Best Buddy – Mangini Named Kiwanian of the Year

By John Lynds

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It was an outpouring of support for the one man that has defined what it means to ‘give back’ to the community of East Boston.

Last Friday at Spinelli’s in Day Square, the East Boston Kiwanis Club honored Albert ‘Buddy’ Mangini with the 2010-2011 Kiwanian of the Year award for his work with the Kiwanis, youth organizations, scholarship funds and a whole host of other philanthropic activities in Eastie throughout the year.

Over 300 friends, family and supporters were in attendance to congratulate Mangini on his remarkable achievements with the Kiwanis over these past two decades.

“There no other place I’d rather be than here to honor my friend Buddy Mangini,” said East Boston Savings Bank CEO Richard Gavagnano.

The accolades did not stop there. A letter from U.S. Senator Scott Brown was read at the event thanking Mangini for his work as well as certificates of appreciation from U.S. Congressman Michael Capuano, Senator Anthony Petruccelli, Representative Carlo Basile, City Councilor Sal LaMattina, the Boston City Council and Mayor Thomas Menino.

Mangini proudly became a member of the Kiwanis Club in East Boston in 1994. Since that time he has served as Club President for three years, is on the Board of Directors, and served as New England District of Kiwanis Division 14 Lt. Governor in 2008-09.

Mangini had quickly become active in every event run by the Kiwanis Club of East Boston, including the Senior Picnic, Bicycle Safety Day, Kiwanis One Day of Service, clean up of the Belle Isle Marsh, the Reading Program at several elementary schools in Eastie, the Food Pantry Drive, and the special needs group holiday event.

Tributes from his Kiwanian colleagues to ordinary people that Mangini has helped over the years spotlighted the list of accomplishments in the community that are impressive and indicative of the type of leader Mangini has become in Eastie.

When listed, guests were astonished by how many things Mangini contributes his time to in Eastie. Many in the audience, far younger than Mangini, admitted that they could not keep up with the feverish pace he has set in his own life.

“He runs circles around all of us and many of us are half his age,” said Kiwanis President Marisa DiPietro. “He’s got such energy and spirit.”

Longtime friend George Gambale joked that Mangini might slow down now that he has received last week’s honor but highly doubted it.

Among the many memberships and titles Buddy holds are General Chairman of the Columbus Day Parade for the last 25 years, and was Grand Marshal of the 2004 Parade, member of the East Boston Pride Day Committee, member of the Board of Directors of the East Boys & Girls Club, the East Boston Chamber of Commerce, the East Boston YMCA, and the Bay State Chapter of Freedoms Foundation.

Mangini is President of the Holy Name Society of the Sacred Heart Parish in East Boston, member of the Semper Avanti Lodge of the Sons of Italy, and Financial Secretary for the Saint Francis Council Knights of Columbus.

He is also the proud father of Albert, Jr. and grandfather of Anthony.

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