EGHS Wall of Honor Celebrates Community

From left, Diane McDonald (with a granddaughter), Matt Plain, John Chandler, Bernice Pescosolido, and Guy Asadorian – the 2018 inductees of the EGHS Wall of Honor.

By Elizabeth F. McNamara

EGHS Wall of Honor inductee Bernice Pescosolido had to leave East Greenwich before she could understand the its power.

“The most important thing that EG High School and the Town of East Greenwich and – I have to say – the state of Rhode Island provides for people … is a sense of community and a sense of belonging,” said Pescosolido.

“I’m so proud to be from East Greenwich because we really were this working class community,” she said. “I had no idea that what we were was so special and so different. I’ve come to understand and believe that.”

Pescosolido graduated from the high school in 1970 and is a distinguished professor of sociology at Indiana University. (You can read more about Pescosolido and the other four inductees here.)

John Chandler, Class of 1966, lived in East Greenwich a mere five years. He spent four of them at EGHS and it made its mark. He made his mark too, serving as class president for two years, among other distinctions.

Chandler, who had an illustrious career in information technology, almost didn’t finish high school in East Greenwich. His family, after moving to EG from California before his 8th grade year, moved to Oklahoma the summer before his senior year.

He ended up staying with the Forscht family for that final year of high school.

Chandler’s life has been elsewhere ever since 1966 but Chandler’s love of EGHS came through loud and clear Wednesday.

“I feel like I’ve come  home,” he said before launching into his prepared remarks.

“I’ve been the fortunate beneficiary of an enormous amount of support from this community and love from my family for my entire life,” said Matt Plain, the youngest of the night’s honorees. He graduated in 1994.

Plain, a member of the EG School Committee, made his love of the EG schools clear, recalling all those who taught or guided him in elementary school, including the school custodian.

“Who could forget Bobby Taylor, keeping our school clean and safe for everybody to enjoy,” Plain said.

Plain started out as a teacher himself. A lawyer now, he continues to work on education issues.

Diane McDonald spoke about how she got to live out her childhood dream, riding horses and then owning her own stable (Dapper Dan). For McDonald, the daughter of teachers (her father, Norman Monks, taught and coached in East Greenwich for decades), being a horsewoman was not a given. But it was something she always wanted to do, she said.

If she could tell young people anything, she said, it would be to “follow your passion. Don’t settle for a job that’s just a job.”

Guy Asadorian, Class of 1982, spoke lovingly of this town he’s never left.

“It’s that whole deep sense of community that, really, gave me the foundation to try and be successful as an adult,” he said. Asadorian works in financial services.

“I’ve done a lot of volunteer work in this town and I’m 100 percent certain that it’s that connection that I have to the community that’s really motivated me to want to give back.”

There was a sixth person honored Wednesday night, if not officially. That was Dominic Iannazzi, who died in 2017. Iannazzi was a teacher, school administrator and coach in East Greenwich from the 1950s into the late 1970s. He wanted no fanfare upon his death but Wall of Honor organizer Bruce Mastracchio recounted a couple Iannazzi stories and that seemed to prompt others.

John Chandler said before he was able to find a permanent home for his senior year (his family had moved out of state), Iannazzi actually took him in for six weeks.

Bernice Pescosolido recounted how she’d tried hard to stay off Iannazzi’s radar since her brothers were definitely ON his radar.

“I just thought if Mr. Iannazzi knew my name I would automatically be given detention,” she said.

Diane McDonald DID get detention.

She’d asked if she could take a day off school to compete in a horse show. Iannazzi said no, but she went anyway. When McDonald turned up at school the next day with a note, Iannazzi held up the newspaper announcing that she’d won a trophy at the horse show. He gave her two days detention.

If you know of someone from EGHS you think should be put on the Wall of Honor, contact Bruce Mastracchio at thebrooker23@yahoo.com.


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Asadorian, McDonald, Plain Among EGHS Wall of Honor Recipients

The wall of honor at EGHS can be found in the hallway between the auditorium and the cafeteria.

