The Summit Municipal Democratic Committee (SMDC) is delighted to announce that it is launching its Award for Distinguished Service – the “Demmy” – at its inaugural annual dinner. The first two recipients of the "Demmy," Henry Bassman and Terri Tauber, will be honored on Sunday, October 27 at 6:00 PM at The Grand Summit Hotel. 

“We wanted an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate people who have served both SMDC and the larger community in remarkable ways,” said Andrea J. Stein, Chair of the SMDC. “Henry and Terri are the perfect people to demonstrate the contributions we value so highly in our community.” 

Henry Bassman has served Summit Democrats--and the entire Summit community--for years.  He has been an active Committee member, including serving as SMDC Chairman. Beyond his work with the SMDC, he has been devoted to supporting Veterans.  Having served in the Army in Vietnam, Henry is in his seventh year as Commander at the American Legion. He has been part of the Summit Memorial Day Committee, including nine years as Vice Chair; the Hometown Heroes committee; and the Serving Women Who Served task force; and he has acted as a peer counselor through Vets4Warriors.  He has also served on numerous Union County committees, including the 9-11 Memorial Commission, and is an active member of his religious congregation. Professionally, Henry spent time with ABC News, as well as twenty-nine years with AT&T. He currently operates his own business as a writing consultant. Henry has lived in Summit since 1974, and, this December, he and his wife Harriet will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.  Together, they have three daughters – Jessica, Kara, and Lauren, and two grandsons – Leo and Alexandre.

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Terri Tauber has long been active in the Summit Democrats, having served as Chair from 2011 to 2015 and currently serving as Treasurer, but she may be best known in Summit for the pink flamingos that grace Summit lawns near high school graduation time.  The Flamingo Fundraiser, which Terri launched in 2006 with Summit High School, funds Project Graduation, a safe celebration event for graduating seniors. Terri first became involved with Project Graduation in 1998 while serving on the Youth Services Board, where her contributions included a term as Board Chair.  Her long list of public service activities includes the Women’s Resource Center Board, where she served for more than ten years -- including two terms as president; the Summit Kiwanis Club, including a term as President; the board of the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre for ten years; and the Summit Elks Lodge, where she is a member.  She is also currently the treasurer for seven candidates, two PACs, and Union County NOW. Terri’s professional career spanned 44 years with the Bell System, from Ohio Bell through AT&T and Alcatel-Lucent, and finally with Nokia. Married to Kevin Ryan, she has two adult children, Drew Tauber and Jessica Tauber, both of whom are proud graduates of the Summit school system.

All residents of Summit and neighboring towns are invited to join the Summit Municipal Democratic Committee in honoring Henry Bassman and Terri Tauber. Ticket prices start at $100, and can be purchased in advance at summitdemocrats.org/contribute.