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Perry Center Executive Director Honored

2/27/2013, 12:33 p.m.

Emceed by WUSATV9 anchor JC Hayward, the tribute featured speakers from multiple backgrounds. Besides council members and advisory neighborhood commissioners, nonprofits like Bright Beginnings, the Father McKenna Center, a homeless shelter and businesses like The Robert Bobb Group joined the parade of supporters who acknowledged McElligott for helping change lives; or for being the catalyst and visionary who helped to change entire communities.

Born in Fitchburg, Mass., McElligott attended Georgetown University Law Center. He became a partner at Ragan & Mason, a corporate and administrative law firm in D.C., and enjoyed a 20-year career.

He chaired a social concerns committee at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Georgetown where he found mentors who led him to the North Capitol Street area. He assisted in parish outreach at St. Aloysius Church and developed volunteer opportunities beyond the soup kitchen. That's where, he found his calling.

"My legacy is begging," said McElligott who's raised $20 million in grants and private funds for the Perry Center. "This award is for others. The real legacy is the young person who struggled to become the first in his family to go to college; the ex-offender who's earning a GED and staying out of crime; and the homeless parent who works to get a house for herself and her kids."