Three people who were the main driving force behind the Attleboro Farmer's Market have awarded by the United Regional Chamber of Commerce with the title Persons of the Year.
Heather Porreca, Eddie Porreca and Richard Conti were named the 2011 Persons of the Year for their team effort in expanded and relocating the Attleboro Farmers Market, which was named the number one farmers market in Massachusetts by supporters of American Farmland Trust. The market, launched in July 2011, allowed 37 local vendors and as many as 2,000 visitors a place to join together as a community while supporting local business each week.
"For Heather, Eddie and Rick I think the hard work and dedication of putting together and making the Attleboro Farmers Market such a huge success for the community speaks volumes of why they were nominated and then chosen as persons of the year," Chamber President Jack Lank said. As volunteers, they spent hundreds of hours in the planning and coordinating one of the most successful Farmers Markets in the state."
"This is 16 communities and the Chamber chose us and we are thoroughly blown away by and it truly amazed," Heather Porreca said.
"We are thrilled to be recognized for the success of the farmers market," Eddie Porreca said. "While we are the ones getting the credit, I would remiss if I did not mention the tremendous efforts by the many others, including not limited to Martha Conti, Dave Laferriere, Geoff McGehee, Jed Smith and Virginia Flynn. It was truly my pleasure to be able to participate in such a great community event each and every week."
In addition to what the Porrecas do at the Farmers Market, Heather Porreca is a 14-year volunteer for religious education and has served on the St. John the Evangelist Auction Committee, Reading Program at Willet Elementary School and is on the five-year Planning Committee for the Attleboro Public Library, according to Lank.
Eddie Porreca is a coach for the Attleboro White Hawks, he has coached youth soccer. Serves on the auction committee for St. John the Evangelist School, is a Eucharist minister and Lector at St. Johns and has been an evening instructor at the Attleboro Evening School Program.
The decision to expand the market and give it new life was the brainchild of Attleboro City Councilor Richard Conti. From the beginning Conti said he wanted to bring in other members of the community to help bring it to life. Conti did the behind the scenes work to get it started. He wrote the plan, created a call out for volunteers, held a public meeting, met with Attleboro's department heads and invited volunteers Heather and Eddie Porreca to lead the Market.
Every Saturday since July 2, the Porrecas and a team of dedicated individuals volunteered their time at the market, introduced vendors and helped to create friendships.
Family-run business, the E.A. Dion company was recognized by the Chamber as Business of the Year. The Attleboro jewelry manufacturer was founded 43 years ago by Edward Dion. Now, the company is run by his three sons Ted, Dennis and Roland Dion. What set E.A. Dion apart from other Attleboro businesses was its products and the family's involvement in the community. E.A. Dion, which employs 90 people, makes sport, political and corporate jewelry.
The Dions are involved and hold leadership roles in the Boy Scouts of America, the Attleboro YMCA, Sturdy Memorial Hospital, Bristol County Savings Bank, the United Way, and the St. Vincent DePaul Society.
The awardees will be honored at The United Regional Chamber of Commerce's 95th Annual Dinner and Awards Banquet being held on November 10 at 6 p.m. at Lake View Pavilion, 45 Lakeview Rd., Foxborough. The cost is $45 with pre-paid registration. RSVP by calling the Chamber at 508-222-0801.