At this week's Annual Meeting, the 2nd Annual Mike Tobia Award for Community Leadership was awarded to Lynne Osborn. We were honored to have last year's inaugural recipient, Rev. Cindy Worthington-Berry, there to present this year's award.
The Mike Tobia Award for Community Leadership, established in 2021, recognizes an outstanding Community Leader, dedicated to serving residents' needs with compassion and dignity, while fostering a sense of belonging for all. It is named for Mike Tobia who, through the collective efforts of hundreds of volunteers, sponsors and donors of the Mt. Calvary Church Community Supper, served 40,000 meals since its inception in 2012. Mike was an inspired leader, organizer, collaborator, and innovator -- and a close friend of Acton-Boxborough United Way. Mike intentionally extended the table to everyone who wanted to be part of the supper and treated every guest with compassion and dignity, while fostering a sense of belonging for all. We honor his dedication to our community by recognizing others who are carrying on his level of service.
Lynne received 14 glowing nominations for this award. Here are just a few:
“Lynne Osborn exemplifies the Outstanding Community Leader that you are looking to honor. She has worked at the community supper for many years; delivered meals on wheels; served as a hospice volunteer; and supported the Acton council on aging, teaching years of English as a Second Language. As a member of Saint Matthews UMC, she has helped in resettling a family from Afghanistan; served as a Sunday School Teacher; mentored young people preparing for church membership, delivered food to local food pantries, and served numerous roles in the Mission Outreach and Advocacy committee. Lynne is never too busy to reach out and show kindness to others, and she makes everyone around her feel special and valued and welcome.”
“If you need a helping hand or wise counsel, Lynne is the go-to person for everyone who knows her. She will volunteer and then show up! She cares.”
“Lynne embodies kindness and service to those in need. She has worked regularly at Mt. Calvary Community Supper, volunteers with Hospice, works with the Youth and Children at St. Matthew's UMC, been instrumental in welcoming an Afghan family to our area, drives the elderly who no longer drive (Lynne, herself, is in her 80's), and makes a point of lifting people up with encouraging words and a sense of humor. There is much more, and she is an incredibly deserving person for this award.”
“Lynne has an amazing, quiet strength of will and character that she channels into everything she does. She's long retired after teaching biology for over 40 years, and spends much of her time pouring back into the community, whether with the community suppers, Meals on Wheels, hospice volunteering, teaching ESL, being a part of the team at St. Matthew's to help with the Afghan Resettlement project and with the Outreach and Advocacy Team, being a part of the Council on Aging in Acton, etc. She teaches Sunday school for kids and adults at our church. More than all of that, she is always involved in whatever project is going on and wherever her help is needed, looking for ways to contribute. Even as a teacher she is always learning as well, and brings that spirit into everything she does.”
Lynne graciously shared why this award is particularly meaningful to her:
"There are three things about this award that touch my heart:
"First, I was at one of the organizing meetings of the United Way 40 years ago, in somebody's living room... I cannot believe the unifying force that this association has become. It is the go-to organization when anyone wants to put a group of people together. It is simply an astounding path that has been taken, so congratulations to all over the years who have done this.
"Second, the people who wrote those letters are the people who know me best. They know all the warts. They know the knees that don't work so well. They know the times that I have promised something and tried but not been able to fully deliver. And to them, I thank them for their generosity, for keeping this a major secret, and for the love. They have been some of the most important people in my life in the last 10 years.
"And third, the fact that this is the Mike Tobia award touches me so much. That man is very dear to me. He was the incredible combination of energy, drive, insistence, persistence, and compassion. No volunteer I have ever known has put it all together the was Mike does. And more important, he has left a legacy of an ongoing organization. It is something that we can be so proud of. And I am so delighted and so grateful and so proud. Thank you."
Join us in thanking Lynne for her tremendous dedication to the community!