SUMMIT – The Patriot’s Path Council, Boy Scouts of America honored local citizens at the Summit Good Scout Award Dinner. Celine Victoria Benet, Annette Dwyer, T. Brett Haire, and Herb Olbrich were honored on Wednesday, March 24, at The Grand Summit Hotel for their commitment to the Summit community.
The event is a way of honoring outstanding citizens who serve as exemplary role models for the youth of the Summit area. These recipients were chosen for their outstanding community services as evidenced by the interest and leadership they have demonstrated within the community of Summit.
The Patriots’ Path Council, Boy Scouts of America saluted Celine Victoria Benet, Annette Dwyer, T. Brett Haire, and Herb Olbrich with the 2010 Summit Good Scout Award.
Celine Victoria Benet is a Summit Public School Educator, an advocate/liaison for the Hispanic Community, and is the former coordinator of the SMART mentoring program that pairs adult mentors with select students in grades K-12 for academic and social support. Benet joined the Summit Public School System in 1999 to implement a Spanish language program for the elementary schools, a program mandated nationwide for students in grades one to five.
Benet was assigned to teach at Lincoln-Hubbard and Washington elementary schools, where she, additionally, wrote and enhanced the elementary language curriculum for the district. Along with her teaching responsibilities, the bilingual and bicultural Benet provided support to the Latino population in Summit by facilitating monthly parent meetings and by translating at parent teacher conferences. She provided simultaneous translation at district parent meetings, translated district and community documents, assisted in registering incoming students, and lent bilingual and other support to Hispanic families.
Benet served as a liaison for the FLASH program at Summit High School for the last four years and found the resources to enable some of the district’s financially fragile students to participate in this incredibly enriching summer program. She also began translating and advocating for parents at Overlook Hospital and at community organizations such as the YMCA and the Connection for Women and Families. The support she has provided has helped to bridge the communication gap between Summit’s large Latino population and the rest of the community.
Dr. Carolyn Deacon, former superintendent of schools for Summit, personally recruited Benet in November 2003 to develop a mentoring program for the Summit Schools. The program, known as SMART (Summit Mentoring Around Respect and Teamwork), was run successfully under Benet’s supervision and aegis for the past five years. SMART, which began as a pilot with a mere eight students – grew to include 240 students, teachers, and community members. The program offered ongoing weekly individualized academic and social support to selected students throughout the school year.
Although Benet is no longer the coordinator of SMART, she continues to be a passionate educator and inspiring role model to her students and to serve as a liaison and advocate between the Latino community, the City of Summit, and the Summit Schools as needed. Benet has worked closely with the Summit Police and Fire Departments to inform parents of important internet and fire safety information.
She also works closely with the Board of Health in providing vaccine clinics so parents may have their children immunized so they can attend school and participate in extracurricular activities. She has written grants to enable students to participate in programs at the New Jersey Center for Visual Arts and at dance studios. She has fostered student involvement in many sports teams, summer programs, and additional recreational programs. Most important she has enabled otherwise isolated families to actively participate in the Summit community and has given them not only a voice but access to the many extraordinary resources that Summit has to offer.
Annette Dwyer is the board chair of Shaping Summit Together, a not-for-profit organization which facilitates the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, the One Book Community program, and the Red Ribbon Awareness Program. Dwyer currently serves on the National Advisory Council of Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF), the nation’s oldest and largest not-for-profit children’s literacy organization based in Washington, D.C. She was a Board Member of RIF from 1997-2002 and chaired the Policy and Programs Committee from 1998-2002.
Dwyer coordinates an intergenerational read aloud program, currently in its seventh year. The program is a collaborative effort among The Learning Circle YMCA, Senior Connections, Inc., and Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. The Junior League of Summit funded the program pilot and the early stage of the program along with the inter-classroom library of books, still in use today. Dwyer is also a Cub Scout Den Leader for her two sons’ dens.
In her professional career, Dwyer was a management consultant for financial services firms. She was employed by KPMG Peat Marwick and Mercer Management Consulting. In addition to performing and managing client engagements, Dwyer assisted her colleagues in publishing articles and papers on topics of interest to clients.
