With a nod to its history, Buonomos named SEF’s 2019 Community Service Award recipients

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By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter

Paula and Jim Buonomo. Photo/courtesy Paula Buonomo
Paula and Jim Buonomo. Photo/courtesy Paula Buonomo

Shrewsbury – The Board of Directors for the Shrewsbury Education Foundation (SEF) recently announced its 2019 Community Service Award (CSA) recipients – Paula and Jim Buonomo.

Jim was a founding member and served as the organization’s chair of the board of directors.

The couple will be during a ceremony to be held Sat. Jan. 26, 2019 at Cyprian Keyes Golf Club, in Boylston.

Formed in 1992, the all-volunteer organization raises funds for grants submitted by Shrewsbury Public School educators for programs, materials and projects not funded within the school budget.

The CSA is granted to a town leader (individual, couple or group) who goes above and beyond in service to the community, particularly the Shrewsbury Public Schools.

The Buonomos join a distinguished list of past CSA recipients that includes former Town Manager Dan Morgado, Selectman Beth Casavant, School Superintendent Dr. Joseph Sawyer, Finance Committee member Mark Murray, Tom Kennedy, State Representative Hannah Kane and the late Ted Coghlin. Last year’s honor went to the Shrewsbury High School Community Service Program.

“We are so honored to have been selected to receive the SEF Community Service Award. This means so much to us both,” Paula said.

“Paula and Jim Buonomo have worked tirelessly through the years to make Shrewsbury a better place to live and work. SEF chose them as this year’s recipients because of their dedication to our community,” stated SEF co-president, Christine Juetten.

Although both were born in Worcester, they grew up in Shrewsbury and graduated from Shrewsbury High School. Jim went off to the University of Mass.-Amherst and Paula to Baypath and Lesley Universities. Shrewsbury is where they raised their two children, Megan and James, who are now grown with children of their own.

Jim is retired from Nypro, located in Clinton, Mass. where he was chief financial officer. Paula was a constituent services representative for U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern. She too is retired and now is a “hands-on” grandmother.

“Jim and Paula have been community volunteers for many years. Paula served on the School Committee from 1988 to 1994. They helped to lead a number of campaigns in town, including Floral Street School and the high school. They have been generous donors to various causes in town including the new athletic complex at the high school and the capital campaign for the Shrewsbury Public Library,” said Jason Palitsch, the chair of the school committee.

Paula has also served as chair of the Town of Shrewsbury Scholarship Fund, is a member and past-chair of the Shrewsbury Democratic Committee, Town Meeting Member and on the Worcester County Food Bank’s board.

“Jim just finished serving on the board of trustees of UMASS,” Paula said.

Involved for years with the SHS Booster Club, they recently chaired the successful Campaign for Shrewsbury Athletic Fields.

While their community service is important, perhaps most significant to them is their involvement with the Children’s Alopecia Project because their granddaughter has this condition.

“The Buonomos’ quiet generosity to the town of Shrewsbury has made projects such as the new turf field at Shrewsbury High School a reality,” added SEF Board member, Sandy Fryc. “The giving of their time and treasure means future generations will continue to benefit.”

For more information about the SEF, visit www.SEFgrants.org.