staff, volunteers and facilities to strengthen individuals, families and our community by providing quality social, recreational and educational experiences while promoting honesty, respect, caring and responsibility to all members of our community. The Greater Lynn YMCA builds strong kids, strong families and strong communities by enriching the lives of all people in sprit, mind and body.

Lynn Parks and Recreation Department
Lynn Parks and Recreation Department is a division of the Lynn Department of Public Works and provides year-round recreational programs including sports clinics, park programs, recreational activities and entertainment outings that meet the needs of all Lynn residents from youths to seniors. Recreation is essential service to the community through which they strive to enhance the quality of life of Lynn residents by offering various activities provided though the city.

Boys & Girls Club of Lynn
The Boys and Girls Club of Lynn inspires and enables all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive responsible and caring citizens. The Club Programs foster a sense of belonging, competence, usefulness and influence that builds self-confidence and self- esteem. Our approach focuses on six core initiatives: Arts; Education; Leadership; Life Skills; Sports, Fitness and Recreation; and Technology. During the school year they serve more than 250 children daily and the summer camp program serves more than 125 children weekly.

Ancient Order of Hibernians of Lynn
The Ancient Order of Hibernians is a Catholic, Irish American Fraternal Organization founded in New York City in 1836. Active across the United States, The Order seeks to aid the newly arrived Irish, both socially, politically. There, the Irish culture -- art, dance, music, and sports are fostered and preserved.

Salem Day (July 11)

Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem
In many communities, an increasing number of boys and girls are left to find their own recreation and companionship in the streets. As well, an increasing number of children go home after school each day to no adult care or supervision. Young people need to know that someone cares about them and will always care for them. Boys & Girls Clubs offer that and more. Club programs and services promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence. Boys & Girls Clubs are a safe place to learn and grow - all while having fun.

Foundation for Salem Public Education
The Foundation provides funding for projects that further students' educational experiences in science, mathematics, the arts and humanities and goes beyond the scope of those funded by the Salem Public School Department. The Foundation works with the larger community to make schools a true community enterprise. The Foundation promotes and coordinates other kinds of community volunteerism and participation in the schools. The Foundation fosters lifelong learning and effective citizenship, and creates an environment in which to pursue and achieve excellence.

Parents United of Salem
Parents United of Salem is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing Salem’s parents together through community service, recreation, enrichment and educational programs with respect to our culturally diverse population. The group organizes fundraising and events that give back to the Salem community. One of the goals of the Parents United of Salem is to replace the playground in Salem Common.

St. Joseph’s Food Pantry
St. Joseph's Food Pantry’s is dedicated to alleviating hunger on the North Shore with a specific interest in Salem. Its outreach delivery program provides two bags of groceries and household items to more than 144 elderly, disabled and disadvantaged North Shore residents each and every month. Its Little Lambs Baby Program provides food, diapers, wipes, and other supplies of more than four hundred children in any given month and its Youth Summer Meal Program provides lunch and organizes field trips for more than 150 Salem area youths in the summer months. In all St. Joseph’s Food Pantry serves and average of 2,285 clients and distributes over 3500 bags of food per month.

Salem YMCA
For over 150 years, the Salem YMCA has been ever changing, ensuring that as community needs change, the Y continues to meet its mission in providing programs and services that make an impact. The Salem YMCA was the first YMCA in the country to do "boys work" and has since continued to meet the needs of boys and girls, and men and women of all races, religions and socio-economic backgrounds. The Salem Y serves 10,000 each year with programs that develop a healthy spirit, mind and body, for all. The Y makes a significant impact in early childhood education, after school programs for youth, drop-in teen programming, summer camp opportunities, and health and wellness programs.

Chelsea Day (June 20)

Charcoll - Chelsea Artists' Collaborative
Charcoll is a growing group of painters, photographers and other media that have assembled to celebrate of all the arts, from performance to visual and educational to perceptual venues. In 2009, Charcoll launched the Chelsea Art Walk to showcase artistic expression and creative excellence from artists of all media in local galleries and theaters.

Chelsea Council on Elder Affairs
The Chelsea Council on Elder Affairs strives to offer resources and services to allow seniors to develop their strengths and function productively and independently in their homes, and in the larger community. As an inclusive agency, it ensures extensive outreach is made to linguistic minority elderly communities within Chelsea, as well as other difficult-to-reach elders, so as to provide equal access to elder services.