The 2018 East Greenwich High School Wall of Honor ceremony takes place Wednesday, April 11, and will honor five alumni of the school: John Chandler, Class of 1966; Diane McDonald, Class of 1969; Dr. Bernice Pescosolido, Class of 1970; Guy Asadorian, Class of 1982, and, Matt Plain, Class of 1994.

The ceremony starts at 6 p.m. and is held in the East Greenwich High School auditorium, with a reception immediately following in the cafeteria. Friends and family of the honorees are invited to attend, as well as current high school students and anyone with a love of East Greenwich. Former recipients – plaques for all those who have been named to the Wall of Honor line the hallway at the high school between the auditorium and the cafeteria – are encouraged to attend.

About the 2018 inductees:

Guy Asadorian moved to East Greenwich when he was two. He has been here ever since.

Along the way he attended three of the four elementary schools in town and graduated from East Greenwich Junior High and then East Greenwich High School in 1982.

He played in the local Little League and continued on to Senior League and then American Legion ball.

In the winter he played EG Rec league basketball, and at 12 he discovered football. In high school he played four years of football culminating in a selection as an All Division end as a senior.

He also played three years of baseball and one year of golf, and in the summer participated in Junior Golf and the RIGA Tournament.

After graduation from EG he matriculated at Western New England College in Springfield, Mass. There he played played four years of baseball for the Golden Bears, and two years of football.

He graduated in 1986 with a degree in finance and economics.

Mr. Asadorian used his college training to start a career in financial services, starting out as a stockbroker for Janney Montgomery Scott. After two years he moved to Smith Barney, where he spent 12 years and was elevated to the position of first vice president.

In 2001 he left Smith Barney to form Tameracq Partners, which is a middle market mergers and acquisitions firm that advises buyers and sellers up and down the East Coast and beyond.

In 2013 Guy left Tamaracq and joined BNY Mellon Wealth Management as a Wealth Director in charge of new business.

A man who loves his community, he has always tried to give back with volunteer work.

He has coached Little League softball, served on the Town Planning Board, and currently sits on the board of the Quonset Development Corporation, representing the Town of East Greenwich.

Along with Jeff Santos, Mr. Asadorian is a prime mover on the committee that has revived the East Greenwich Athletic Hall of Fame. In 2015 that body inducted four nominees for the first time in 18 years.

Not stopping there, Guy has volunteered with the business community as well. He was formerly a committee member of the City of Cranston Police and Fire Pension Fund, President of the RI Association of Investment firms and a Board Member of the Pawtucket Country Club.

Currently he is a member of the Screening Committee for Cherrystone Angel Investment Group and Chairman of the Investment Committee for the Armenian Historical Association of Rhode Island.

For his commitment to his school, his town and his state Mr. Asadorian will be one of five people to be inducted into the East Greenwich High School Wall of Honor next April in the annual ceremony at the East Greenwich High School.

John Chandler was the second son of Jim and Marie Chandler. He was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, Dec. 2, 1948. The son of a U.S. navy pilot he lived mostly in California while growing up.

But in September 1961 his father was assigned to Quonset Point Naval Air Station. At first John was disappointed, moving from sunny California to what he envisioned as the “frozen north.”

“Little did I know,” he said recently, “that living in East Greenwich would become one of the great experiences of my life, and one for which I have been forever grateful.”

John finished 8th grade at Eldredge and then attended East Greenwich High, graduating in 1966.

At EGHS John served as class president for two years and also vice president of the student council. Though standing only 5 foot 6 inches, he was awarded seven varsity letters, earning three in football and two each in basketball and baseball. He co-captained the Avenger hoopsters and was awarded the school’s Athletic Award Sweater.

Upon graduation, John enrolled at Providence College. He graduated in June 1970, with a B.A. in mathematics and minors in computer science, philosophy and theology.

While at PC he played three years for the college’s club football team, a member of the National  Club Football Association. He started two years at defensive back and was chosen second team club All-American. He finished second in the nation for the NCFA in punting averaging 43.2 yards per kick.

John then joined the working world as an information technology software developer, systems architect, project manager and consulting professional. He worked for a number of corporations, including, Price Waterhouse, Home Depot, Lockheed, AIG, NCR and Scripto.

