Toast the Parks is the conservancy’s way of celebrating yet another successful summer for Quincy’s parks. Each season the Quincy Parks Conservancy holds a celebration on one of the city’s treasured spaces to highlight the diversity of our public spaces. As we gather, it is only fitting that we also honor those from the community who have made significant contributions to Quincy’s parks and recreational spaces. The Conservancy awards the Charles Francis Adams II award to individuals or organizations that embody Charles Francis Adams II vision for parks and green spaces and also works to protect and preserve these precious resources. Once gone, these treasures cannot be recovered.
The proceeds of the Toast the Parks go directly to Quincy Parks Conservancy which underwrites improvement projects in the Quincy Community. Most recently, the Quincy Parks Conservancy was delighted to underwrite the costs of indigenous trees and softscape to complement the stunning new Hancock Adams Common in Quincy center.
OVERVIEW OF CHARLES FRANCIS II
Charles Francis Adams II (1835-1915) was born into a family with a long legacy in American public life. He was a soldier, businessman, civic leader, and historian. The descendant of two presidents and the son of noted diplomat, Adams served with distinction as a Union officer during the Civil War. After the war, he became a nationally recognized authority on the railroad industry, chairing the Massachusetts Railroad Commission from 1869 to 1879 and ultimately taking on the presidency of the Union Pacific Railroad for 6 years, 1884-1890. From 1890 to 1915, Adams spoke and wrote widely on historical, educational, economic, and political subjects from his positions as president of the Massachusetts Historical Society (1895-1915) and active member of the Harvard Board of Overseers and the Anti-Imperialist League. In 1893, Charles was appointed to the newly formed Massachusetts Park Commission and, as such took a prominent part in planning the present park system for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Charles came to recognize the need for a Parks system in his hometown of Quincy, Mass and was determined to begin this important work. Before Charles decided on the particular tract of land to create a park, he asked the opinion of his friend and colleague, Frederick Law Olmstead. In reply to Adams letter, Olmstead wrote:
“It would need little to adapt the ground you have shown me to immediate public use as a park. A park of such sylvan beauty….mainly as an outgrowth under judicious selection and treatment of natural conditions, and interestingly distinctive of the locality, situated on the margin of a picturesque bay, with outlooks upon the ocean, would be one of rare interest….”
In 1885, Charles Francis Adams acquired and donated the 80-acre Merrymount Park to the City of Quincy. Adams procured his good friend Olmstead to develop the park, but the then Town of Quincy did not have the money to pay Olmstead to develop a full plan. The Quincy Parks Conservancy honors Charles Francis Adams II for his vision and generosity in founding the Quincy Parks system, and dedicates its mission to completing the work started by Adams and Olmstead.
About the Sculptor
Sergey Eylanbekov was born in Russia. After graduation with honor from the prestigious Moscow Surikov Academy of Fine Arts in 1984, he participated in several important exhibitions, from which several of his sculptures were acquired by the Russian Academy of Fine Art and the Ministry of Culture for permanent expositions in various museums. Sergey received numerous awards, won a number of art competitions, and completed commissions in the United States and internationally. His works can be found in public and private collections throughout the world. Just a few of the impressive works created by Sergey include a commission to create a sculpture which was presented as a gift from the Gabonese Republic and its President Ali Bongo Ondimba to the soccer legend Péle at the African Cup of Nations, Libreville, Gabon, the creation of “Five Continents” which is on permanent display at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland and was exhibited at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
2019 AWARD RECIPIENT
James Sheets spent three decades in politics, as a ward councilor, legislator and much of it as Quincy’s longest-serving mayor. A Pennsylvania transplant, he and his wife Joanne raised their family in Quincy.
During his tenure as Mayor of Quincy he was responsible for the largest capital investment at that time in Quincy’s Park System. For this and the many other contributions he has made to our community, the Quincy Parks Conservancy is proud to honor Former Mayor James A. Sheet with the Charles Francis Adams III award.
After leaving office, Jim was instrumental in establishing the John Adams Memorial Foundation, a private non-profit that raised money for a Washington D.C. commemoration of the nation’s second president.
PAST AWARD RECIPIENTS
Walter Hannon, Former Mayor Walter Hannon received the prestigious Charles Francis Adams II Award for his life-long commitment to the Quincy park system.
Edward Keohane, Chairman, Keohane Funeral Homes Ed Keohane, son of company founder Cornelius V. Keohane, has been working at Keohane since 1964 and currently serves as the company Chairman. His passion and professionalism help establish Keohane as a leader in funeral service, and as a company that listens to their clients needs and fulfills them in a special manner. Ed has many past and present involvements in clubs and professional affiliations. He is Chairman of the Quincy Partnership, a group of passionate small businesses focused on highlighting Quincy’s rich history and making it a better place to live, work, and play. Additionally, his affiliations include: past President of Massachusetts Funeral Directors Association, past board member of New England Institute, past President of Select Independent Funeral Homes Association, member of National Funeral Directors Association, past Chairman of the Board of Colonial Federal Savings Bank, past President and member of Quincy Rotary Club, past Grand Knight of Quincy Knights of Columbus, past President of the BoSox Club, past director and member of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce, past President of Quincy Chamber of Commerce, board member of Quincy Catholic Academy. Outside of work, Ed enjoys traveling, baseball, boating, gardening, and spending time with family.
The Honorable Ron Mariano, House Majority Leader Ronald Mariano is the majority leader of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. A Democrat from Quincy, he was first elected to the House in a December 1991 special election. He was appointed assistant majority leader in February 2009 and became majority leader in January 2011. He represents the 3rd Norfolk district. Mariano was born and raised in Quincy, where he attended public school. He received his B.S. from Northeastern University in Boston and his M.Ed. from the University of Massachusetts Boston. He became a teacher and was elected to the Quincy School Committee, where he served from 1989 to 2009. He also served on the Ward 2 Democratic Committee, the Norfolk County Advisory Board, and the Quincy College Board of Governors. As a past member of the Quincy Parks and Recreation Board Majority Leader Mariano understands the importance of a well established and maintained Park System. He continues to carry that commitment with him and as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives has been instrumental in obtaining funding for a variety of projects benefiting our open spaces. For that reason, the Quincy Park Conservancy is proud to honor House Majority Leader Ron Mariano as the 2014 Charles Francis Adams award recipient.