Chelsea Hunger Network
The Chelsea Hunger Network is a collection of organizations and agencies from in and around Chelsea that work to raise awareness about hunger and develop innovative and effective strategies to combat it. Working together as a network results in a greater understanding of the needs of Chelsea residents and creates an opportunity to share resources and knowledge more effectively in an effort to meet the ongoing needs of the Chelsea community.

Chelsea Pride Football
Founded in 2008, Chelsea Pride Football is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing an outlet for young children to become role model citizens through tutoring, mentoring, and community service; while learning how to play the game of football and learning the concept of city pride.

Chelsea Soldiers' Home
Established in 1882, the Soldiers' Home in Chelsea is a multifaceted health care facility available to eligible veterans of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Their mission is to provide, with honor and dignity, the highest quality personal health care services to Massachusetts Veterans.

Jordan Boys & Girls Club
The Jordan Boys & Girls Club provides the resources to at-risk boys and girls to develop the qualities needed to become responsible citizens and leaders. The Club annually serves more than 1,900 youth, ages 6 to 18 and nearly 54% of members attend the Club at least once a week.

North Shore Young Marines
The Young Marines Youth Program is a nonprofit youth education and service program for children ages 8 through the completion of high school. Their mission is to positively impact America's future by providing quality youth development programs for boys and girls that nurtures and develops its members into responsible citizens who enjoy and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

Everett Day (June 13)

Everett Boys & Girls Club
The Everett Boys & Girls Club offers both recreation and companionship to young people in the community through club programs and services that promote and enhance the development of children by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, influence and belonging. The Boys and Girls Club of Middlesex County serves over 5,000 youth in the surrounding communities and has been serving the youth in the area for over 35 years.

Teens in Everett Against Substance Abuse (TEASA)
TEASA, which is funded through the Substance Abuse Coalition and serves as a component of the Everett Community Health Partnership, brings together teens to stand up against all forms of substance abuse. The community-based prevention program has more than 50 members, ranging from 14 to 18 years old, and has been operating for four years. The group's tobacco mapping project was funded by a grant through Massachusetts Youth Against Tobacco. The goal was to assess tobacco advertising in Everett. With no restrictions on advertising related specifically to tobacco in Everett, the group hopes to raise awareness about current practices, and "contribute to a new culture of health in Everett that is tobacco free."

Joint Committee for Children’s Health Care in Everett
The Joint Committee for Children's Health Care in Everett firmly believes in the right of Everett's children to have available to them appropriate health care and knowledge to enable them to become healthy and productive members of the community. A not-for-profit corporation, the Joint Committee is dedicated to advocating for universal access to quality, comprehensive health care for all the children of Everett, and in promoting their optimal health and well being. Toward that end, the committee works in partnership with parents, educators, health care professionals, and members of civic and community organizations in providing health education, community service programs, and other public health initiatives.

Everett Council on Aging
The Everett Council on Aging provides numerous services and programs for the elderly population of the City of Everett. On any given day, a senior may participate in exercise programs, attend community education seminars, have lunch at the meal site, play bingo, see a movie and much more. There are approximately 6,900 elders currently residing in Everett. In addition to social and educational events, the Office of Human Services also provides valuable services to the elderly including rides for medical appointments, groceries and other services.

Portal to Hope
Portal to Hope is an award-winning, nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive services to people whose lives have been impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking crimes. They offer a variety of programs and services, which assist victims to begin the healing process and helps to rebuild self-esteem. Additionally, Portal to Hope works directly with local community leaders and organizations, as well as members of the state legislature desiring to end the cycle of violence in their communities. Portal To Hope relies heavily on its volunteers and partner agencies to serve victims and their families in Everett, Lynn, Malden, Medford and neighboring Massachusetts communities.

2008 honorees:

Michael Chalmers and Charlotte DeSimone (October 25)

Michael Chalmers and Charlotte DeSimone are Suffolk Downs employees who devote a lot of time and energy to helping others. Michael, a member of the track’s facility operations team since 1991 and current track manager, has been President of the Greater Lynn Friends of Special Needs Citizens for over 15 years. The organization has made a difference in the community in a number of ways, including helping to provide Lynn Public Schools with funding for special education classes and assisting Bridgewell, Inc., which offers a wide range of services for people with disabilities and other life challenges. Charlotte, a member of the track’s accounting department whose responsibilities include payroll and human resources, has been President of the East Boston ARC for over 20 years. Charlotte has worked tirelessly with the organization to provide programs, activities and support for people with developmental disabilities, including her son Fred. Regular track patrons may know Fred as one of our friendly staff members who assists with promotional giveaways during the racing season.