He also took some time from his busy work schedule to attend Woodrow Wilson College of Law in Atlanta, where, in 1978, he graduated magna cum laude with a Juris Doctorate degree.

John eventually co-founded his own company, a consulting business, CompBasics Inc., where he served as CEO and president for 17 years. His list of clients there included: IBM, Bellsouth, Southern Company, Baxter Healthcare and Sun Trust Bank. Chandler had many notable achievements while dealing with these companies and handling thousands of stores and, in some cases, billions of dollars in store sales.

“I have often told people throughout my life that the most magical, impactful and significant period of time, was the time I spent in East Greenwich, and attending EGHS,” Chandler said. “I was very fortunate to be part of this very beautiful, warm and compassionate community that was blessed with the finest teaching staff anyone could hope for.

“I recall, in particular, how proud my classmates were to call themselves Avengers, as we participated in local charity and athletic events.

“I was recently blessed to attend our 50th class reunion, and I can assure all of you, that the love for, and spirit of, East Greenwich High School, endures to this day.”

Diane McDonald is a 1969 graduate of East Greenwich High School. But, way before that she started her lifelong involvement with horses. She started riding them 10 years before, at age 8, at Peter Pots Pottery in Kingston, R.I.

At age 10 she was competing in local shows, and, at age 12, for her Christmas present, she got her first pony, Dapper Dan. The next year she moved up to bigger shows at the Providence Auditorium, major shows around New England, and even at Madison Square Garden.

Along the way she received year end awards from the R.I. and New England Horsemen’s associations’ in Pony Hunter and Junior Hunter.

In 1966 the family moved to a small farm on Howland Road and Diane started teaching neighborhood children about horses and riding. Dapper Dan died in 1967 and Diane named her farm after him.

In 1972, Diane graduated from URI with a B.S. in mathematics. That same year she received the RI ASPCA Award. In 1973 she graduated from the Potomac Horse Center with a

British Horsemaster’s Degree. Along with teaching and coaching (cheerleaders) at EG Junior High, she started Dapper Dan Farm as a full operation.

She also won the Rhode Island and New England championships aboard, L’Hirondelle, in the Working Hunter Division. She was to ride him him to championships again, most notably at the Tampa (Fla.) Invitational Horse Show.

In 1974 Diane was named Young Professional Business Woman of the Year  by the East Greenwich Chamber of Commerce and was runner-up for the Rhode Island Award. However, she was voted to the board of the R.I. Horseman Association Directors. Later she was voted to the New England Welsh Association’s Board of Directors.

In 1975, Diane moved Dapper Dan Farms to Ives Road, its present location, where it continues to prosper and turn out top horses and riders.

She has gone on to be named President of the Rhode Island Horseman’s Association and many other boards and councils both in Rhode Island and New England. She has also coached riders, including her sister, Bethany, to championships in riding and showing.

More than all her accomplishments in the World of Horses, is the pride she felt when her own daughter, Ashley, won the Rhode Island Horseman’s Association Mini Medals Finals title, and then, was named to the Rhode Island team at the New England Equitation Championships, which took the four top RI riders, to compete in the Challenge of the States.

Bernice Pescosolido graduated from East Greenwich High School in 1970. She was one of two valedictorians for her class, and, was the top female graduate. She received a B.A. from the University of Rhode Island in 1974 and a Ph.D. from Yale University in 1982.

Currently she is a Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Indiana University. She is also the director of the Indiana Consortium for Mental Health Services Research, and Co-Director of the Indiana University Network Science Institute. Throughout her career she has focused on social issues in health, illness and healing.

Bernice’s research agenda addresses how social networks connect individuals to their communities and to institutional structures. This agenda encompasses three basic areas of health care services, stigma and suicide research. In the early 1990s, she developed the Network Episode Model, designed to help people recognize and respond to health problems and to use health services. She initiated the first major national study of the stigma of mental illness in the United States in over 40 years.

