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Moulton honors six who are at our service

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U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton announced the six nominees for the annual Peter J. Gomes Service Award on Friday. (Alena Kuzub)

U.S. Congressman Seth Moulton announced the six finalists for the annual Peter J. Gomes service award, including a Lynnfield woman, her daughter, and a Saugus man.

The award, named for Moulton’s mentor, the Rev. Peter J. Gomes, seeks to honor a member of the state’s 6th congressional district who exemplifies the “qualities of integrity, compassion, and unwavering commitment to their community,” Moulton’s office said in a statement. Those nominated are: Claudia Mintz and her daughter, Hannah Finn, who now live in Andover; Lyn Freeman, of Salem; Erica McNamara, of Reading; Gordon Shepard, of Saugus; and Sheila Treiff, of Newburyport. The nominees were announced on Friday.

Mintz and Finn were recognized for their work with the nonprofit One Wish Project, which Finn began when she was 14-years-old. At 14, Finn began baking cakes for 8-10 children living at the Lazarus House, a local homeless shelter. In the six years since, One Wish has grown exponentially, now recognizing and celebrating over 400 children and teens annually living in homeless shelters and foster care. Mintz serves as the nonprofit’s managing director and oversees day to day operations while her daughter is away at college.

Shepard was recognized for the restoration efforts he has undertaken at Saugus’s Riverside Cemetery. For more than a decade, Shepard has dedicated his retirement to restoring the cemetery’s designated veteran’s areas, doing so primarily by replacing damaged gravestones. Shepard has restored the gravestones of veterans ranging from the civil war to present day. He has also raised money to fund the restoration and maintained the cemetery grounds. A U.S. army veteran who served in Vietnam, Shepard was named the 2014 man of the year at the town’s annual founders day celebration.

Freeman was nominated for her work with Lifebridge Northshore to provide support for the homeless for over 25 years. McNamara was nominated for her work to provide education, support, and advocacy to address the issue of substance misuse and mental health awareness in Reading. Trieff was honored for her work to help resettle 40 Afghan evacuees in Newburyport.

Rev. Gomes was a Christian minister and professor who served for nearly forty years in the Memorial Church of Harvard University, a space erected to honor the Harvard public servants who died in World War I.

Moulton will announce the winner of the award at a ceremony in Salem on Friday night. The event will be held at Old Town Hall, and is set to begin at 5 p.m.

Charlie McKenna can be reached at [email protected]

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