Bo Winiker’s dedication to Brookline’s young people, which includes 42 years of fundraising through the Brookline Rotary, and his distinguished 57-year career in music, will be celebrated at the 9th Brookline Youth Awards on April 10 at the Coolidge Corner Theater.

The Brookline Youth Awards are an opportunity for residents to hear about the character, challenges, and dreams of its young people and adults dedicated to their well being through the power and intimacy of video interviews on the big screen at the Coolidge. This year’s event will feature 14 student and three adult video interviews.

State Rep. Tommy Vitolo will serve as the keynote speaker for the evening. Hosts for the evening will be 2018 Brookline Youth of the Year Sabrina Zhou and Former BATV Director Karen Chase. Sen. Elizabeth Warren produced a video that will be shown during the event.

The band Tomtsu, which is made up of BHS students, will open the festivities. Tomtsu has become a local sensation; thanks in part to the mentorship of the Brookline Teen Center Music Studio. Performances by Vishni Samaraweera, Naomi Mirny and Yingzi (Cherry) Xiang will also highlight the evening.

Rob Daves will become the 8th recipient of the Roger Grande Social Justice Award for shining a light on the extraordinary accomplishments of local African-American artists and Brookline residents John Wilson and Roland Hayes. Daves also resurrected Brookline’s annual MLK Day Celebration at the Coolidge. Past Roger Grande Social Justice Award recipients include Roger Grande, Kate Leslie, Paul Epstein, Pat Norling, Rene Feuerman, Malcolm Cawthorne, Margot Strom, and Elisabeth Dopazo.

Bo Winiker will receive the Ethel Weiss Service Award. The award, introduced in 2014, is named after Ethel Weiss, who ran Irving’s Toy & Card shop for over 76 years. It honors a businessperson who goes the extra mile for young people. Past recipients include Ethel Weiss, Chobee Hoy, Dana Brigham, Abe Faber, Christy Timon, and Elias Audy.

Elizabeth & Boniface Mande will receive the Suriel Guerrero Parent of the Year Award. Elizabeth describes in her video interview escaping the Congolese civil war in 1997, being homeless in the Boston area for three years before being joined by her husband and ten children. Elizabeth also talks about the extraordinary gifts given to her family by Paul and Saskia Epstein. The Suriel Guerrero Parent of the Year Award, introduced in 2017, is named after Altagracia Guerrero and Mariano Suriel. Immigrants to the United States just a short time ago, the Suriel Guerrero family has gone on to become pillars of the Brookline community. In 2018, Ginny Vas became the second recipient of the award.

Thanks to the generosity of the Coolidge Corner Theater, there is no admission charge.

The Brookline Youth Awards are founded and produced by the Brookline Hub. The event’s Principal Sponsors are the Town of Brookline, Brookline Community Foundation, ADW Video Productions, Foundation to be Named Later, Brookline Rotary, Brookline Booksmith, Chobee Hoy Group Compass, Brookline Bank, RTN Federal Credit Union, Little Children School House, Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty, Zaftigs Delicatessen, Brookline Courtyard Marriott, Rifrullo Café, Irving’s Toy & Card Shop, Elias Mobil, The Blakely Group, The Hamilton Company Charitable Foundation and the Coolidge Corner Theatre. is a 501C3 non-profit dedicated to reporting and commenting on life, culture, and community in Brookline. As part of our mission, we advocate for non-profits vital in making this a better place to live, and by sponsoring and supporting events that promote community-building. We hold the belief that as a community, we should foster the well-being of all, remaining mindful of our young people, seniors, and underprivileged.

By R. Harvey Bravman, Publisher