Old Marblehead Improvement Association hears from chief, bestows awards

Police Chief Dennis King was the featured speaker as the Old Marblehead Improvement Association held its annual meeting Sunday, Jan. 29 at the Old Town House.

Marblehead Police Chief Dennis King speaks to the Old Marblehead Improvement Association meeting Jan. 29 in the Town House.

After a delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the OMIA also resumed its practice of bestowing awards on local businesses, residents who improved and preserved properties in the historic district, and to individuals that the OMIA Board felt had gone above and beyond in their efforts to support Marblehead.

The first annual Judy Jacobi Award was made to longstanding Fort Sewall Oversight Committee Chairman Larry Sands. He presided over the effort to renovate and preserve Fort Sewall over the past 25 years, and his leadership culminated in the recently completed $1.5 million renovation effort that made the fort completely accessible and even rebuilt the restrooms.

Charles Gessner looks on as Larry Sands reads his Special Award from OMIA.

A Special Award was given to Charles Gessner for his fundraising to support the Fort Sewall effort as well as his fundraising for the Marblehead Little Theatre, Marblehead Arts Association and Marblehead Museum.

Recipient Amy Drinker smiles as OMIA President Larry Sands reads the inscription on her Special Award.

Amy Drinker also received a Special Award for her writing and production of the Fort Sewall commemorative book that followed her work producing celebratory books about the Old Town House and Abbot Hall.

Jay Sahagian, representing the family owners of the Barnacle restaurant that is celebrating its 75th year, received an award honoring the long-standing success of the seashore establishment that “serves seafood at its best.”

The Landing was honored on its 50th anniversary, where for the past 20 years Robert Simonelli and his crew have been offering hospitality, local food and a chef-inspired menu.

Homeowner Award recipient Brook Lane poses with OMIA President Larry Sands.

Brook Lane was present to receive the Homeowners Award for the preservation and sensitive renovation of the Hearth and Eagle House, one of old town’s oldest homes.

The Virginia Gamage Award was given to Bette Hunt for her many years of service on the board of OMIA.

OMIA’s mission statement is three-pronged: to enhance old Marblehead’s quality of life, preserve its heritage and remain alert to current issues in the town.

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