In 2005 she was presented with the American Sociological Association’s Leo G. Reeder Award for a career of distinguished scholarship in medical sociology. In 2009 her research into gene x environment interaction earned her the Eric Freidson Outstanding Publication Award from the American Sociological Association Section on Medical Sociology. In 2011 she won the Leonard I. Pearlin Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Sociological Study of Mental Health.

In 2013, Bernice was asked by actress Glenn Close to chair the Scientific Advisory Council for her nonprofit organization, Bring Change 2 Mind, which Close founded to address stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness. one of their goals is to bring Change 2 Mind to college campuses.

Matt Plain attended East Greenwich schools from Grades K to 12, graduating from East Greenwich High in 1994.

Along the way he garnered many honors in both athletics and academics. He was quarterback on the football team, named captain in 1993. That same year he was All-Academic and All Division. A Kent County Player of the Year finalist, he topped that off by being named to the National Football Foundation’s Golden Dozen Award.

He played on the basketball team for four years. In baseball he was All Division and on the All Class B All Star team.

He was President of the National Junior Honor Society and then was named to the National Honor Society his senior year. He also served as a volunteer tutor at Eldredge School, was editor of the Crimson Yearbook one year and sports editor the next.

He belonged to the DECA program and was a State Champion in 1993.

Matt was EGHS’s representative for the Providence Journal Honor Roll Award in 1994, and was chosen Best All-Around Male Athlete that year, also winning the Uno Uustal Award for Most Valuable Athlete-Class of 1994.

He attended the University of North Carolina, where he was a Dean’s List student. He received his bachelor’s degree there while also working 30 hours a week. At Chapel Hill he served as a volunteer tutor, a youth basketball and baseball coach, and, a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.

Upon graduation he taught math, science, social studies and english at a junior high school. He also coached football, wrestling and baseball. At nights he worked on and achieved a master of education degree.

Moving back to Rhode Island, he entered law school at Roger Williams University, where he  was a member of the RWU Law Review, was an Honors Program participant, was a seven-time Cali Award winner for excellence in legal research and writing, received a Feinstein Grant, served as a legal intern at the R.I. governor’s office, was a member of the Association of Public Interest Law and a research assistant for a legal writing professor and a constitutional law professor.

Matt graduated from Roger Williams School of Law, fifth in his class and passed the bar exams in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

After serving a judicial clerkship he joined the law offices of Barton Gilman LLP and was elevated to partner in just six years.

Matt is a member of the East Greenwich School Committee. He also serves on the Advisory Board to the Roger Williams University School of Education and sits on 14 other boards and councils.

Among his professional honors, Matt is a five-time Rising Star honoree from “Super Lawyer” magazine, the Mortar Board Award from the Segue Institute of Learning and a recipient of the Providence Business News 40 Under Forty Award.


The EGHS Wall of Honor is sponsored by EGHS alumnus Allen Gammons of Berkshire Hathaway Gammons Realty.

If you have any questions concerning the event, please call committee co-chairs Bob Houghtaling at 230-2246 or Chris Cobain at 398-1562.

Mark Your Calendar: EGHS Wall of Honor Ceremony Is April 11

Honorees include Guy Asadorian and Matt Plain

The Wall of Honor at EGHS can be found in the hallway between the auditorium and the cafeteria.

The 2018 East Greenwich High School Wall of Honor Ceremony will be held Wednesday, April 11, at 6 p.m. at the East Greenwich High School Auditorium.

The ceremony, which usually lasts an hour and a half, will honor five East Greenwich High School graduates who have gone on to success in life and can serve as an inspiration to current students at the school.

Being honored this year are: John Chandler, Class of 1966; Diane McDonald, Class of 1969; Dr. Bernice Pescosolido, Class of 1970; Guy Asadorian, Class of 1982, and, Matt Plain, Class of 1994.

This year’s recipients have achieved success in such varied fields as business, education, mental health, athletics, law, and the world of horses. Profiles of each honoree will be posted on EG News in coming weeks.

It is hoped that their family, friends, classmates and teammates will attend the ceremony to honor this group for its many achievements.  It is also hoped that as many former honorees as can, will also attend the ceremony, which is now going into its 11th year.

