The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women awarded Eleanor Vieira of Revere, and Donna Segreti Reilly, of Winthrop, Unsung Heroine Awards in a ceremony at the State House in Boston. This distinction celebrates extraordinary women who perform acts of service, enhancing Massachusetts communities on a daily basis.
“The women honored today work tirelessly to improve the lives of those around them without recognition or fanfare, and we are proud to put the spotlight on these talented, knowledgeable and driven members of our communities,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “Thank you, Eleanor and Donna, for all of the time and effort you have dedicated to make Massachusetts a better place to work, live and raise a family.”
“Eleanor Vieira truly is an unsung heroine in Revere,” said Rep. RoseLee Vincent (D-Revere). “Never seeking the spotlight or praise, Eleanor quietly, yet very effectively, advocates for making our city cleaner and prettier for all of us who live in and pass through Revere. Because she is so humble, you may not know her name, but you can immediately recognize the positive impacts that have been made in our community because of her.”
“With little pomp, Donna and Eleanor have dedicated themselves to the betterment of the Winthrop and Revere Communities,” said Sen. Joe Boncore (D-Winthrop). “Though their work may be unheralded, it is not unnoticed. Whether it be the beautification of Revere or improving the quality of life for Winthrop residents, Eleanor and Donna are truly deserving of this recognition and our communities and lives are improved by their efforts.”
Eleanor is best known as Chair of the Revere Beautification Committee (RBC), which aims to improve the image of the city of Revere through an ambitious cleanup and beautification program and by addressing civic and environmental concerns.
Eleanor has spearheaded many programs that have helped make the city cleaner and prettier, including, but not limited to:
• the “Adopt an Island” program that places plantings in median strips and roadway islands across the city, including on flowerbeds along Revere Beach;
• the “Adopt a Barrel” program that has increased the amount of trash barrels on the streets of Revere to discourage littering; and
• the “Home of the Month Award,” which recognizes homeowners across the city who landscape their yards.
In addition to the RBC, Eleanor has donated much of her time to the local media station, RevereTV, even hosting some of its programming. She has also spent time soliciting books for the “Little Libraries” that are located throughout Revere.
Donna Segreti Reilly spent the past 50 years volunteering and advocating for her community. She earned a master’s degree in social work, and she worked for many years in the Malden schools. A frequent volunteer Donna helped to get the residents to participate in an MGH community health assessment, and is a long-time volunteer of the Sons of Italy.
Donna served as a member of the school committee, and the airport hazards committee. She also spearheaded an effort to honor Vietnam veterans at Winthrop High School.