DORCHESTER — Caritas St. Mary’s Women and Children’s Center recently honored Jack Shaughnessy Sr. with its second annual John M. Corcoran Award for Excellence. Shaughnessy, a leading philanthropist and retired chairman of the board of Shaughnessy & Ahern Co. of South Boston, was honored for his extensive commitment to local charities and dedication to the greater good of the Boston community.
The award was presented to Shaughnessy at the annual Diamonds of Dorchester fundraising gala March 29 at the Seaport Hotel. Those in attendance included Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley; members of the Shaughnessy family; Judy Beckler, president of Caritas St. Mary’s; and 500 of Greater Boston’s leading corporate and community leaders.
The gala raises funds to support St. Mary’s Women and Children’s Center, a human-service organization that provides support to homeless, low-income, and at-risk families and children.
The John M. Corcoran Award for Excellence was established in 2004 in memory of John M. Corcoran, an accomplished real estate developer and ardent supporter of Caritas St. Mary’s. As a trustee of the organization, Corcoran was more than just a benefactor — he was a hands-on supporter who willingly and selflessly shared his leadership and vision with Caritas St. Mary’s.
The award recognizes notable individuals who possess John Corcoran’s remarkable traits and live out his legacy by creating critical and meaningful change to an organization or charitable cause. Unlike other awards presented with the expectation of an exchange of fundraising connections, the Corcoran Award recognizes individuals solely for their dedication, compassionate spirit, and generosity.
“John Corcoran was an amazing individual who inspired all of us with his vision and commitment to Caritas St. Mary’s,” said Judy Beckler, president of Caritas St. Mary’s. “While we dearly miss his presence, the Corcoran Award seeks to honor his lifetime work and promote inspiring and creative philanthropy by recognizing individuals who are exceptional in their dedication to people most in need. Jack Shaughnessy, Sr. is a shining example of that legacy.”
Shaughnessy was selected as this year’s honoree by the Corcoran Award Advisory Board, made up of members of the Corcoran family, as well as professional colleagues and friends of John Corcoran. The advisory board chose Shaughnessy from a pool of worthy nominations, praising him for his dedication, determination, and compassion to a number of charitable causes.
As President and CEO of the Shaughnessy Companies, Jack Shaughnessy built a small South Boston trucking and rigging company into a thriving operation that has helped shape some of the area’s most renowned structures and projects.
His impact, however, extends far beyond buildings and cranes. With faith, hard work, and compassion as his guide, Jack Shaughnessy has touched a large number of community and nonprofit organizations, including Boston College High School, My Brother’s Keeper, Blessed John XXIII National Seminary, Caritas Carney Hospital, Caritas St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, Catholic Charities, Nativity Prep, the Catholic Foundation, Oblates of the Virgin Mary/St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine, Boston Health Care for the Homeless, the Shaughnessy Family Center at Laboure, Project Bread, the Archdiocesan Mexican Sisters Program, and the Ron Burton Training Village.