The East Greenwich High School Wall of Honor is sponsored by another very successful alumnus, Allen Gammons, of Berkshire Hathaway Gammons Realty, who has stood by it almost from its inception.

If you have any questions concerning the event, please call committee co-chairs Bob Houghtaling at 230-2246 or Chris Cobain at 398-1562.

 

EGHS Wall of Honor Ceremony: Memories, Inside Jokes, a Tear or Two

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Town Councilman Mark Schwager offers commendations from the council to the 2015 EGHS Wall of Honor inductees.

The East Greenwich High School Wall of Honor Ceremony is hitting its stride, with a record 144 people in attendance Wednesday night, the eighth such ceremony. It helped that one of the inductees was current physical education teacher and field hockey coach Deb McMullen – athletes in their teens, 20s and 30s turned out to celebrate the popular coach.

“Looking around, I kind of wish we had some sticks so we could go out to play. We have a ton of talent here,” McMullen said her current and former field hockey players.

Former Rhode Island First Lady Sue Carcieri was inducted and many of her large family – including former Gov. Don Carcieri (and 2013 Wall of Honor inductee) –were there to cheer their mother and grandmother. Mrs. Carcieri spoke most poignantly of the hardships her family endured after the untimely death of her father.

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2015 EGHS Wall of Honor inductee Sue Carcieri with her husband, former Gov. Don Carcieri.

“Not everybody starts out with everything handed to them,” Carcieri said. She recounted how she was able to attend URI because the school gave her a full scholarship – $1,000 a year!

Find Carcieri’s speech here.

Longtime St. Luke’s Music Director Priscilla Rigg, who retired just in January after 50 years, rounded out the female half of the inductee class of 2015.

“I think, gentlemen, that I’m the first musician to be inducted,” Rigg noted.

Find Rigg’s speech here.

McMullen, for her part, spoke of being able to work and live in East Greenwich.

“So, obviously, East Greenwich is an incredibly special place,” she said. “I grew up here. I went to school and graduated here. I had a vision to teach here … and it worked out, I was able to secure that job at Cole. And now we’re raising our family here.”

Find McMullen’s speech here.

Deb McMullen with her family.
Deb McMullen with her family.

Fred Brown and Otto Olson, deceased, were represented by family members Paul Brown and Eric Olson, who both spoke of how both Olson and Brown served their community not for praise, but because it was the right thing to do.

Find Paul Brown’s speech here and Eric Olson’s speech here.

In addition to the five inductees, Steve and Christine Bartlett were given the Wall of Honor Appreciation Award for their service to the town, most especially through their leadership of the Interfaith Food Pantry. Their daughter, Karen Seitz, accepted the award on their behalf.

Find Karen Seitz’s speech here.

If you have someone you’d like to nominate, contact founder Bruce Mastracchio at thebrooker23@yahoo.com or EGHS Wall of Honor committee head Bob Houghtaling at rhoughtaling2@verizon.net.

EGHS Wall of Honor inductee Priscilla Adams Rigg.
EGHS Wall of Honor inductee Priscilla Adams Rigg.
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Four of recipient Otto Olson’s children.
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Family members of recipient Fred Brown.
Karen Seitz, here with Town Councilman Mark Schwager, accepted the Appreciation Award on behalf of her parents, Steve and Christine Bartlett, during the April 15 EGHS Wall of Honor ceremony.
Karen Seitz, here with Town Councilman Mark Schwager, accepted the Appreciation Award on behalf of her parents, Steve and Christine Bartlett, during the April 15 EGHS Wall of Honor ceremony.

5 Named to EGHS Wall of Honor, Including Carcieri, McMullen & Rigg

wall of honorOf the five graduates named to the East Greenwich High School Wall of Honor for 2015, one is the former First Lady of Rhode Island; one is perhaps the winningest coach in EGHS history; one has been music director at St. Luke’s Church for 50 years; one was a 1894 graduate of the EG Academy; and one, chosen as Most Dependable by his EG Academy classmates in 1941, went on to serve as Town Council president, town treasurer, and tax collector.

