The Founders’ Celebration is an evening to honor the founders and their legacy as well as some of the special supporters who have helped the Table to thrive over the years.
Two years ago, My Brother’s Table had planned to come together as a community to celebrate the 8th Annual Founders’ Celebration on March 18, 2020, to honor Abiomed, Donna Coppola, Brandon Lewis, The Manna Project, and Pride Motor Group.
The world changed that month and unfortunately we were not able to congregate in person to celebrate the honorees. Instead the past 2 years have been an incredible journey in the Table’s history – serving 2+ million meals since the pandemic began.
We are able to make a difference in our community because of supporters like our 2020 honorees who have helped the Table in so many ways. We are extremely grateful and humbled by their generosity and big hearts. Please join us in recognizing these very special members of our community.
Abiomed, Inc. is based in Danvers, Massachusetts and is a leading manufacturer of medical devices that provide circulatory support. Abiomed’s Impella heart pumps are the worlds smallest heart pump designed to enable the heart to rest by improving blood flow. Founded in 1981 for the purpose of developing the world’s first artificial heart, Abiomed has remained dedicated to finding ways to bring the most advanced and beneficial technology to patients and physicians.
As a company, Abiomed is committed to giving back to its community with a focus on the North Shore. Abiomed looks forward to continuing to support My Brother’s Table and its important work.
Originally from New York, Brandon found his way to Massachusetts in 2003 when he enrolled at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. An avid reader for much of his life, Brandon followed his passion and majored in English; he earned his Bachelor’s degree in 2007. Along the way, Brandon found a love for working with kids and education; so, upon completion of his Bachelor’s Degree, Brandon enrolled in a ten month intensive Educational Master’s Program at UMass and earned his Master’s Degree in 2008. After moving to Cambridge that summer, Brandon was hired as a sixth grade english teacher at Swampscott Middle School, a post that he has held with pride for the past thirteen years.
As a teacher, Brandon’s core beliefs revolve around educating the whole child. In his words, “If you leave me a better reader and writer, then I did my job with respect to the State of Massachusetts’ standards, but if you leave me a better person, then I did my job with respect to my standards.” He has embodied this belief by organizing a charity fundraiser dinner every year since 2010 that has all seventy-five plus of his current students host over three hundred of their loved ones for an authentic pasta dinner. Every donation received from patrons, Brandon and his students have donated to hunger relief. This passion for hunger relief also inspired him to join the board of Swampscott’s Anchor Food Pantry.
When he’s not teaching, Brandon enjoys spending time with his two beautiful children, Emerson and Ryder. Emerson will be nine in a few short weeks, and Ryder just recently turned seven. The three of them can often be found hiking, painting pottery, reading, or just hanging out at the park. Brandon is also a passionate basketball fan and coaches at the Gloucester YMCA; he also serves as an assistant coach for the boy’s varsity team at Swampscott High School. Of all of his interests however, Brandon enjoys being on-trail above all else. He has reached the summit of all forty-eight four thousand foot peaks in New Hampshire and continues to strive for his goal of reaching every peak on the New England’s 100 Highest list.
THE MANNA PROJECT
The Manna project first started when Pastor Jim Bixby of Clifton Lutheran Church and Rabbi David Cohen of Temple Sinai started sharing about their respective communities, faith traditions and mutual love of food and the commitment that all people should have access to nourishment. After a while it became clear not only that they were excited to collaborate, but that their passion was shared by many in their faith communities. Not long after, Brother Fawaz “Fuzzy” Abusharkh from the Islamic Society of the North Shore joined in on account of this mutual friendship and dedicated duty, and there’s been no looking back!
What does the Manna Project do? Simply by being together, conspicuously, the Manna Project sends a strong message. Unity and our common humanity are not distanced by our faiths, they are bonded even stronger. The Manna project has inspired people to see an alternative to hate and bigotry, and also to despair and disillusionment with our age and with our neighbors. Because when we gather together, we have authentically share our joy with one another! Our gatherings are of all kinds- we worship together 3 times a year or more, we gather for multiple social events, we attend outside functions representing the project, we convene and network within the hunger field, sometimes we grieve together (too often these days) and we learn and host educational opportunities.
Education is a completely key part of what we do. The Manna project works within the area of food insecurity, and so much of the problem is not about resources, but about awareness and knowledge. To that end we have worked with stakeholders of all sorts and all who are passionate about this cause, including those who suffer from food insecurity to learn and to teach. Understanding that intersections of all kinds effect our work, we partner with a wide range of services to advance the common cause of alleviating suffering through poverty, hunger and anything else.
And lastly, because our faith traditions tell of the Divine not as a far off concept but as one manifested in the Holy works of his followers, we gather to feed people. Once a year, at our annual event this takes the form of a food packing event, creating 20,000 shelf stable meals for distribution. Other events, like helping our immigrant kids to get a lunch at camp also happen, and excite the community with their fun and engaging projects. If you would like to know more or to help out or experience a worship service, email email@example.com .
PRIDE MOTOR GROUP
Suzanne graduated from Westbrook College with a degree in Dental Hygiene and began her career as a Periodontal Surgical Assistant. She worked locally and shard her expertise lecturing and teaching in Germany and Italy. Following her successful career, she became a stay at home mom.
Seven years ago, the tragic loss of her husband and father of her two children, Michael and Alexandra, she found herself a single mom with a family owned business to run. At the time of her loss, Pride Motor Group had been a family owned business for 35+ years and she was determined to keep it that way. In addition to caring for her children, dealing with Estate Attorney’s and her late husband’s business partner, somehow, she found time to grieve.
With support from family and friends, Suzanne graduated from N.A.D.A. academy on 2017. In addition, she traveled to Korea and became a Hyundai Dealer Principle. Following those achievements, Suzanne became a Kia and General Motors Dealer Principle. In an industry and region that has a minority of female owned dealerships, her achievements are well earned.
Suzanne is a very active Dealer Principle. She makes herself available to all associates of Pride Motor Group, which allows her to take the pulse of day to day operations without a filter from management. She combines these interactions with customer feedback and financial data from several sources.
Suzanne has and continues to give back to the local community. She is an active sponsor of My Brother’s Table and Girls Inc. Along with Hyundai, she supports “Hope on Wheels”, walk for cancer. Pride Motor Group is also a member of the Lynn Chamber of Commerce.