Around 1,000 of New England’s brightest dignitaries, biggest philanthropists and trendiest fashionistas attended Big Night Under the Big Top on January 27, 2018. The event, which has been consistently named “the party of the year” by the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald, raised over $1.8 million in donations from sponsors and friends.

With its vintage cirque theme, Big Night Under the Big Top surprised and delighted our guests. Donors sipped on cocktails, and tantalized their taste buds with delicious fare by The Catered Affair. Our ring masters – Billy Costa and Jenny Johnson – kept the crowd entertained between sets.

The musical performances by Misterwives, Saint Motel, and Matoma were punctuated throughout the night by cirque performers including an aerialist, contortionist, and hand to hand balancers. A live Zoltar performer handed out fortunes throughout the night and a strong man posed for photos with guests – immersing our guests in the circus experience.

Allen Arseneau – a former “Little Brother” and current “Big Brother” – also addressed the crowd to share the story of his nearly 30-year involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay, specifically describing how being a Little changed the trajectory of his life and the importance of being someone else’s role model now.

Margot and Jonathan Davis were honored as the recipients of the 9th Annual James J. Pallotta Award at the event, an accolade that recognizes individuals who have successfully engaged in supporting at-risk children in Greater Boston and beyond.

“There is simply no way we could continue to grow, scale and reach the amount of in-need youth across Eastern Massachusetts as we do now without the generosity of Big Night attendees. Every year, we are increasingly overwhelmed by the support this event generates and cannot thank the attendees, our donors and the volunteers enough,” said Wendy Foster, president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay. “For the last 20 years, Big Night has been a celebration of both the agency’s mission and the community that supports it, and we will continue leveraging that support with the goal of matching every child on our waiting list with a positive, adult mentor.”

Since its first Big Night in 1998, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay has raised more than $30 million to help foster more than 12,000 one-on-one friendships between young people and adult mentors in Massachusetts. These donations have allowed the nearly 100 percent donor-supported agency to carry out its mission and continue to change the lives of children, making healthier families, better schools and stronger communities for all.

Jam out to this Big Night 2018 Spotify playlist!


Big Night is the brainchild of Jim Pallotta, former Tudor Investment Corporation Principal and Chairman of Raptor Capital Management. Because of Jim’s tireless efforts, creativity and determination, to engage countless members of our community in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay’s mission, we established the James J. Pallotta Award. The award recognizes an individual or individuals who have successfully engaged in supporting at risk children and whose efforts have had significant impact in the community.


Margot and Jonathan Davis
Philanthropists and Community Leaders







Jonathan G. Davis | Founder and Chief Executive Officer | The Davis Companies

In 1976, at the age of 23, Jonathan G. Davis undertook his first major real estate project, an 83-unit renovation of a turn-of-the century brownstone city block.  With this high quality development, Jon set the tone for a career focused on leading-edge projects.

Mr. Davis has over 40 years of real estate management and development experience and plays a central role in the identification and evaluation of new opportunities, capital raising and management of his firm’s existing investment portfolios. Under his leadership the company has completed developments and acquisitions across the Eastern United States, comprising over fifteen million square feet of office, industrial, retail, life science, healthcare and hospitality properties and 7,000 residential units, representing an investment of approximately $4 billion.

Mr. Davis has received numerous awards. In 2000, Jon was chosen by Ernst and Young as New England Entrepreneur of the Year in the real estate and construction category.  In 2003, Jon was honored by the Association of Fundraising Professionals with the “Leader in Philanthropy” award.  In 2006, Jon’s company was named recipient of the Distinguished Real Estate Award by the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Office and Industrial Properties (NAIOP).  In 2014, the United Way of Massachusetts Bay awarded Jon its Norman Leventhal/Edwin Sidman Community Leadership Award.  In 2015, The Boston Preservation Alliance awarded Jon its President’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation.

