Hollywood actor Steve Blackwood, who played a lead role on soap opera Days of Our Lives, appeared in TV shows like Quantum Leap, NYPD Blue, The Nanny and was in several major movies attended The Valley Patriot BASH, because, he said, he wanted to help present one of our scholarships and help give back.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Agh7PWnTJ88&H=260&w=360]
Blackwood sang “Fever” to the finger snapping of the audience while MTV’s Brittany Baldi, (now with NECN) looked on. When he finished to the applause of the audience, Blackwood spoke about the North Andover High School student receiving the scholarship, and even gave a few words of advice once he found out that the student was majoring in film.
“Since our publisher, Tom Duggan was once the parent coordinator for the school newspaper at the Thomson Elementary School in North Andover, each year The Valley Patriot gives a scholarship to a graduating North Andover High School student who went to Thomson, and participated in the school newspaper. “
“Our recipient tonight is Christopher Daniels. Chris was a student at Thomson Elementary School who participated in student elections and student council, as well as in Thomson Paw Prints school newspaper. Even though he is no longer at the Thomson School, Chris still volunteers at playground clean-ups at Thomson, and also volunteers at the ‘Kids Stop After School Program’. He is attending Massachusetts College of Art and Design in the fall, and has been accepted as a film major.
One of the things that stood out in Christopher’s application was when he talked about how proud he was of his grandfather, who served from 1962 to 1966 in Vietnam. Thank you for his service.”
Blackwood then called up Daniels to the stage, “come on Chris, come up here I want to talk to you,” Blackwood told him amid the applause of the room.
“I’m going a little off program here but I want to talk to Chris for a minute, he’s going to be a film maker and I know a little bit about that.”
“They told me when I was growing up in Detroit … I said I wanted to be an actor, I want to be a film maker.”
“They said, no. 90% of these guys are unemployed, you are not going to be able to make a living, it’s not going to happen. Why don’t you become an engineer? Engineers make good money. I said, ‘No. I love acting, I love films, I want to do television.’ They said, ‘I don’t know, you won’t make good money.’”
“Well, on Days of Our Lives I made six figures. Do you why I went and did that anyway? Because, it’s not about the money. It’s because you have to follow what you love to do. If you follow what you love to do, the gold will come.”
Blackwood then presented The Valley Patriot Thomson School Scholarship of $400 to Chris Daniels. MTV’s Brittany Baldi also presented Daniels with a t-shirt from her time on MTV.
Daniels is the second student from North Andover High who attended Thomson and received this scholarship award. Two years ago, Victoria Deshaies, who was one of Tom Duggan’s students, also received the scholarship. Her parents were in attendance and even donated $200 to the BASH scholarship, bringing Daniel’s total to $600.
Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera gave each scholarship recipient a citation from his office.