Giving Back

Distinguished speakers attend dinner to honor local volunteers, including Joan Bannan Harris

From left, Joan Harris, Sheila Oliver and Sally Booth at the Somerset County Federation of Democratic Women dinner. Harris received an Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Volunteerism Credits: Submitted

BERNARDS TOWNSHIP, NJ - Members of the Bernards Township Democratic party came out in record numbers to congratulate Joan Bannan Harris, one of several recipients of the 2017 Eleanor Roosevelt Volunteer Service Award given by the Somerset County Federation of Democratic Women at its annual dinner. Harris is running as a candidate for Bernards Township Committee, along with fellow Democrat Sally Booth.

Featured speakers for the evening included Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (LD12), Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver (Lt. Governor candidate running with Phil Murphy) and Former Under Secretary Jim Johnson, who was one of the Democratic candidates in the New Jersey gubernatorial primary. All of the honored speakers shared their personal stories about what drew them to their careers in pubic service, including the importance of activism and volunteerism. Several quoted Eleanor Roosevelt, stating, “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

Accepting her award, Harris said, “I find myself surrounded by people who want to lift each other up rather than tear each other down, people who know and understand as Eleanor Roosevelt did that there is good and bad in all people and all things and therefore all of us need both love and charity. I believe it is with this understanding that we stop seeing each other as “us” and “them,” and that profound change occurs".

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