A 1975 graduate of Brandeis University, Davis is former Vice Chairman of its Board of Trustees, and Chair of its Institutional Advancement Committee; a Director, Executive Committee member and Past Board Chair of The Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston; a Director of WBUR public radio; Former Director of The Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston; and 2008 President/2009 Board Chair of the Massachusetts Chapter of NAIOP.

Margot Trotter Davis, PhD, LICSW | Senior Research Associate | Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University

Margot has been involved in the field of addictions as both a clinician and researcher for over 35 years. She worked for state government agencies planning and developing community-based programs for individuals with substance use disorders. She has also worked in community-based and inpatient setting with individuals with psychiatric disorders. She is an independently licensed clinician with expertise in addiction, trauma, military health, and major psychiatric disorders.

She has worked as a volunteer in many non-profit organizations including Heading Home, Jewish Family and Children’s Services, Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, Children’s Hospital, and environmental organizations. With an interest in insuring quality services, she was a founding member of a program providing outreach to military members and their families. She is also actively involved in an innovative organization that provides evidence-based information to doctors across the country.

Combining both micro and macro perspectives, her research interests focus on policies related to behavioral health treatment. Of particular interest is the role of spirituality and religion in public policy. Recent areas of study include initiatives to increase access to care through voucher programs and through pay-for-performance, a national evaluation of community coalitions to impact addiction policy, and impacts of targeted behavioral health interventions with homeless adults and adolescents. She is involved in projects related to psychological health among the military and serves as consultant to non-profits interested in this population. She has extensive experience in qualitative analysis and the use of focus group techniques in research studies. Dr. Davis holds a Masters degree in Social Work from Boston College focusing on the emerging trend in Employee Assistance Programs. Her doctoral dissertation at Brandeis University  focused on developing analytic models of faith-based addiction treatment programs. Both her Masters and Doctorate studies were supported through a NIAAA trainee grant.



Jeffrey A. Leerink
Leerink Partners, LLC

Phillip T. Gross
Co-Founder & Managing Director, Adage Capital Management, L.P.

Marty J. Mannion
Managing Director, Summit Capital Partners

Gerald Chertavian
Founder and CEO, YearUp

Michael Eisenson
Managing Director and CEO of Charlesbank Capital Partners and Founding Director of Horizons for
Homeless Children

Sandra Edgerley
Community Leader, Philanthropist and Trustee of the Edgerley Family Foundation

Timothy Dibble
Managing General Partner, Alta Equity Partners

Anita and Josh Bekenstein
Philanthropists and Community Leaders; Managing Director, Bain Capital

For more than 60 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay has worked to ensure that every child has the support from caring adults that they need for healthy development and success in life. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay makes meaningful, monitored matches between adults volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 7 through high school graduation, in communities across Massachusetts Bay. We develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people. Our mission is to provide children who lack positive adult role models with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships with caring, responsible adults that change their lives for the better, forever.

For more information about our programs and our organization, please visit www.massbaybigs.org or call 617-542-9090.



Tim Dibble
Alta Equity Partners


Jamie Athanasoulas
Sankaty Advisors, LLC

Joe Ayoub
Varuna Strategies, LLC

Rick Grinnell
Glasswing Ventures

Phill Gross
Adage Capital Management, L.P.

Rayna Lesser Hannaway
Polen Capital

Carin Keane
Boston Common Magazine

Richard Kertzman
First Republic Bank

Angus Leary
Suffolk Construction

Jeff Leerink
Leerink Partners

Rob Leerink
Leerink Partners

Colin Mahony
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Marty Mannion
Summit Partners

Paul Margolis
Longworth Venture Partners

Don and Gabrielle McCree
Citizens Financial Group

Joy McCune
Boston Financial Data Systems

Marc Mingolelli
Pinnacle Financial Group

Peter Monaco
Raptor Capital Management

Frank Petz

Kevin Routhier

Dan Silver
Adviser Investments

Stephanie Sullivan

Ralph Verrilli
Madison Park Group



Tom Collins

Bay Marty
Mannion Summit Partners