STIRLING, NJ – A large crowd came out in support of Boy Scouts and this year's honorees for the 8th Annual New Providence Good Scout Awards Dinner held at Primavera Regency in Stirling last week.
Everyone knew going in who the honorees would be long before that night, that’s why most of the guests were there -- to acknowledge the five Good Scouts for the numerous contributions made to the Boy Scout troops and to New Providence.
The Good Scout Award is presented to those who, in their daily lives, exemplify the ideals of the Boy Scouts of America, as expressed in the Scout Oath. The evening’s recipients were chosen for their outstanding community service, their dedication and leadership in our community, and for the respect and esteem in which they are held by their colleagues, friends, and neighbors. "We are blessed to live in a community where so many people give and are dedicated to giving back. A community where our future leaders, have such outstanding role models," said Event Chairman and Master of Ceremonies Gary Kapner.
More than 200 people, including borough council members, business leaders, colleagues, family, and friends came out to pay tribute to the honorees – Alma DeMetropolis, Jack Flood, Captain Theresa Gazaway, Mayor Al Morgan, and Councilman Robert Munoz.
This year, we raised over $23,000, this is the most the New Providence awards dinner has ever raised, said Kapner. He recognized the Patrons -- Alma DeMetropolis and Elanor and John Flood; Sponsors --JP Morgan Chase and Creative Wall Coverings & Interiors; and Friend Sponsors -- Theresa & Councilman Robert Munoz, The Prestige Diner, and a table of 10 from the Williams-Gazaway Family.
Kapner, a 2017 Good Scout Award recipient, welcomed everyone to the dinner, and kept the evening moving.
Scouts from Troops 1 and 63 of New Providence led the Flag ceremony, Pledge of Allegiance, Boy Scout Oath and Boy Scout Law. Father Bill Mahon of Our Lady of Peace Church provided the invocation.
Troop 63 Scout Peter Munoz, son of award recipient Rob Munoz, spoke on behalf of the Scouts. He said that scouting has been one of the best experiences in his life so far. -- He summarized a few points of the Scout Law that mean the most to him. "Helpfulness, if you are able to help, you should always do it," he said. -- "Cheerfulness, it is always helpful to look at the bright side. -- Scouting has helped me prepare for the skills I needed in the US Naval Teen Cadet program which I just recently joined. -- I learned survival skills.-- All of the camping weekends have been great experiences for me -- meeting new people, making new friends, learning new things, hiking, swimming, and most importantly spending a lot of time with my dad." He said, last year, they spent 23 nights camping. "I love being a Boy Scout and recommend being a Boy Scout to anyone." He thanked the room for the support to the Boy Scouts and congratulated the honorees.
Patriots’ Path Executive Board member Mitch Erickson, one of the first recipients of the New Providence Good Scout Award in 2012, spoke about the Patriots' Path council that serves over 16,000 youth and 5,000 adult volunteers in Middlesex, Union, Somerset, Morris and Sussex Counties. He said that in the spring of 2018, "our national office announced our expansion into Family Scouting - allowing for the Scouting experience to be enjoyed as a family and have the program open to girls."
"Every dollar that we raise here tonight will go to benefiting boys and girls, young men and women, who might not otherwise find their way into the most powerful youth program in the world!" said Erickson.
"The Boy Scouts of America has been building leaders for over 109 years. With your support, we’ll continue this legacy of leadership for the next generation," he said and thanked everyone for attending to celebrate and honor the recipients and support scouting.
The Good Scout Award was then presented to the five honorees, all of whom were chosen by their peers. Each honoree received an engraved award.
Alma DeMetropolis is a Managing Director at JP Morgan Chase and is a Board Member of the Liberty Science Center, Community Food Bank of New Jersey, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, SciTech Scity and Nature Conservancy NJ Advisory Council. She was introduced by her colleague, James Largey.
Largey said, “Over the past 20 years, I have had the pleasure of working with tonight's honoree and colleague Alma DeMetropolis.” He said, the first lesson of the Boy Scout "slogan" is to do a good turn daily, make the world a better place, one step at a time. "Sometimes we have to go out and actively find our opportunity to do a good turn -- and that's Alma," he said. He talked about her role with the New Providence Education Foundation and the 5K race that benefits the foundation. He said she supported STEM education in the New Providence schools by connecting the school district with Bell Labs. "Alma does so many good turns daily that I think she is partially responsible for the rotation of the earth," he said in jest. He said the second lesson is about leadership and to be an effective leader by leading by example. "Alma is recognized as one of our top leaders within the JP Morgan Private Bank because the example she sets. The example she sets is that you get much farther by being motivated by the greater good than self interest."
DeMetropolis thanked the Boy Scouts and entire room. "I enjoyed my years watching my son as a cub scout. There was a great focus on teaching these young boys on respect, and courtesy and a great understanding of the community at large." She said that her son's first overnight was inside Liberty Science Center. This started her journey on the board of the Liberty Science Center. She said she followed with getting involved with the Community Food Bank of New Jersey. She explained that this was near and dear to her heart because there was a time when she was unsure where her next meal was coming from. "This organization truly brings hope back to people. For me, hope stands for helping one person everyday. If we could all consider just one act of kindness each day we will all be better for it. This is what I learned watching my son being a Boy Scout."
Jack Flood, past Scoutmaster for Troop 1, is currently the incoming District Chairman for the Watchung Mountain District Committee. He is the president of Blue Streak Aquatic, the non-profit organization that supports the Berkeley Aquatic Club and is a member of the Academy of Our Lady of Peace School Board. He also is active with the local Knights of Columbus as the Chancellor.