After her children were born, Dwyer operated her own consulting practice specializing in strategy and implementation management. Since 2004 she has devoted herself full-time to volunteer community service. Dwyer has helped and/or served on not-for-profit boards in various capacities, and has undertaken community service as a vocation over the last twenty-three years. Local organizations include BRIDGES Outreach, Inc., Senior Connections, Inc. and The Colonial Crossroads Chapter of the American Red Cross.
T. Brett Haire started his Wall Street career at Chemical Bank as a lending officer and then moved on to start his trading career at First Boston Corporation in 1976. Haire launched the convertible bond trading department at the firm and soon after assumed responsibility for all of First Boston’s Equity trading efforts.
When First Boston merged with Credit Suisse in late 1988, Haire left to pursue other interests, which led to the formation of Brave Asset Management with his old friend, Summit resident and First Boston partner, David G. Bunting. Brave Asset Management is a conservative local registered investment advisory firm located in Summit.
Haire’s activities in Summit have been largely focused on children, athletics and philanthropy. Some of his efforts include: running the Summit Ice Hockey program where he raised $500,000.00 and led a group of friends who physically rebuilt the Beacon Hill rink and the warming building in the 1980’s; serving two terms on the Summit YMCA board; serving on the Summit Boosters board as Treasurer and President for 7 years; serving on the Summit Lacrosse Board in various roles, including President for over 17 years; serving on the US Lacrosse Foundation Board in various roles, including Treasurer and Chairman for 7 years, and serving two terms on the Summit Planning Board, one as Vice – Chairman.
Haire is current trustee of Thomas I Glasser Foundation which provides financial assistance to college students who are the sons or daughters of active duty or retired Summit Police Officers. He founded and Chairs the Other Fellow First Foundation (www.summitdiner.org) which exists to assist New Jersey families in distress. With his two partners, John Anastos and Jim Greberis, co-owners of the Summit Diner, the three men raise money for local charities that focus on their mandate.
To date, the small foundation has distributed over $250,000.00 to local charities. One example of some recent OFFF successes include the last two frozen turkey drives held the Sunday before Thanksgiving, at the Summit Diner. For two years running now, their little foundation, representing Summit, has successfully raised more food and money than any other city in the State of New Jersey. In only two afternoons, the fruits of this effort, which all go to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey raised: 7 tons of frozen turkey, 4 tons of bagged groceries and $66,000.00.
Often quoting Winston Churchill, the foundation reminds folks: “We make a living by what we get and a life by what we give.”
Herb Olbrich is the President of J.O. Tool & MFG/MLK Waterjet, the Director and Scholarship Chair for the New Jersey Tooling & Manufacturing Association, a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow, and an Assistant Scoutmaster in Boy Scout Troop 67 in Summit. His first introduction to Scouting came while attending St. Teresa of Avila as a child and joined their Cub Scout Pack.
When Olbrich’s sons were at Franklin School, he once again became involved in Scouting as an Assistant Cub Master of Pack 360, continuing on as Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 67 for the last 9 years. Highlights thus far have been the numerous camping trips, especially experiencing part of the 127,395 acres of Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico with his son Morgan.
One of Olbrich’s other affiliations is the New Jersey Tooling and Manufacturing Association. He is on the Board of Directors and chairs the Scholarship and Education Committee, which strives to help revive the Metalworking and Manufacturing sector in New Jersey.
Olbrich is the sole proprietor of J. O. Tool & Manufacturing and LMK Waterjet in Kenilworth. Fifteen years ago, Olbrich became one of the first manufacturers in New Jersey to specialize in Abrasive Waterjet cutting, primarily in metals. His greatest accomplishment has been to have the opportunity to make the 100-foot wide by 41-foot tall “Believe” sign for Macy’s, which was on display this past holiday season and featured in the Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Through the Good Scout Award Dinner more than $15,000 was raised this year to support all aspects of the youth programs provided by the Patriots Path Council, Boy Scouts of America. Scouting in the Patriots’ Path Council now reaches approximately 20,000 youth in five New Jersey counties.
Summit has a very active Scouting program. 300 youth enjoy Scouting through their participation in one of the six Scouting programs available throughout Summit. Currently there are five Cub Scout Packs and one Boy Scout Troop in town.
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