The City of Lawrence Celebrating Former City Council




In memory of Nilka I. Alvarez-Rodriguez, WeCare 365 Foundation presented a $2,000 donation to the Lawrence Boys and Girls Club.  “Boys & Girls Clubs keep kids safe by providing a positive environment where they can learn, play, and grow.”


In a packed room at the Club elected officials and community residents came together to honor Nilka’s contributions, a former city council member, United States Air Force veteran, community activist, mother, wife and educator. Markus Fischer, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club as the MC welcomed the guests to the event. He commented that holding this celebration at the Club in memory of Nilka was appropriate as “Nilka was a champion for youth in the City of Lawrence and a supporter of the Club.”


Lawrence Mayor Brian A. DePeña shared he met Nilka 25 years ago when she and her family moved to Lawrence from New York City.  “As soon as she moved to Lawrence she took immediate action to make Lawrence a safer place to live and work,” said Mayor DePeña. He added the legacy of Nilka will continue through the work of her husband, Lawrence ADA Coordinator Richard Rodriguez. He thanks Nilka and Richard for their contributions to making the City of Lawrence a great place to live and work for visitors and residents.


Other positive comments about Nilka were made by former Mayor Michael J. Sullivan who met her in 2000 when they both were elected to the City Council.  “Nilka was passionate for the underserved,” said Sullivan. He added this is why she supported the Boys and Girls Club and other similar organizations.  He further commented, “Nilka even when she was sick showed up to City Council’s meetings because she was a strong advocate for the people of Lawrence.”


Gabriella Spinola, WeCare 365 Foundation Chief Marketing Officer, said “It is my honor today to support and pay homage to Nilka Alvarez-Rodriguez.”  She described Nilka as “strong, beautiful, amazing, activist, community leader, tenancy, go-getter, trailblazer & pioneer.” She then presented a check to the Boys and Girls Club in memory of Nilka.


State Auditor Diana DiZoglio presented a Resolution to Nilka’s family. This Resolution concludes with this comment: “Resolved, that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts hereby recognizes the late Nilka Alvárez-Rodríguez and the Alvárez-Rodríguez family for Nilka’s many contributions to the betterment of the City of Lawrence, and the safety and security of the United States of America.”


Richard in his conclusion remarks commented today would have been our 32 Wedding Anniversary. He added the decision of moving to Lawrence from New York City was the best decision they have made. He then thanked everyone present for their support in this time of sadness, but also a time of happiness because this event demonstrates her legacy will continue.



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