Flood was introduced by Father Bill Mahon. Father Bill described Flood as being loyal and read the definition. "Loyalty -- faithful to one's oath engagement or obligation, faithful to one's allegiance -- that's what I have to say about Jack. He is loyal to the world, he is loyal to his wife, he is loyal to his children, he is loyal to Berkeley Aquatics, he is loyal to Our Lady of Peace. He is loyal to everyone who runs into him. If you are a friend, you can be assured, he will treat you with loyalty for the rest of your life," he said. "The Scout Law tells us, a scout is trustworthy and loyal and looks after those who need help --- I do say that Jack is one of those."
Flood said, "I am honored to be among the impressive list of leaders and volunteers from New Providence." He said New Providence has been his home for almost 20 years. "I can honestly say I love this town. I appreciate all of these individuals for what they do for it. As a leader in a number of volunteer based organizations over the years I have learned to appreciate the need to say thank you. -- Volunteerism is a wonderful thing, but it takes hard work and dedication. Time is a precious commodity -- amazingly enough, many do step up and make all these organizations and scouting units thrive because they said yes 'how can I help.' We are here to say thank you to the local leaders. Scouting has been more of a part of my life than I realized -- and I expect it to continue in my future. In closing I want to say thank you."
Theresa Gazaway was introduced by New Providence Police Chief Anthony Buccelli. Gazaway began her career in law enforcement after being accepted into the Alternate Route Program at the John H. Stamler Police Academy in 1995 and was subsequently hired by the New Providence Police Department. She was most recently promoted to Captain in 2017. She currently serves as the Accreditation Manager for the department and oversees the day to day operations. She has served as the President of The Union County DARE Officer's Association and Vice President of the New Providence P.B.A. #132. She also is a staff instructor at the John H. Stamler Police Academy and is a NJSACOP Accreditation Assessor.
Buccelli said, "Theresa rose through the ranks as Captain which is second in command in the Police Department. The past 14 years or so, she has been in charge of our professional standards, which she oversees our operating procedures and training for our officers and she has done a fantastic job at that. Her work ethic is excellent and she is a pillar of the community -- and she does more than a fine job." He added, "She is loyal to the Department, she is loyal to New Providence -- our community is fortunate to have her as a public servant. She is a deserving recipient of the Good Scout Award."
Gazaway thanked the Boy Scouts. "It's truly an honor to be one of this year's Good Scout recipients. in looking at the oath and listening to the opening remarks, I can't help but notice the similarities that the police have in common with the Boy Scouts. We all take great pride in our uniform, we all take an oath where we promise to serve and help the community and we talk about our values such as loyalty." She said scouting is also about doing the right thing, "and that's what I try and do in my daily duties -- to do the right thing and be an honorable and good police officer. I feel very fortunate to work in the agency that I do and to work in the town that I do because it truly is full of good scouts. Everywhere I look, there are people helping people, people doing good things. All anyone has to do is ask and people are there to help them," she said. Gazaway thanked the "good scouts" in her life including her family, friends and co-workers.
Mayor Al Morgan was introduced by Armand Galluccio, who said that Morgan is more than a friend, he is like a brother. Galluccio listed the many organizations Morgan has been a member of -- he said the list goes on and on and on. "I can't think of a better person to represent the scouts. Al was a Cub Master for a long time. That's how I got to know Al when our son was in scouts. What I saw that he did in training those young men how to be good scouts, how to be good children, how to be good citizens -- that's what it's about. Al has been involved in everything. -- you name it, he's it," said Galluccio. Mayor Al is serving his fourth term as Mayor of New Providence, served as president of the William Paca Club, New Providence Board of Education, New Providence CSA, New Providence Business Association, New Providence Lions Club, New Providence Emergency Management team, New Providence Library Board of Trustees, Knights of Columbus and coached soccer and baseball. He also serves as the Sergeant at Arms for the New Jersey General Assembly.
Morgan was born and raised in New Providence and is a proud Pioneer having devoted his life to community service. "This is Mr. New Providence," said Galluccio. He joked that when Morgan has a blood test, it doesn't come out red, "it comes out Pioneer green." He concluded, "I can't think of a better person to represent the scouts and represent New Providence."
Morgan thanked the Boy Scouts for the honor. "This award isn't for Al Morgan --over the decades -- there are a good number of people here that had confidence in me, trust in me -- loyalty, I have truly been blessed," he said. "How many people can say that you are a mayor of your hometown -- not too many." He said, "We get things done for the community and we aren't looking for a thank you. We just want to do what is right." He said that being a Cub Master was probably the best job he's ever had. "People wanted to be involved." He said he enjoys when these men come up to him now with their own kids. He said his grandson is currently in Pack 263. "I want to say, the award I am getting tonight is for all of you to make our town what it is today. It is not Al Morgan, it's about all of us working together to make this town the best town possible."
Robert Munoz, who practices law in Clark, was introduced by New Providence Borough Physician and member of the Board of Health Dr. Richard Nelson. Dr. Nelson said that the 9 years that Munoz has been a councilman, he has served on almost all committees and served as Council President in 2018. Munoz has been on the capital review committee since its inception. It has overseen the renovations of Hillview Field, Lincoln Field, the Community Pool basketball courts, and Oakwood Park. "Projects like these make New Providence the place to live and boost all of our home values," said Dr. Nelson.
Munoz said Scouting is such an important organization. He said, "It gives opportunities for kids to learn skills and have experiences that they wouldn't ordinarily have." Aside from the experiences, it gives him time to spend with his son and experience it alongside him. He said scouting does an incredible job in creating leaders for society that values service to others above themselves. "Scouts value perseverance, discipline, motivation, leadership, accountability, and achievement. --- Those are the kind of people that we want as our future leaders." He concluded, "To the Boy Scouts -- Scout Oath and Scout Law - those are values to live by every day -- I wish we had more scouts in our society."