The 6th Annual Brookline Youth Awards will be held April 27 from 7-9 pm at the Coolidge Corner Theater. The event’s Principal Sponsors are, the Town of Brookline, and the Coolidge Corner Theater. We welcome Brookline’s businesses and residents to help our cause.

The evening focuses on the special contributions of young people, and features video interviews with our 12 Youth Award recipients as well as the presentation of this year’s Brookline Youth of the Year.

Past award recipients have been recognized for their various achievements, courage overcoming adversity, or helping others do the same, displaying exceptional kindness, character and generosity of spirit. Typical nominees are teens who volunteer their time in service to their community, display leadership in support of a cause, and/or show exceptional success, ingenuity and creativity in their chosen pursuits.

This year, Senator Elizabeth Warren will address the audience by video, congratulating each recipient, and mentioning their accomplishments.

In addition to honoring the outstanding achievements of Brookline’s teens, two adults are honored each year for their dedication to our young people.

The Ethel Weiss Service Award is presented every year to the Brookline businessperson who best exemplifies service, commitment and passion toward Brookline’s young people. The award, instituted in 2014, is named after our first recipient, Ethel Weiss, who for 76 years was the hands-on owner and operator of the legendary Irving’s Toy and Card Shop; during which time she served, mentored and absolutely delighted Brookline’s young people. Our 2015 recipient, Chobee Hoy, is nothing short of a Brookline treasure.

On the year of Ethel’s passing, our Nomination Committee felt a special obligation to someone who best symbolizes the kind of lasting impression a great businessperson can have on a community. This year the Committee unanimously selected Dana Brigham, who is in her 35th year as co-owner of the landmark local bookstore, Brookline Booksmith.

At every opportunity, Dana has consistently pulled a stroke for young people in big ways and small, in ways people know about, and in many other ways most people don’t. Dana steadfastly eschews attention and deflects acknowledgement at every turn. But her consistent contributions to her community and her quiet displays of humanity have served as an inspiration to her family, friends, co-workers, local businesses and the community at large.

The Roger Grande Social Justice Award was instituted in 2012 to an adult who best shows a path to Brookline’s young people in the area of social justice. The award was inspired by BHS teacher Roger Grande’s dedication his students, helping them launch numerous social justice clubs including the Brookline Literacy Partnership. Past recipients include Roger Grande, Kate Leslie, Paul Epstein and Pat Norling. The 2016 recipient of this award will be Rene Feuerman, Executive Director of the Brookline Emergency Food Pantry. Rene has transformed the Food Pantry on her watch. In addition to her amazing competency in directing the pantry, within the last year Rene, added a second pantry site at 55A Egmont Street in a building managed by the Brookline Housing Authority. Under her leadership, the pantry added fresh food to the pantry’s offerings. Rene has played an active role in helping to eradicate food injustice in Brookline. Rene’s dedication, compassion and attention toward her clients not only helps ensure all Brookline young people have equal access to proper nutrition, she serves as a role model for us all.

We thank this year’s Nomination Committee:

Neil Wishinsky, Chairman Board of Selectman

Lloyd Gellineau, Brookline Director of Diversity and Inclusion

Deb Holman, Brookline High School Headmaster

Paul Epstein, BHS Social Worker, Founder Brookline Teen Center

George Zahka, Brookline Teen Center Assistant Director of Programming

Michael Gropman, Brookline Police Department Deputy Superintendent

Ken Goldstein, Former BOS Chair, Goldstein & Herndon, LLP

James (JT) Lenoch, Steps to Success Counselor

Melissa O’Brien, Steps to Success Counselor

Abe Faber, Clear Flour Bakery

Jeff Katz, Baker School 5th Grade Teacher

Chris Chanyasulkit, Brookline Community Relations Human Services Specialist

Chobee Hoy, Chobee Hoy Associates Real Estate

Kathy Bisbee, Brookline Interactive Group Executive Director

Jennifer Lemire, Brookline Community Foundation Director of Programs and Grants

Tanner Stening, Staff Writer

Casey Hassenstein, Staff Writer

How you can help:

Come to the Coolidge on April 27 from 7-9pm.

Please submit nominations by February 26 to nominate a teen for this year’s awards at

To see video interviews from last year’s award winners, visit is a 501C3 non-profit dedicated to reporting and commenting on life, culture and community in Brookline. Sponsorships for the Brookline Youth Awards are tax deductible.

Business Sponsorship Opportunities

$1,000 Sponsorships

$1,000 Sponsorships include:

  • One year advertising on
  • Inclusion in Event Program
  • Mention on big screen at Coolidge
  • Social Media support promoting your involvement
  • A producer credit on Dana Brigham’s video tribute

$500 Sponsorships

$500 Sponsorships include:

  • 6 month advertising on
  • Inclusion in Event Program
  • Mention on big screen at Coolidge
  • Social Media support promoting your involvement

Individual Sponsorship Opportunities

$250 Sponsorships

$250 Sponsorships include:

  • Inclusion in Event Program
  • Mention on big screen at Coolidge
  • Mention in
  • A producer credit on video tributes for Dana Brigham and Rene Feuerman

$100 Sponsorships

$100 Sponsorships include:

  • Inclusion in Event Program
  • Mention on big screen at Coolidge
  • Mention in

Email us at for more information on sponsoring the 6th Brookline Youth Awards

Written by, R. Harvey Bravman, Publisher