“Blue Cross Blue Shield! Save the Harbor / Save the Bay! One
Community! One Blue!”
|Blue Cross Blue Shield volunteers gather in front of the|
McCormack Bathhouse before getting started.
Yesterday began with a rousing chant, as about 100 Blue Cross
Blue Shield employees joined Save the Harbor / Save the Bay on Carson Beach in
South Boston for a day of service.
effort was part of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts' Service Day, and
this year marked the 75th
anniversary of the company's service.
DCR's Jack Kelly welcomed the group beneath
sunny skies and tasked us all with a variety of beach clean-up tasks. The group
was divided up into eight different teams and quickly set out to various points
along the beach to get started.
I had the privilege of joining “Team D”; we started near one
of the beach walkways (on the Google Maps satellite image, it appears across
from G Street), pulling everything but one particular plant, called
Mayberry. Don't worry - none of us knew
what this was at first either! A little
research shows that Mayberry is more commonly known as Elliott's Blueberry, and
is, as it sounds, a member of the blueberry family.1 In our work
time during the morning, we cut back overgrown brush, weeded out sea grass and
picked up trash among other things. I have to say, I think I was pretty lucky –
my group was filled with enthusiastic, hard-working volunteers, and in their
company, time flew by.
Among the many fascinating people I got to both work and talk
with was Ronnie Bynoe. Ronnie, from
Weymouth and an avid beachgoer, was quick to describe her love of sharing the
area with friends, suggesting that I do the same. She touted the beaches as a great place to
come and unplug (she leaves all her electronics in her car!), mentioning that “it's
great place to take time for yourself.”
"People don't realize all the beauty we have in this state,”
said Ronnie. “We don't take enough advantage of it.”
|Ronnie shows off our morning's handiwork!|
Team Leader Amy Dennett of Marshfield and Jamal Noshahi of
Somerville were also among our group members. They have been with Blue Cross
Blue Shield for 2 ½ years and 4 months, respectively, and work in several
All in our group,
including Julie, of Hull, who has been with Blue Cross Blue Shield in various
positions for time totaling 8 years (!), approached our assigned tasks with
gusto, and expressed their enjoyment of being outside and on the beach.
After lunch, we pulled the last few weeds out of our initial
work spot, and then worked our way along the sea wall towards the north end of
the beach, joining other groups to work on clearing out the massive amounts of sea
Just before 3PM, we headed
back towards the bathhouse where we'd started the day, and listened to some
closing remarks from Jack Kelly and Save the Harbor / Save the Bay's Matt
Wolfe. As a part of the closeout, Blue Cross Blue Shield awarded a “Spirit of
Service” Award to an employee who demonstrated the work ethic and level of
service that the day aspires to achieve. I'm happy to say Ronnie was the
recipient!! Check out this picture of her receiving kudos from team leader Amy in front of the whole group...
Overall, today was a great way not only to get to serve
directly with Save the Harbor / Save the Bay and Blue Cross Blue Shield of
Massachusetts, but also a really fun day in which I met some extremely engaging
people and did impactful work. And now, I can't wait to do it again...
Want to visit Carson Beach? For more information, click here
Congrats Blue Cross Blue Shield on 75 years of service! For
more information on their community efforts, check out this page
1 “Vaccinium elliottii
/Elliott's Blueberry, Mayberry” OnlinePlantGuide.com 25 Sept. 2012 <http://www.onlineplantguide.com/Plant-Details/2707/>
Save the Harbor / Save the Bay