Village 14’s own Jerry Reilly was appropriately anointed “Serial Instigator” when he received one of two Commitment to Community Awards at the 100th annual Newton-Needham Chamber’ s Achievement Breakfast this morning.
Mary Mazzio, CEO of 50 Eggs, Inc., presented the award to Jerry, referring to him as “a freelance software engineer by profession and a serial instigator by personality.”
Since moving to Newton Upper Falls just six years ago, Jerry’s been unstoppable creating and producing various Newton community activities, events, and institutions, including:
- Cofounding and producing the annual Feast of the Falls — a sit down, Tuscan-style catered, free, gourmet dinner – that’s served to 350 Upper Falls residents at one extraordinarily long table at Hemlock Gorge.
- Cofounding and producing the Newton Nomadic Theater – an acclaimed roving theater company that has produced four quality theater productions in the past two years as well as multiple “Nomad Story Slams,” nights of community storytelling
- Founding the “Tour de Newton” – Newton’s now annual bike tour during which participants of all skill levels leisurely peddle between Newton’s 13 villages.
- Creating the “Upper Falls Eggcelent Breakfast” a combination flash mob/cookout, held annually Newton’s Hemlock Gorge.
- Founding “Upper Falls News,” a neighborhood newsletter
- Blogging relentlessly at village14.com
Referring to what Jerry’s done outside Newton, she drew applause when she mentioned that he was the founder of the infamous Museum of Bad Art in Dedham. He has invented a pinball machine for quadraplegics. Jerry is also notorious for hatching various public art projects to entertain the unsuspecting public, including this past summer’s creation of a massive version of the classic video game Pong that was projected onto a 100-foot high sand dune on a Wellfleet beach that passersbys controlled using bicycle wheels on tripods.
Mazzio said, “As you can see, Jerry Reilly’s community activism often comes with a light-hearted, even mischievous touch. But everything he does is about creating a sense of place and community, about bringing together neighbors, businesses and villages in a city that too often takes itself way too seriously. For his many contributions — and antics — the Chamber presents Jerry Reilly with a 2015 Commitment to Community Award.”
Personally, I like to call Jerry Newton’s own cruise director.