ALUMNI AWARD WINNERS
Patrick FitzgibbonsPatrick Fitzgibbons represents generations of North Attleboro HS graduates who grew up in town and enjoyed their high school experience, returned to town after college to raise their families, and have never stopped giving back. His humble dedication to local sports and to his church continues to strengthen the core of our proud community.
Community Impact Award
Educated at St. Mary's School and an avid participant in youth sports while growing up, Patrick was profoundly influenced by coaches Bob Guthrie, Ray Beaupre and Jack Harris, while captaining the 1973 Super Bowl champion Red Rocketeer football team. After graduation, Patrick accepted a full football scholarship to Boston University, where he enjoyed considerable success as a member of the Terriers football squad and earned his B.S. in Business (1978).
When Patrick returned to North Attleboro, he rekindled his association with the high school football team as a volunteer coach during the team's pre-season football camp for several years. In addition, he volunteered as a coach in the Little North Attleboro Baseball League, and he has coached Pop Warner football for 17 years. Most recently, Patrick has served as a volunteer assistant on Coach Paul Sullivan's varsity baseball staff for the past six seasons.
Besides coaching, Patrick has distinguished himself as a proud member of St. Mary's Parish, serving as a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society and as a catechist for 9th grade confirmation class. Mrs. Colleen Buckley, President of St. Vincent de Paul, praised Patrick as "a humble, 'silent partner' who operates behind the scenes and does everything with such great enthusiasm." Patrick recently sponsored a special needs friend and helped him make his sacraments at St. Mary's. The two continue to attend mass together regularly.
Like so many of North Attleboro's humble citizens, Patrick is motivated by a love for the town and a desire to reciprocate for the kindness other showed him growing up. When he learned that he had been selected for this award, Patrick felt "a little embarrassed by the attention," and claimed, "I certainly don't feel I've done anything worthy of any type of recognition." Volunteering in the community has offered him so much in return, he says. "If I didn't help out in the community, I wouldn't know all the great kids I've met through the years at St. Mary's Parish or through North Attleboro youth sports." According to Fitzgibbons, "The only one reason why I do these things…is simply as my way of saying 'Thank you' to all the people who taught and mentored me through the years." In particular, he cites his many coaches and the Sisters of Mercy from St. Mary's as strong influences on his life.
However, he believes we are all eternally indebted to "our very first, most important, dearest and perpetual mentors and coaches—our parents—whom we never stop thanking or trying to make proud of us." Patrick explains that his parents "showed and taught [him] that helping others isn’t a chore, or a choice, but an obligation." Patrick's father, Mr. Jack Fitzgibbons, was a posthumous recipient of the 2009 Honorary Alumni Award.
Patrick has been married to his wife, Debbie, for 25 years. Their son, Sean, (NAHS '05, UMASS, Amherst '09) is currently as an Intelligence Analyst in the U.S. Army. It is fitting that Patrick joins high school classmate Tony Calcia as the second member of the Class of 1974 to receive an Alumni Association award. After all, it was Fitzgibbons who welcomed Calcia to the community on Tony's first day of elementary school in North Attleboro.
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