Challenge Unlimited at Ironstone Farm (September 27)

Employing horses in a working farm environment, Challenge Unlimited at Ironstone Farm provides beneficial therapy for people with a wide range of physical, emotional and cognitive disabilities. The two primary programs are Challenge Unlimited and Ironstone Therapy – both using the horse’s unique ability to enhance a person’s movements and touch a person’s heart, inspiring strength, hope and encouragement. The farm’s professional staff of over 20 licensed instructors and therapists work with 35 program horses and 150 volunteers to serve 450 to 500 children and adults each week, year round. Coming from more than 90 cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire, participants enjoy the aesthetic beauty of the farm while receiving valuable therapy in collaboration with other service providers to best address their physical and emotional needs. Ironstone Farm was founded in 1960 by owner Richard Donovan as a breeding, training, and rehabilitative facility for thoroughbred performance horses. The non-profit Challenge Unlimited was created out of the Donovan family’s desire to share Ironstone Farm with people whose lives have been challenged by disability. In 2001, after a two-year capital campaign, Challenge Unlimited purchased Ironstone Farm so that the property and programs will be preserved for generations to come. To learn more, visit

Revere SEPAC (August 23)

The mission of the Revere Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) is to work for the understanding of, respect for, and support of all children with special needs in the community. The Revere SEPAC works to promote a network of parents of children with special needs and provide them with a forum to share information. SEPAC promotes communication and programs within the community to encourage understanding, acceptance, and inclusion of children with special needs. SEPAC also provides informational forums to parents, educators, students, and professionals. SEPAC participated in the Boston Walk Now for Autism in 2007 at Suffolk Downs and raised over $10,000. The group will walk again at the track on October 19 of this year. To learn more, visit

Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling (August 16)

The Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling is a private, non-profit health agency dedicated to reducing the social, financial and emotional costs of problem gambling. Founded in 1983 by Thomas N. Cummings, the Council has been instrumental in bringing the issue of problem gambling to the attention of the public and policymakers. The Council provides information, prevention, education, advocacy and referral services for problem gamblers, their loved ones and the greater community. Prior to 1987, there were no funded problem gambling services available in Massachusetts. Today, due largely to the efforts of Mr. Cummings and the Council, awareness of problem gambling has increased significantly, along with sources of help for those who need it. To learn more, visit

Foundation for Salem Public Education (July 26)

The Foundation for Salem Public Education is an independent non-profit organization, founded in 1994, that awards grants annually in support of creative teaching in Salem's public schools. The foundation works to enhance the quality of public education in the city of Salem by raising funds to support pilot programs, special projects, and the purchase of needed educational materials and equipment. The Foundation has awarded over 679 grants to Salem teachers and their students totaling almost $300,000 in support of projects in art, literacy, drama, technology and music. Most recently, the Foundation responded to a financial crisis within Salem’s School Department and helped save teacher positions and avoid mid-year teacher layoffs. For more information, visit

Crossroads Family Shelter (July 26)

The Crossroads Family Shelter was established in 1985, first opening its doors for a family displaced by a devastating fire and quickly expanding its capacity and services in response to the growing phenomenon of family homelessness in East Boston. Over the past two decades, Crossroads has been a home to over 700 families with more than 1,500 children. Today, fifteen families share five bathrooms, two living rooms, a dining room, kitchen, playroom, library, nightly meals, stories, frustrations, dreams and inspirations. The staff at Crossroads assists families in navigating the public assistance programs, seeking out and succeeding in educational and employment opportunities, and overcoming stress, trauma, and the heartache of homelessness. For more information, visit

CASTLES for Kids (July 12)

CASTLES for Kids raises money to fund scholarships for after-school programs for the children of Revere. These programs provide a safe, enriching and nurturing environment for children whose families would otherwise not be able to afford it. CASTLES, which stands for Caring Alumni Supporting the Learning and Enrichment of Students, was established in 2007 by the Revere High School Class of 1972, led by Camille Garro, as it prepared for its 35th reunion. The class wanted to give back to the city and schools that had helped them out when they were kids. Other classes have since joined the Class of '72 in their efforts and the Second Annual Revere H.S. Reunion Gala will take place on November 1. To learn more, visit

CAPIC, INC. (June 21)

Community Action Programs, Inter City, Inc. (CAPIC) is a private, non-profit corporation chartered in 1967 and designated to identify and eradicate the root causes of poverty in Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop. In addition, CAPIC provides housing services to the residents of East Boston through its local program and twenty-five other communities regionally, as well as Weatherization services to eighteen local communities. Since its inception, CAPIC has grown to meet the changing needs of the communities it serves, supporting self-sufficiency efforts of people struggling economically and emotionally. Currently assisting more than 5,000 low-income individuals and families annually, CAPIC continues to implement its philosophy of self-sufficiency through a service delivery structure that provides innovative, practical, and timely programs and services, which emphasize developing problem-solving skills for people and communities. For more, visit

