The Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers (MAPS) raised over $180,000 at its 50+1 Anniversary Gala on October 9, 2021, at the Boston Marriott Cambridge Hotel.
The event celebrated the “MAPS Builders”, a group of more than 80 people who contributed significantly to the creation and development of the health and social services nonprofit organization over the past half-century.
Approximately 300 distinguished guests, including the Boston area Consuls of Brazil and Cape Verde, local and state elected officials, members of the extended MAPS “family” and supporters from the business and professional communities attended the glamorous event.
Following a red-carpet reception and lively cocktail hour, the guests were welcomed into the hotel’s elegant ballroom by the contagious Brazilian drums of Grooversity and a group of MAPS Seniors joyfully waving the flags of several Portuguese-speaking countries.
Before dinner, MAPS Board Treasurer Mary Ann Lomba led the room in a Toast to MAPS with delicious Port wine generously donated by M.S. Walker.
The musical entertainment continued after dinner with a wonderful performance by singer Sonia Bettencourt, accompanied by guitar players Viriato Ferreira and Loic da Silva.
The trio delighted the audience with wonderful renditions of Portuguese, Brazilian, and Cabo Verdean classics. Following the Anniversary Ceremony, the party continued until midnight with music by DJ Adilson.
To celebrate its Builders and more than 50 years of service to the Portuguese-speaking communities of Massachusetts, MAPS Executive Director Paulo Pinto, MPA, and MAPS Board President Susan Pacheco – the evening’s hosts – recalled some of the organization’s main accomplishments over the past five decades and introduced a series of video interviews with many of the Builders who made those accomplishments possible.
“MAPS is an important organization today because many people, some of whom are here today, went above and beyond to give their time, knowledge, and resources to create it, and have continued to build it over the years,” said Paulo Pinto. “I hope that our past and present ‘Builders’ will inspire new ones who will keep the organization alive to help new generations of immigrants build their lives in this land of Liberty.”
For the 1970s, MAPS highlighted its start as two organizations – the Cambridge Organization of Portuguese Americans (COPA), founded in 1970, and the Somerville Portuguese American League (SPAL), created in 1973.
The honorees included Manuel Amaral (deceased); Jose Bairos; Duarte Carvalho; José Chaves (deceased); Dorothea Clinton (deceased); Josh Coburn; Maria Angelina Costa; Victor Do Couto; Tony de Castro; Hermano de Mello; John Feitor (deceased); Zelia Pacheco Kelleher; Fernando Lopes (deceased); José Luis (Mr. COPA) (deceased); Maria Manuel Moreira; Albert Pacheco; Carmen Pacheco-Medeiros; Robert (Bob) Perry; Rosa-Maria Cardoso Pinto; Mary Roderick (deceased); Manny Rogers; Margaret C. Serpa; Valadão Serpa; Aurélio Torres; Maria Torres; Cambridge Mayor Alfred Vellucci (deceased); and Caetano S. Vital.
To remember the 1980s, MAPS honored the impactful contributions of Albano Ponte; António Cardoso; António Couto (deceased); Belmira Cordeiro; Manuel Coutinho (deceased); António Fontes (deceased); Mario Furtado (deceased); Mary Ghioni; Luisa Gonçalves (deceased); João Soares; and Julia Story.
The 1990s marked the official merger of COPA and SPAL to create MAPS, and the expansion into Lowell. The organization honored Adir Baldelim; Jorge Cardoso; Victor Do Couto; John Dreyer; Mary Ann Lomba; Adélia Furtado Lopes (deceased); Célia Maciel; Glenn Mello; Lucieny Passamani; Luís Pedroso; Stephen Pereira; Elisia and Mark Saab; and Ligia Taylor (deceased).
For the 2000s, MAPS honored Michael Coelho; Carlos A. F. da Silva; Norberto Felix; Alvaro Lima; Isaac Machado; Ana Nava; Osvalda Rodrigues; Josefina Silva; Denise Speziale; Cambridge City Councillor Tim Toomey; and Joe Vasconcelos.
For the 2010s, the organization honored Eusebio Arruda; Mark Cafua; Duarte Carvalho; Mary Cassesso; Joe Cerqueira; Philip Chaves; Salvi Couto; Sal Couto; John B. Cruz; Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone; Rui Domingos; Paul Ferreira; Antonio Frias; Tony Lafuente; Milena Mello; Gilda Nogueira; Angela and Daniel Rao; Arthur Rodrigues; Fernando Sardinha; Dinart Serpa; Manny Silva; and Walter Sousa.
The MAPS 50+1 Anniversary Gala was once more presented by a group of Dunkin’ franchise owners – the Cafua, Carvalho, Couto, Rodrigues, Sardinha, and Serpa families.
Accutronics, Inc., the Joe and Dorothy Chaves Foundation, and Naveo Credit Union sponsored the Gala at the Platinum level, while the East Cambridge Savings Bank was a Gold sponsor.
The Cambridge Health Alliance sponsored at the Silver level, along with M.S. Walker, who also kindly donated the wine for the evening.
The Bronze level sponsors were Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Brazilian Magazine, Cabot Risk Strategies, LLC; Cambridge Printing Company; Cruz Companies; Eastern Bank; Rocco’s Restaurant and Bar; S&F Concrete, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.
MAPS has served the Portuguese-speaking communities of Massachusetts and others since 1970. The organization offers a wide range of free health and social services through its six offices in Cambridge, Somerville, Brighton, Dorchester, Framingham, and Lowell.
To learn more about MAPS, visit maps-inc.org.