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New England Patriots to Honor Wilmington's Local Heroes

Local non-profit won one of 16 Myra Kraft Community MVP awards. They'll find out how much they've won at a June 13 luncheon.

June 13 is going to be a great day for Lou Cimaglia and the group he founded more than seven years ago. Just how great remains to be seen.

Local Heroes, a Wilmington non-profit organization that sends care packages to troops overseas, recently was selected by the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation as one of 16 groups to win a Myra Kraft Community MVP award.

On Wednesday, June 13, during a luncheon at Gillette Stadium, Cimaglia will be in attendance to find out what the reward will be for Local Heroes. That day, 10 third place winners will receive $2,500, five second place winners will receive $10,000 and one grand prize will be awarded $25,000.

“Local Heroes has done so much that I’m extremely proud of. I don’t think we’ve ever gotten this kind of recognition. It’s very exciting,” said Cimaglia, whose group has after meeting every Wednesday for seven-plus years. “Any monetary award we receive will go straight to supporting the troops overseas, helping families back home and helping these kids get reintegrated into the civilian world.”

There were thousands of applicants for the award, which is given in memory of the late wife of Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft. During the luncheon, Robert Kraft is expected to be in attendance.

Cimaglia said receiving any level of the award will mean big things for the group. If Local Heroes takes home $2,500, it would pay for three to four weeks worth of postage. The second or first place awards would of course go even further.

While recently filing taxes for the organization, Cimaglia said he discovered just how much of an impact Local Heroes has had. Since its inception, volunteers and donors have spent $500,000 for the troops.

Cimaglia’s son, a recent Westfield State University graduate also named Lou, was the one responsible for Local Heroes’ nomination. He applied online as a tribute to his dad, expressing to the Patriots just how much his dad’s volunteer efforts mean to him in a letter with the application.

“The fact that my son wrote those things in my name, I figure I’m a winner already anyway,” said the elder Cimaglia. “For that organization to recognize little tiny town Wilmington’s Local Heroes really means a lot. We’ve had thousands of hours of volunteerism from people coming every Wednesday and to the fundraisers. It’s really cool to be recognized for that work.”

Bernie McNally June 05, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Lou, you are an asset to this town, a fine example along with your wife, Marion, of what parents can be, and a fine example of what a veteran of the U.S. Forces can do for his country. All three of your children, and I have known your two youngest from recreation, are wonderful kids again a credit to you and Marion. I hope you get 1st place with the Kraft awards, but our town has already won with all you do for our veterans and our town.
Jeff J June 05, 2012 at 09:12 PM
For six months while assigned to the Middle East I received Local Heroes care packages. No one in my unit could believe the weekly support from my home town--and I still get emotional thinking about that first package. It's amazing what Lou and his team are doing.
Kevin MacDonald June 05, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Jeff, I was wondering how many veterans have been denied benefits from our veterans agent who have had to appeal to the VA or somewhere else.
Bernie McNally June 05, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Kevin, if you bothered to read what others write you would know that Lou, unlike his predecessor, makes sure that every veteran gets everything entitled to them whether they are aware of it or not. The jerk before him would only give you what you knew you were entitled to and no more! As I stated before, I wish Lou was the Veteran's agent when my dad died in 1996 and she had to deal with Mr. Farrell in order to get her survivor's benefits as a 100% Disabled Veteran's widow and the jerk tried to cheat her out of 75% of her money until the Veteran's Agent from Billerica helped my mother. Lou goes above and beyond for our Veterans and for the record I'm not a veteran, but have other family members who are and they thank Lou as well for all he and LOCAL HEROES did for them.
Maureen Stevens June 05, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Congratulations Lou! As someone who worked for Veterans Services for 12 years, I can attest to his hard work both with Local Heroes and as a Veterans Agent. So deserving! Bernie, I wish you knew me in 1996 as I would have taken good care of your mom. I worked in North Reading and did alot of Wilmington work in 1996 as people knew that I worked for Veterans Services and they came from Reading and Wilmington which were both his territories.
Bernie McNally June 06, 2012 at 12:29 AM
I wish we went to you as well. Mr. Farrell was very inappropriate with my mother when she went to him 1 week after my dad passed away. Needless to say, she never went to see him without my brother or I after that. Thank you too for your service to our veterans.
Kevin MacDonald June 06, 2012 at 02:26 AM
I received a call from a veteran that told me he was denied benefits and had to appeal the decision and won the appeal.
Wayne Sullivan June 06, 2012 at 04:45 AM
Kevin says he received a call, yeah ok everyone calls you with their needs. How about a name? Oh wait it's private! Nice try!
Jeff J June 06, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Kevin, Lou must be very disciplined to separate his roles in Local Heroes and as Veteran's Agent. We need to be as disciplined here in this discussion on Local Heroes. Thank you.
Katie Sadlier June 13, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Yay Lou! So happy for your Dad and the soldiers he will be able to help!! :)
Shawn Judge August 07, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Congrats Lou for a well deserved award that unlike most other charities will put 100% of the money to the cost of postage and items that are purchased to send to the "Local Heroes" around the world fighting for our freedom that big mouths like Kevin McDonald can enjoy!!
Kevin Mac August 07, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Great job Lou. Kevin who in there right mind would call you and why would they call you for benefits advice. Are you also a 4 star general with all your other talents?

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