Viking Pride Foundation (June 7)

The Viking Pride Foundation of Winthrop was founded in 2004 after drastic budget cuts nearly ended co-curricular activities within the Winthrop Public Schools. This non-profit organization provides substantial resources that enhance the quality of education for the youth of Winthrop. From drama, music, language and art, to math, science and sports, the VPF has been an instrumental force in building programs that contribute to a well-rounded education for the youth of Winthrop. For more, visit

In Memory of Captain Jennifer J. Harris, 1st Lieutenant Derek S. Hines, Corporal Scott J. Procopio, and Specialist Jared J. Raymond (May 24-26)

On Memorial Day weekend, Suffolk Downs paid tribute to four individuals from the local community who gave their lives for their country in Iraq and Afghanistan. The track has made contributions to memorial funds that have been established in each of their names:

Capt. Jennifer J. Harris Memorial Scholarship Fund
Eastern Bank, 405 Paradise Road, Swampscott, MA 01907

1st Lt. Derek S. Hines Soldiers Assistance Fund
c/o Marie Wilson - The Provident Bank, P.O. Box 37, 5 Market Square, Amesbury, MA 01913

Cpl. Scott J. Procopio Memorial Scholarship Fund
c/o Deb Alphonse - Saugusbank, P.O. Box 988, Saugus, MA 01906

Spc. Jared J. Raymond Memorial Fund
Eastern Bank, 405 Paradise Road, Swampscott, MA 01907

CANTER New England (May 17)

CANTER New England is dedicated to the welfare of thoroughbred racehorses and assisting ex-racers in making the successful transition to life after the finish line. Since 2002, the all-volunteer staff of CANTER New England has helped the region's owners, breeders and trainers find new careers for more than 1,500 retiring racehorses. For more, visit

ZUMIX (May 3)

Based in East Boston, ZUMIX has nearly 17 years of experience serving underserved youth through music, technology and related arts. The mission of ZUMIX is empowered youth who use music to make strong, positive change in their lives, their communities and the world. ZUMIX has grown to serve over 350 youth per year in after-school and summer programs and reaches more than 6,000 additional youth and adults through workshops, community events, and outdoor concerts. For more, visit

Commitment to Community

EBECC Winner's Circle Presentation, Everett Police Honor Guard

The 2009 “Commitment to Community” program included a summer-long series of Saturdays celebrating individuals and organizations that make a positive difference in eight surrounding communities: East Boston, Revere, Winthrop, Chelsea, Everett, Lynn, Saugus and Salem.

On these days, the designated city or town was recognized in a variety of ways, including “Community Winner’s Circle” presentations honoring individuals and groups who have dedicated themselves to worthy causes in the local community, honor guard presentations, national anthem performances and more.

Alex Grover, Pony Rides, Kool and the Gang

The track provided free family entertainment, including pony rides, face painters, balloon artists, sports games, a bounce house and a DJ. Parking and admission were free for residents of the designated community on their day.

The culmination of the “Commitment to Community” program was a live concert performance by classic R&B recording artist Kool & The Gang on August 22. All ticket sales for the show benefited organizations in the eight cities and towns recognized in the program. Organizations were given tickets to sell for their own fundraising purposes.

2008/2009 Commitment to Community Report (PDF 5MB)

Community Events at Suffolk Downs

In addition to sponsoring events and programs and pledging our support to a variety of causes in our communities, Suffolk Downs also proudly hosts several large-scale community-oriented events, including the Hot Dog Safari and the Greater Boston Walk Now for Autism.

Autism Walk Welcome to the HDS

Local Business Partner

An active member of the East Boston, Greater Boston, and Revere Chambers of Commerce, and the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, Suffolk Downs supports the local economy by purchasing a wide variety of goods and services from local vendors and businesses.


Employee of the Month - MayDavid Repici of East Boston is honored as Employee of the Month.

Suffolk Downs directly employs hundreds of residents from our surrounding communities. The majority of these are union jobs with health insurance and good benefits. In addition, racing at Suffolk Downs promotes a healthy Thoroughbred breeding industry in the Commonwealth and sustains agricultural business in Massachusetts, supporting family farms and preserving open green space and a unique way of life. Among the top priorities for any future improvements or expansion to Suffolk Downs is the creation of new jobs for our community.