By John Lynds
The community will gather on Thursday at 11 a.m. at the traffic island where Wally Street meets Bennington Street to honor Albert ‘Buddy’ Mangini. Mangini has long been a man who has defined what it means to ‘give back’ to the community of Eastie and on Thursday the island at the Wally and Bennington intersection will be named in his honor.
The intersection is symbolic as it is the official starting point of the East Boston Columbus Day Parade that happens every two years in the community.
At Thursday’s ceremony the island will be dedicated as the ‘Buddy Mangini Island’. Following the dedication a luncheon in Mangini’s honor will be held at
Orient Heights Yacht Club at the end of Bayswater Street.
One of the event’s organizers, Joseph Ruggiero said tickets for the event will be $25 and a portion of sales will go towards the newly formed Buddy Mangini Scholarship. The scholarship will be awarded ever year to a graduating East Boston high school student.
“If there has ever been a more deserving East Bostonian for this honor it is Buddy Mangini,” said Ruggiero. “Well into his 80’s, Buddy has not slowed down one bit and continues to help and inspire hundreds, if not thousands, of friends, children and residents across the neighborhood.”
For decades, Mangini’s work with youth organizations, scholarship funds and a whole host of other philanthropic activities in Eastie has been unmatched.
Mangini was recently elected as the East Boston Chamber of Commerce’s new President. Mangini has in some way or another been active in nearly every event over the past several decades.
As a longtime face of the local Kiwanis Club of East Boston, Mangini has organized the club’s annual Senior Picnic, Bicycle Safety Day, Kiwanis One Day of Service, clean ups 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.
The people that Mangini has helped over the years and the list of accomplishments in the community are both impressive and indicative of the type of community leader Mangini has become in Eastie. When listed, many are astonished by how many things Mangini contributes his time to in Eastie. Many residents, far younger than Mangini, have admitted on more than one occasion that they could not keep up with the feverish pace he has set in his own life.
As the president of the Chamber, Mangini has committed to moving the Chamber forward and building on its successes. As a long time member of the East Boston Chamber many have said he is more than qualified for the position.
In addition to his role in the planning of many Chamber activities, his accomplishments in Eastie community activities over the years are awe inspiring. Among the many memberships and titles Mangini holds are: General Chairman of the Columbus Day Parade for the last 25 years, member of the East Boston Kiwanis since 1994, the East Boston Pride Day Committee, the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Club, the East Boston YMCA, and the Bay State Chapter of Freedoms Foundation. Buddy 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.