The EGHS Wall of Honor celebrates graduates of both the East Greenwich Academy and East Greenwich High School in a ceremony in the spring. The ceremony takes place Wednesday, April 15, at 6 p.m. in the auditorium at EGHS.

Here are the 2015 honorees:

Fred I. Brown graduated from East Greenwich Academy in 1894 and Wesleyan University in 1898. He established the Brown-Howland Company in six cities. In 1929 he joined Bostitch. While he was there, Bostitch grew to a world-wide leader in its field. Brown was then named sales manager for Bostitch and all its associated companies. He served them for 20 years retiring as vice president and sales manager for the company.

Otto Olson graduated from East Greenwich Academy in 1941, named Most Dependable by his classmates. He was an Eagle Scout for Troop 2 E.G. Olson served in the U.S. Navy from 1942-45 as an aviation metalsmith and after the service attended from Bryant College, graduating in 1953. After graduation, he joined the East Greenwich Savings and Loan. When EG Savings & Loan became Old Colony Co-op Bank, Olson was named branch manager. He later became an assistant vice president for Old Colony. Olson served as Town Council president; Town Treasurer and Tax Collector and was a member of the Republican Town Committee. He was a recipient of the American Savings and Loan Achievement Award and the J.C. Penney Achievement Award. In retirement, he won blue ribbons for his salt collections at State Fairs around New England.

Priscilla Adams-Rigg graduated from East Greenwich High School in 1947. Her first job was providing music for Quidnessett Baptist Church. Later she became Director of Music for Naval Chapel at Quonset Point. She has been music and choir director at St. Luke’s for 50 years. Among her many achievements, Rigg initiated the chamber music series “Music on The Hill,” brought the Royal School of Church Music program to St. Luke’s, and directors an ecumenical bell choir. She has taught countless children how to sing over the years and still today runs a vibrant children’s music program.

Suzanne Owren Carcieri will join her husband, former Gov. Donald Carcieri, on the wall. A 1960 graduate of East Greenwich High School, Carcieri  won the title of Miss East Greenwich that same year. She attended URI on a full four-year state scholarship, graduating in 1965. Carcieri was involved in many activities as she raised her children, among which were the Christian Family Movement, East Greenwich Academy Players, Our Lady of Mercy Choir, the Indian Education Center. In 1970 she earned her Masters degree in health education from Rhode Island College. In 2002, she became the First Lady of Rhode Island, where she participated in many programs including Statewide Wellness, the Celebrate Rhode Island Ball, the R.I. Science & Engineering Fair, the Task Force to Prevent Substance Abuse and State Schools Reading Program. Carcieri has been presented with The American Heart Association Gold Heart Award and the University of Rhode Island Distinguished Alumni Award.

Debra Sylvia McMullen, 1983 EGHS grad, is, arguably, the most successful coach in Avenger sports history. Her field hockey teams have won five state titles and 8 division championships. Her Girls Basketball teams were state finalists twice and quarter-finalists once. She has also served as Athletic Director at EGHS and started both field hockey and basketball camps for local athletes. As a student at EGHS, McMullen played field hockey, basketball and softball, winning State and Division honors in all three. In 1983 she was The Crimson “Athlete of the Year.” She has won numerous state honors for her coaching both in field hockey and basketball and in 1995 was the second woman to be inducted into the East Greenwich Athletic Hall of Fame. Her successful coaching has helped her athletes to get recognized and recruited by colleges, many of them Division One schools.

The Wall of Honor Committee is always looking for possible honorees. If you know of an East Greenwich graduate who has gone on to greater success in life and feel they would be worthy of consideration, please contact Bob Houghtaling, committee chair at 230-2246, or Bruce Mastracchio, nominating chair at 885-3160.

