WARREN, NJ - The Watchung Warren Rotary  honored David Toma with the Jean Harris Award on June 17 at the Twin Brooks Country Club located in Watchung.

The Jean Harris Award, created in 1997, bears the name of the wife of Paul Harris, founder of Rotary International. Toma's daring undercover work during his career as a police officer inspired the popular television show “Baretta”.

Originally, the Jean Harris award honored the efforts of non-Rotarian women who made a significant contribution to the development and progress of others in their communities. Today the award is gender neutral. Rotary District 7510 typically recognizes a non-Rotarian whose volunteer efforts have made a noteworthy impact on the lives of others.  

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Toma, a former Newark police detective, is the recipient of many humanitarian awards including the “Four Chaplains Award” from the White House and “The World’s Greatest Cop” from the Police Benevolence Association. A former addict, he has spent his life speaking about the serious dangers of drugs and alcohol abuse at institutions throughout the world.  A natural communicator, Toma has dedicated his life to educating young people about the danger of drugs.  His message has been heard by more than 40 million people through more than 15,000 appearances worldwide. 

The Watchung Warren club has successfully nominated three Jean Harris winners since the Award's inception in 1997 including Anna Hoffman, Dr. Myra Weiger and Toma. All three were present at the awards luncheon on June 17.

The Watchung Warren Rotary was "thrilled" to have the opportunity to honor Toma for his life’s work. The Rotary, chartered in 1961, consists of local business and professional people dedicated to helping young people in their communities and throughout the world. Their motto is “Service Above Self” and serves as the basis of a common purpose…to help those in need.  Those interested in obtaining more information about The Watchung-Warren Rotary Club should contact the club’s president, Mark Spinelli at mark@spincpa.com