Monday, July 28
BOSTON — State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, D-Lenox, and the 25 volunteers who traveled to New Orleans last year to rebuild a local family's home, were honored by the world champion Boston Celtics at a ceremony at the Statehouse last week.

The Celtics' "Heroes Among Us" program is one of the premier community outreach programs in professional sports, according to a state spokesman.

Initiated in 1997 by the Celtics, the program honors individuals and groups who have made a major positive change in the lives of others.

Pignatelli and a consortium of tradesmen, all from Berkshire County, made a series of trips to New Orleans to rebuild the home of Hurricane Katrina victim Stanley Stewart and his family last summer. The workers all donated their time, and a host of local organizations donated materials.

Pignatelli accepted the award on behalf of the other individuals whom he organized to work on the project.

Pignatelli and the group were one of several heroes recognized by the Celtics at the ceremony.

Greg Dickerson of Comcast SportsNet New England emceed the event.

Also in attendance were Massachusetts State Treasurer Timothy Cahill, State Auditor Joe DeNucci and Celtics Managing Partner Robert Epstein. Celtics legend Jojo White and Glen "Big Baby" Davis, a member of this year's squad, were also at the ceremony.

Liz Brunner, anchor of WCVB-TV in Boston was the keynote speaker.

Pignatelli said yesterday that he was honored and humbled to be a part of the ceremony, which honored a number of other local volunteers and civic workers.