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Charity Work and Community Service Recognized at Business Appreciation Night

The Easton business community honored three individuals for their service in the community Thursday night.

 

The 8th Annual Business Appreciation Night Thursday evening at was less about business and more about charity.

"We are an amazing community that can do amazing things," Chamber President Michael Asack said.

The Chamber of Commerce honored three individuals for their work with charity in the community, and invited a guest speaker who has made charity work her life.

Edward and Norah Blum ofwere honored with the Chamber's Outstanding Business Citizen Award. They were preceded by senior Aaron Millman, who received the Community Service Scholarship Award.

Millman, a captain on the Oliver Ames soccer team who is deciding between Endicott, Bryant, Bentley and Southern New Hampshire for college, was recognized for

Beginning his junior year, Millman helped raise $10,000 for the foundation and another $17,000 this year for a total of $27,000. His coach said he had the entire soccer team behind him in his efforts.

"His character and hard work was the vibe that was flowing through the team throughout the whole season," said OA soccer coach John Barata, who introduced Millman.

In college, Millman said he hopes to continue the momentum he began in high school.

"I'm looking forward to continuing my efforts with the American Cancer Society and Making Strides throughout college," he said.

Edward and Norah Bloom said they were honored to receive an award alongside Millman. The owners of Makeovers, who also live in Easton, were recognized for their continued charity work since opening their business.

"Its really something that to us is just effortless," Edward Bloom said. "Its really a lot of work, but for us it just drives us.

The Blooms were also honored to precede the night's guest speaker, School on Wheels of Massachusetts founder Cheryl Opper. Edward Bloom, who is a friend of Opper's, recalled the first time she considered beginning the charity in 2004.

"You were talking to me while I was cutting your hair," he said. "It was this thing you were so excited about."

Opper's excitement was still prevalent in her speech.

The former teacher spoke about the charity's beginnings while telling stories about children whose lives her organization had touched and she had touched personally.

School on Wheels is a nonprofit organization that provides school supplies and educational opportunities to homeless children. Opper founded the organization on the east coast after reading about it in California, where it was started by Agnes Stevens when she saw homeless children on the streets during school hours.

"I used to worry about what type of fabric were on my couch and my pillows," Opper said. "When I open my garage door and I know where I'm going to put my head at night - that's incredible."

Opper ended her speech by telling the story of a child who had gone to school with the help of School on Wheels and was accepted to college. Opper and her husband moved the child in as if it he were their own.

"How great is it that I get to celebrate this kid's success?" she said.

The Blums and Millman were presented Chamber of Commerce Awards. They were also honored with a certificate from Easton's state delegation.

"We feel so privileged that you have honored us with this award," Edward Bloom said. "We couldn't think of a better place to live and raise our children."

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