THE JOSEPH M. TIERNEY LEARNING CENTER, named in memory of (Boston born and bred) critically acclaimed actress Maura Tierney’s late father, has been helping families of the Homes at The Old Colony in South Boston since 2012.

Joseph “Sonny” Tierney, the center’s namesake, was a beloved longtime Boston politician, who served as a city councilor member for fifteen years, and as its  president in 1977, 1979, 1983, 1984 and 1985. He passed away, following an illness with cancer in 2009.

By providing vital no cost programming geared toward improving the wellbeing of all within the community, The Tierney specializes in after-school programs, swimming lessons, tutoring, drama, sports therapy, arts and music, resume writing, technical training and more for local youth. One hundred percent of the funds raised go directly to the programs and services for the community.

“Our father was born in raised in South Boston, and dedicated his life to the community and creating opportunities for people,” Dierdre Tierney Pulgini, Maura’s sister, said. “The Tierney Learning Center continues the efforts and programs he spent a lifetime building. The goal is to end the cycle of poverty and to create a brighter future for all.”

One thing The Tierney had yet to do in its first twelve years, however, was put together a team to run in the Boston Marathon. That is, until now.

On Monday morning, April 15th, when 30,000+ runners toe the starting line in Hopkinton, MA for the 128th running of the Boston Marathon, among them will be a team representing The Tierney Learning Center.

For the first time, the Tierney family has put together a team of nine runners (including brother Joseph) to help raise donations for the community center. 

Among those waiting at the finish line, will be Maura Tierney, cheering the team on and snapping pictures to capture the moment!

“This is something we are all incredibly proud and honored to be participating in,” Maura said. “This Boston Marathon will be very special for our family and the community.”

Maura, a Golden Globe winning and Emmy nominated actress currently stars in Prime Video’s AMERICAN RUST: BROKEN JUSTICE opposite Emmy award winner Jeff Daniels, and will next be seen in Universal’s TWISTERS opposite Glen Powell and Daisy Edgar-Jones on July 19th.

She was most recently seen in A24’s biopic THE IRON CLAW opposite Zac Efron and Jeremy Allen White. Directed by Sean Durkin, the film premiered in December 2023 and won Best Ensemble at the National Board of Review Awards.

Previous television credits include the critically-acclaimed Showtime series THE AFFAIR, ‘Abby Lockhart’ on NBC’s ER, Showtime’s YOUR HONOR with Bryan Cranston, and RESCUE ME opposite Dennis Leary.

Recent film credits include THE REPORT opposite Adam Driver, Corey Stoll, and Annette Bening, and Amazon’s BEAUTIFUL BOY opposite Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet, as well as ANYTHING opposite John Carroll Lynch and Matt Bomer. Previous credits also include LIAR LIAR alongside Jim Carrey, SEMIPRO alongside Will Ferrell and Woody Harrelson, Christopher Nolan’s INSOMNIA opposite Al Pacino, Paramount’s PRIMAL FEAR opposite Richard Gere and Edward Norton, and Universal’s PRIMARY COLORS alongside John Travolta and Emma Thompson, among many more.

Image by John Russo

No matter what success she sees on the big screen, however, she always enjoys the contributions her family’s center -and the blueprint her father put forth- towards building a stronger community most.

“There’s no question about it,” she said.

The Tierney team of nine will not the only ones running this weekend, too. Kicking off the Boston Marathon festivities for the weekend will be a ‘Fun Run’ on Friday, April 12th a the Moakley Park Track consisting of many of the youth involved with the programs in the The Tierney Center.

For more information about The Joseph M. Tierney Learning Center, please click the link. To make a donation towards the Tierney’s Boston Marathon team, please kindly click HERE.