ALUMNI AWARD WINNERS
Tony CalciaThe Town of North Attleboro has a rich history of community involvement that is evident in the way it works, in the way it treats its children, and in the way it plays. Many folks have contributed significantly to one or more of these aspects of the town’s culture, but few have distinguished themselves in a big way across the culture. Tony Calcia ('74) is one such person. The late Branch Rickey of Brooklyn Dodgers fame was once characterized by words that are true of Tony as well: He is "a man of many facets, all turned on."
Community Impact Award
A native of Clinton, MA, Tony arrived in NA in 1969, whereupon he was welcomed into the 7th grade by his lifetime friend, Pat Fitzgibbons. In high school, three experiences would reveal a peak at the future of Tony Calcia. First, his passion for Big Red Football was cultivated. Second, he launched his first career at the North Attleboro House of Pizza. And third, Tony developed relationships with teachers and friends that would guide his life's work.
Upon graduation, Tony decided to bypass the college route and instead pursued a business opportunity that would allow him to purchase the House of Pizza. It was at this age that he began his foray into civic life, becoming an active member of the North Attleboro Jaycees. However, after four years of 70-hour workweeks, his goals changed and he began searching for a new career path.
After approximately four years as the production manager for the Roman Company, Tony accepted an offer to run the newly created retail business of Marciano Sporting Goods. With a little luck and the arrival of the Air Jordan sneaker, business soared with Tony at the helm. Shortly thereafter, the position of Park & Recreation Director became open, and on July 3, 1988, Tony began his dream job leading the department.
For the next 14 years, the youth of North Attleboro benefited enormously from Tony’s able leadership. While serving as the director of Park & Recreation, Tony dramatically increased the number and variety of offerings designed for residents of all ages, including senior citizens. The flagship program became the Summer Playgrounds, which grew from one location at Mason Field serving 80-90 young kids, to three locations serving over 1200 kids in a few short years. At the heart of the summer programs were the high school and college counselors who were carefully selected by Tony each year. "I selected the best North Attleboro had to offer. I empowered them to lead the program, and they became invested in it." Because Tony always tried to say "yes" to new ideas, the program flourished. "We created some great memories for both the counselors and the kids. They still talk about it years later, and I am proud of that," said Tony. "What better service than to provide kids with positive role models right here in their own town." One of the most memorable aspects of the summer recreation program was the varied field trips throughout New England that occurred come rain or shine or rapidly rising river.
In 2002, opportunity knocked again, and the Hockomock Area YMCA chose Tony as their new Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, a position he still holds today. In this role, Tony has again been an integral part of tremendous growth. He is particularly proud to have been a part of the recent Integration Initiative, a program to allow children with special needs to participate in Y activities with their typically developed peers.
Aside from the great impact Tony has had through his professional career, he continues to be involved in the community in many other endeavors. Some might recognize him as the emcee with the Carnac jokes at the Attleboro Area Football Hall of Fame, or as the jovial singer at the gazebo or the Chieftain or in the football bleachers. In the Big Red football program, Tony has served as member of the "chain gang", wearing his signature flat red hat, and as an assistant coach. Most notably, for the last 23 years, he has created a season highlight video, a treasured keepsake for hundreds of Red Rocketeers who have donned the red and white. In his spare time, he has served for approximately 13 years as a member of RTM, and 20 years as a member of the North Attleboro Scholarship Foundation. He is currently serving his third term as a member of the School Committee.
Tony Calcia's enthusiastic commitment to the Town of North Attleboro has enhanced the quality of life for its citizens in a big way. "I had a lot of great mentors, particularly in North Attleboro High School," said Tony. He too should find great satisfaction in the part that he has played in the lives of so many North Attleboro citizens for over three decades. For that the community of North Attleboro is deeply indebted.
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