SEAPORT — 350 guests attended the Bay Cove Human Services‘ Changing Lives Gala on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel in the Seaport District.
One of Massachusetts’ leading human services organizations, Bay Cove honored former Governor Michael Dukakis and his wife, Kitty, with the 2019 Changing Lives Award for their collective efforts and impact in shifting the public conversation about mental illness and addiction.
As an author and social worker, Kitty Dukakis is well known for her activism and her personal struggles with substance use disorder and depression. Even while dealing with her own challenges, she worked tirelessly as an advocate for greater access to addiction and mental health treatment, and as a champion to fight homelessness. Because Michael Dukakis — while serving three terms as Governor of Massachusetts and earning the 1988 Democratic nomination for president — refused to let his political career dictate a “shrouded in secrecy” approach. Instead, together, Michael and Kitty chose to use their visibility and platform to help move forward society’s understanding and compassion for the very many who suffer secretly, working to break down the stigma attached to seeking help.
“For decades, Michael and Kitty Dukakis have stood as leaders in the fight against marginalization and stigmatization for individuals impacted by mental illness and substance use disorder,” says Bill Sprague, President and CEO of Bay Cove Human Services. “Their willingness to publicly share their own personal story, and their commitment to encouraging others to take those difficult first steps on their own recovery journeys, is an inspiration. We’re proud to honor them with our Changing Lives Award.”
The event at the Renaissance featured a dinner menu specially designed by internationally-acclaimed and James Beard Award-winning chef Lydia Shire, the legendary creative culinary force behind such iconic Boston restaurants as Locke-Ober, Biba and her current eatery, Scampo. The gala also included a cocktail reception, live music and a silent auction, as well as a live auction hosted by celebrity auctioneer Susan Wornick.
The Changing Lives Gala is made possible through the support of more than two dozen corporate and individual sponsors. All proceeds from the event support Bay Cove’s range of vital programs and services for people dealing with the challenges associated with developmental disabilities, aging, homelessness, mental illness and/or substance use disorders.
Bay Cove Human Services is one of the largest human service providers in Massachusetts, partnering with people to overcome challenges and realize personal potential. It provides individualized and compassionate services to people with developmental disabilities, aging-related needs, homelessness, mental illness, and/or substance use disorder. Bay Cove serves more than 25,000 people each year at more than 170 program locations throughout Boston and Southeastern Massachusetts.
All photos by Bill Brett