Saturday, October 21, 2006

Driscoll, Persevere Founder Honored At BC

On October 19th Bill Driscoll Jr. was honored by the Boston College Alumni Assocoation with BC's Young Alumni Award. The Young Alumni Award of Excellence is bestowed each year on a distinguished alumna or alumnus who has graduated within the last 10 years. Driscoll graduated in May 2005 and was honored for his Katrina relief efforts.

Find the text of his acceptance speech below:

Fr. Leahy, Fellow honorees, distinguished guests, graduates, students and guests of Boston College

I would first like to congratulate the other recipients here tonight – it is an honor to be in your company

I thank the alumni association for their support and recognition in bestowing this great honor upon me. Most importantly those that worked hard to make this event possible and Eva Maynard for believing in me.

I also thank my family for providing a solid foundation throughout the years especially my parent who afforded me the opportunity to study at Boston College and my grandfather who started what has become a family legacy at The Heights.

I would particularly like to recognize my father who has been instrumental in our recovery efforts lending his time and construction skills over many trips.

I have worked along side scores of volunteers from Boston College – three of whom make up Persevere’s fulltime staff. Rebeca Howard, Jen Marsh, and Marianne Tierney all are graduates of the class of 2006 and all are working hard for the people of Mississippi.

I must look pretty green to some of you – But like many, I have learned a great deal since leaving Boston College and one of the more important and refreshing lessons has been that the Boston College Community practices what it preaches.

It is refreshing to know that BC’s promise to nurture men and women for others is not just a hollow marketing slogan. Time and time again organizations at BC have not only opened up the check book but sent students alumni faculty and staff to aid those affected by Katrina.

I have received help, often without even seeking it, from fellow classmates and other alumni in the form of fundraising, recruiting and assistance related to their various professions. A classmate of mine Melissa Bruno has done tremendous work for us and I thank her.

Without the support of the BC community Persevere would simply not be able to do what we do on a daily basis.

We know that we will not be able to solve everyone’s problems. But if we can remove some of the stress that is over the heads of those trying to put their home and lives back together then we have accomplished our mission. In my opinion we have accomplished a great deal in a very short time. Since June we have removed over 600 dead sanding trees that died as a result of the salt water storm surge. We funded and installed over 5000 street signs that were erased by Katrina – and in towns like Waveland and Bay St. Louis, where so many landmarks were lost, residents often tell us that without the signs even they would not be able to get around. Persevere helped rebuild and restore Hope Haven a shelter for abused and neglected children.

When I touched down on the gulf coast a little over a year ago the devastation was impossible to exaggerate. Today most of the storm debris is gone, many of the homes and business along the coast are still missing, but there is an unbroken sprit that renews each day at sunrise and is rewarded with a gulf sunset at night. I am proud that Persevere is a symbol of the unbroken sprit of the Gulf Coast. A spirit comprised of both an infusion of volunteers from around the country and the life long residents determined to rebuild.

In the end I believe the awesome forces of Katrina will pail in comparison to the force and effect of the relief effort. The response thus far has been breathtaking, but the job is not done yet and we will be back at it Monday morning

Again I thank the Alumni Association for this great honor

As well as BC High and Boston College for instilling in me the understanding and importance of being one of the Men and Women for others.

Thank you.

Click to read the Heights Article BC's best honored at awards ceremony

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Minnesota Conservation Corps begins work with Persevere

Over the next several weeks Americorps members from the Minnesota Conservation Corps will be working with Persevere helping take down some the dangerous dead standing trees along the Gulf Coast.

Click Here to read the text of a recent television news piece from WWLTV in Louisiana.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

BC Chronicle Article

Persevere was featured in the BC Chronicle

Click Here to read article

Patriot Ledger Article

Persevere appeared in the Patriot Ledger on Sept. 1st

Click Here to Read Article

Persevere Tree Team

Persevere has become the go to group for volunteer tree work along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. We removed 189 trees during the month of August and surpassed that mark in September with 220.

Persevere has removed over 500 trees since June.

Dead standing trees continue to be a major threat to residents living in FEMA trailers, houses and other structures. Persevere is working with local and county governments to help alleviate the tremendous tree problem.

Click below to read the text of a local televison news piece that featured Persevere and our tree team.