STIRLING, NJ - Outstanding citizens were honored at the 10th Annual Berkeley Heights Good Scout Awards Dinner at the Primavera Regency in Stirling on Wednesday, Oct. 7.

Over 35 people in our town have been awarded with this award in the past 10 years, said Dr. Donald DeFabio, the evening's emcee. "It's an award that exemplifies the principles of scouting. -- It says a lot about where we live, about our morals and about our community." 

Being honored this year were Joseph G. Bruno, former Mayor of Berkeley Heights and former Member of the Board of Education; Jeanmarie Grisi, CIO Alcatel Lucent and Board Member Girl Scouts of the USA; Louisa V. Grossman, President Gov. Livingston PTO; Terrance Grossman, former Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 68; The Hall Family of Hall's Garden Center; Pam Steiner, Berkeley Heights Rotary Club. 

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Will Clark, Life Scout of Boy Scout Troop 68, provided the Scouting remarks. Clark reflected on his favorite endeavors in scouting -- "Working at a Boy Scout camp has taught me some of my most valuable skills and helped me grow as a leader," said Clark. "It is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. -- None of this would be possible without scouting." 

Hal Daume spoke on behalf of the Patriots' Path Council of the "hidden agenda" in scouting. 

"One of the advantages he [Will] has -- if he ever wonders what decision to make, it really becomes very simple -- all he has to do is ask himself, 'What would an Eagle Scout do in this situation?' When he asks  that question, the answer will appear to him. I guarantee it."

"Our young people are going to be prepared, not to go camping, they are going to be prepared for life, that's what it's all about. --The hidden agenda is -- it's all about getting ready for life. We will achieve this because of people like you," said Daume.

The traditions of the Good Scout Award Dinner began in 2006 and the 35 past recipients in attendance were recognized and a group photograph was taken.

Joe Allegra thanked the crowd for attending prior to handing out the awards. 

Paul Beiser introduced the first honoree, former Mayor Joe Bruno. Beiser listed the community positions that Bruno has served along with achievements during his time of service. "I have an honor of introducing a man who lives by those principles, and has demonstrated extraordinary leadership and compassion for others, and dedication to the Boy Scouts and the larger community," said Beiser.

Jeanmarie Grisi was introduced by her sister, who described Grisi as living her daily life [professional, service and personal] according to the Girl and Boy Scout laws of being helpful, loyal, friendly, courageous, kind and brave.

Grisi said, when I look around this room, in Berkeley Heights, I see so many people who give service to the community. It is quite an honor to be part of this town.

Louisa and Terrence Grossman were introduced next by their children, Alex and Alton. Alex spoke of memories she will remember forever.

"The dedication of my parents serving others in our community are an inspiration to me and my brother," Alex said.

Louisa thanked the many colleagues and volunteers she has worked with over the past two decades. "I know that often times you don't hear about the great job you are doing and you rarely hear a thank you. -- Tonight, publicly and officially, I want to say you are doing a great job and thank you."

The thing that is important about scouting is the scouts, Terrence said. "The scouts are why I do it. -- This is truly awesome -- these kids grow up."  Scouting is about character, leadership and selfless service, he said. 

Donovan Hall accepted the award on behalf of his family. "It is an honor to accept this award, said Donovan. He spoke of the personal connection Hall's Garden Center has with the scouts at the store and the importance of contributing to the community.

Pam Steiner was the sixth and final honoree and she was introduced by her grandchildren. "Anyone who knows my grandmother, she is a woman of professional kindness and generosity. Anything my grandmother does is something special made of love."

Howard Lee presented Steiner with a special "ducky" gift on behalf of her work with the Rubber Ducky fundraising event. Lee recognized Steiner as being the "backbone of the operation" from day one.

The Berkeley Heights area is a part of the Boy Scouts of America, Patriots’ Path Council. The council serves 16,000 youth in over 400 Scouting units in communities like ours throughout Morris, Middlesex, Somerset, Sussex, and Union Counties.

For more information on Scouting, contact Jennifer Volz, Senior Development Director, at 973-765-9322 ext.249 or at her email, Jennifer.volz@scouting.org.

Related article with honoree bios. Click here