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Thank You for your support in making Rock The Boat 21 a big success!

A New Night and New Format at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel

We are proud that Rock the Boat has become synonymous with a Night to Remember as well as a Good Time Event!

Azzie Young, PhD, MPA, President and CEO of Mattapan Communtiy Health Center

Denise and William Finard

Community Health Advocates and Supporters of locally and nationally recognized Health, Education, and Social Justice Organizations 

Presenting our 2017 Community Health Pinnacle Award Recipients: Denise & William Finard

This dedicated community-minded couple has been supporters of Mattapan Community Health Center and Rock the Boat for many years. They continue to do so much for so many in our Boston communities. 

Denise (Dee) Finard’s self-described passion for understanding and creating has led her to pursue multiple careers and interests. As a research scientist at General Electric’s Research & Development Center in Niskayuna, NY, she spent ten years engaged in pioneering research in the newly emerging field of Recombinant DNA Technology (gene-splicing), she was the co-author of numerous publications and earning her and her colleagues several patents for their groundbreaking work. It was during this time that Dee was called upon to participate in hearings, chaired by Senator Edward Kennedy of MA, to assess the risks posed by genetically modified microorganisms and to devise means to minimize those risks. As a result, and as the research resumed following the enactment of the safety regulations and containment guidelines still used today, Dee sought to further explore issues regarding the impact of science on society, going on to receive a Master’s degree in science and technology policy and to work in that area. 

Today, decades later, Dee expresses her lifelong love for interior design - an avocation fostered since childhood - as sole proprietor of Living By Design. A graduate of Russell Sage College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, Dee lived for many years in Upstate NY where she was involved in Big Brothers/Big Sisters, women’s rights organizations and literacy programs. In the Boston area, she has joined her husband, Bill, in support of various organizations dedicated to health, education, and social justice. 

Upon graduating from Colgate University in, William (Bill) Finard joined the National Teacher Corps - a federal program designed to develop teachers able to address the needs of inner city students. As part of the program, Bill taught ninth grade Englsh and did community work in Lowell, MA, and received a Master’s degree in Urban Education from Boston College. After several more years of teaching high school English, he eventually joined his father in the commercial real estate business. Bill has been developing and managing commercial real estate for over forty years. Today, he works with his own son in a business that now spans three generations. 

A native of Boston, Bill loves the City and feels that supporting its institutions is both a responsibility and a privilege. Among the institutions he supports are Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center, the Huntington Theatre, Hebrew Seniorlife, Mayyim Hayyim Community Mikveh and Education Center and others. Reflecting his love of music, Bill plays and collects acoustic guitars and supports a variety of music organizations. Consistent with the value he places on education, Bill established both an academic chair and a scholarship program at Colgate University where he is Trustee Emerttus.

Mattapan Community Health Center is very excited to salute the Finards on the occasion of our 21st Rock the Boat. They have been strong advocates and major champions of our work. Thank you Bill and Denise — You Rock!.

Rock the Boat 21 Annual Gala

Renaissance Waterfront Boston Hotel 606 Congress Street, Boston, Mass 

An Evening of Elegance, Entertainment, and Celebration

Rock the Boat is now on a New Night and with an exciting New Format! Mattapan Community Health Center invites you to join us as we enter the next decade of a totally re-imagined Rock the Boat! See you next year at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel and thank you for your support. Please visit us here and on facebook for updates.

We moved Rock the Boat from Saturday to Friday night and from our traditional seated dinner to a vibrant reception filled with loads of food (healthy of course!), music and dancing (can’t leave that behind), a great auction, and a behind the scenes look at how MCHC continues to promote better health through better eating. 

Rock the Boat is Mattapan Community Health Center's signature Fundraising Gala, which began in 1997. The goals of the Gala are to raise funds for our work, recruit friends, and to honor individuals who are making significant contributions to the Community Health Center Movement. The 1997 Gala set in motion the framework for the Health Center’s Annual Ga-las, which were held every April on Boston's premier cruise tour ship Spirit of Boston, for nine years. In 2006, because of the success of our gala, we relocated to a larger venue (hotel) on land.

This year, we highlighted our Nutrition programs and services and engaged with our community around diabetes, weight control, and developing an understanding of how our relationship with food affects all aspects of our lives. We invited some of Boston's premiere chefs and nutritionists to help us with our menu and our on­site activities. While we explored the benefits of good nutrition, we also presented MCHC's annual Community Health Pinnacle Award to two amazing community health advocates, Denise and William Finard. We salute their great work in the City that benefits us all and thank you for your support of Mattapan Community Health Center.