Joe Tierney,  a South Boston native, Boston City Councilor, and father of three, was a “Warrior for Good.” This mission of helping those in need propelled his life of service and lives on in the heart of the Tierney Learning Center, named in his memory in South Boston. Established in 2012, this important organization helps provide support services and resources to the residents of the Anne Lynch Homes at Old Colony, who need to learn, grow, and connect in a safe, caring, and welcoming environment, all at zero cost to the participants.  The ultimate goal at the Tierney is to break the cycle of poverty and create a brighter future for all. This year, the journey continues by adding a new Boston Marathon Team to raise funds for this vital neighborhood center.

One resident and member of the Tierney said: “A community is not bricks and cement and mulch; it’s the people, and it’s the communication. Tierney is what makes this a community. And it’s life-changing.”

Growing up in the very community where these services are now provided, the Old Colony Housing Development, Tierney understood this sentiment. When he was just seven years old, his father died suddenly, leaving his mother, an Irish immigrant with very little to no formal education, to raise him and his six siblings on her own. Tierney learned first-hand the importance of hard work, education, and, most importantly, the power of community. 

“We believe The Tierney Center is a true reflection of my father’s spirit of giving and lifelong dedication to public service,” said Deirdre (Tierney) Pulgini. 

“Coming from such humble beginnings, he attributed his achievements and success to the encouragement and support he received from the strong community of friends, mentors, and families throughout his youth.  He never forgot where he came from and realized the importance of giving back and helping others,” added Pulgini. 

From his “humble beginnings,” Tierney went on to earn a degree from Suffolk Law School and was a practicing attorney. He served as a Boston City Councilor for 16 years and served as president of the Boston City Council for an impressive five terms. In 1987, he ran for Mayor of Boston, losing to another South Boston resident, Ray Flynn.

He raised his three children, Maura, Deirdre, and Joe, with his wife Pat in Hyde Park. Sadly, after a brief illness with cancer, Tierney passed away in 2009 at the age of 68. 

Tierney’s life was dedicated to public service. He was known for his kind heart, quick wit, and fierce advocacy for the city’s most vulnerable.  He was a “Warrior of Good.” 

“No matter what else Joe Tierney had going on, he always gave those in need, a hand up. And, he always did so with a smile. For that kind tenacity, I saw him as a Warrior for Good,” said Michael Kineavy, a Southie native. 

Kineavy and eight other Tierney Learning Center Marathon Team members have been training hard and raising money for the big day on April 19th. This is the first marathon for Team Tierney! 

“The iconic Boston Marathon offered the perfect opportunity to raise funds, promote awareness, and inspire positive change with the children at the Tierney,” said Pulgini. 

She added, “It’s not only about crossing the finish line; it’s about embodying resilience, perseverance, and the ability to overcome challenges – to show our kids anything is possible.”  

Team members include Kineavy – lifelong South Boston resident and his 12th marathon. 

Joe Tierney (son of Tierney). This is his second marathon – first for Boston.  I’m running the Boston Marathon to continue my father’s legacy and have a lasting impact on the lives of countless individuals, helping them break the cycle of poverty and reach their full potential.”

Toya Irish (her 1st marathon) and Jillian Pinola work for Beacon Communities and have been involved with The Tierney since its inception in 2012.

The families we assist at TLC face numerous challenges, and sustaining this beloved community center is our shared responsibility.” – Toya

“By supporting the Tierney, we can give young minds the opportunity to thrive and succeed.  Together, we can make a lasting impact on their lives and empower them to break the cycle of poverty through education.”  – Jillian

Bernadette McCarthy is a Brighton native who has the Boston Marathon on her bucket list. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong running goal, while at the same time supporting team at The Tierney and their tireless efforts to provide quality education and support to the underprivileged families in their community.”

Kate Keane is only 18 years old and a senior at Needham High.  This is her third marathon but her 1st Boston.  “I am so humbled that on April 15th, I get to partake in something I truly enjoy to benefit this amazing organization, and the amazing people in it

Plus, two Southie residents, Annie Perotta (who works for Beacon Communities) and Alex Borja

“This project aims to improve access to quality education and support underserved communities.  Together, we can create lasting change and empower individuals to reach their full potential.” – Annie

In supporting the Tierney Learning Center, we can create a brighter future for these children and ensure they receive the education they deserve.  Let’s come together and make a difference in their lives!” – Alex

Jey Castillo – A Roxbury native, this is his first marathon ever. Being raised by immigrant parents, he is thrilled with the opportunity to run for the kids at The Tierney.

“The marathon team has provided us with a powerful platform to raise funds, promote awareness, and engage with a wider audience.  It has really helped us forge new partnerships and shine a spotlight on the incredible services and programs provided by The Tierney,” said Pulgini. 

The goal of Team Tierney is to raise $75,000.  100% of the funds raised will go directly to programs and services for the families at the Tierney, including funding educational materials and innovative programs – like tutoring, music, drama, and swimming – tailored to address the unique needs of the community.

If you would like to donate to Team Tierney, you can visit here. 

On Friday, April 12th, a special fun run will take place at Moakley Park Track at 3:30 pm with the children from the afterschool program to celebrate Team Tierney! Stop by and show your support! 

One Comment

  1. They Truly “Broke The Mold”… April 4, 2024 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    …as they say. You’ll never meet a better man.
    Miss you, Sonny.

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