EGHS Wall of Honor Ceremony to Induct 5 on April 15

wall of honorThe Class of 2015 for the East Greenwich High School Wall of Honor will be feted in a ceremony to be held at the high school on Wednesday evening, April 15, at 6 p.m. Five graduates will be inducted that night, including

  • Fred I. Brown, Class of 1894, from East Greenwich Academy, who was instrumental in making Bostitch a giant in the corporate world.
  • Otto Olson, East Greenwich Academy Class of 1941, who headed up Old Colony Bank locally and served in many town offices.
  • Priscilla Adams Rigg, East Greenwich High School Class of 1947, who achieved fame as an organist and choir director at St. Luke’s Church.
  • Suzanne Owren Carcieri, EGHS Class of 1960, former First Lady of State of Rhode Island, who implemented several new programs statewide while in that position.
  • Debra Sylvia McMullen, Class of 1983, East Greenwich HS, one of the most successful coaches in East Greenwich High athletic history.

You can read more about the honorees here.

Also, that night, Steve and Christine Bartlett, long-time volunteers in the town of East Greenwich, will be honored with Appreciation Awards.

After the awards ceremony, there will be a libation in the school cafeteria. The East Greenwich HS Wall of Honor is sponsored by  Prudential Gammons Realty.

Committee members for the organization are: Bob Houghtaling, chairman; Chris Cobain, EGHS athletic director; Carl I. Hoyer; Janet Johnson Joyce; Robert V. Lallo; and Elaine Mastracchio.

All former inductees of this award are encouraged to attend this evening along with relatives and friends of the honorees and and others who hold interest in small town happenings of this type.


 

Bartletts to Receive EGHS Wall of Honor Appreciation Award

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Steve and Christine Bartlett, co-chairs of the EG Interfaith Food Pantry, housed at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

Steve and Christine Bartlett have been selected to receive the 2015 Appreciation Award given out by the East Greenwich High School Wall of Honor Committee at the annual Wall of Honor ceremony in April. (Ed. Note: The Appreciation Award is given to residents who have made significant contributions to East Greenwich. An earlier version of this story had incorrect qualifications.)

The Bartletts have been directors of the EG Interfaith Food Cupboard, run out of St. Luke’s Church, since 2010, focusing their efforts on expanding services and increasing the breadth of food items offered.

Among the improvements that have taken place under the Bartletts’ leadership, the food pantry now offers both perishable and nonperishable items, thanks to the addition of two commercial freezers and a cooler.

The Bartletts were also involved in establishing the Wednesday “Lunch on the Hill” program, together with St. Luke’s in 2014. Every Wednesday, local restaurants provide the food and volunteers from several churches set up, serve and clean up after the lunch.

Under the Bartletts’ leadership the number of food pantry clients served has more than doubled to 3,402, while the number of food items distributed tripled to 67,916.

Chris and Steve have worked diligently to increase the support from several of the faith-based organizations as well as local businesses, nonprofits, schools and the ongoing support of many individuals throughout the community.

The EGIFC is a participating member of the R.I. Community Food Bank. They are a qualified 501(3) C charity and accept donations of food and money that are tax deductible.

Steve, a retired businessman, has served as a board member of the Rhode Island Special Olympics. He has served on various committees at his church and was on the steering  committee that evaluated the need for a senior center in East Greenwich. He has also served on the Parks and Recreation Commission, the town Personnel Board for three terms and as an adviser to the Town Manager and Town Council on personnel matters.

He was elected to three terms as an fire commissioner and was also vice president of the former EG Fire District Commission.

Christine Bartlett has been a Brownie and Girl Scout leader for many years. She volunteered in the East Greenwich School system in many capacities and headed up the EG Music Parents Group, also serving as the EGHS Volunteer Coordinator.

She played alto and bass clarinet in the Lafayette Band of North Kingstown for 15 years.

Currently she is secretary of the Royal Bayreuth Collector’s Club (German porcelain) and has served on numerous committees at East Greenwich Methodist Church.

The Bartletts have 3 children and 3 grandchildren.

The EGHS Wall of Honor Ceremony will take place April 15 in the auditorium at East Greenwich High School. In addition to the Bartletts, this year’s honorees are Fred I. Brown, Otto Olson, Priscilla Adams Rigg, Suzanne Owren Carcieri and Debra Sylvia McMullen. The EGHS Wall of Honor is sponsored by Prudential Gammons Realty.

 

Today In EG: EGHS Wall Of Honor, Town Council Budget Session

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Recycling is OFF this week. In addition, yard waste will be picked up every week this month. For the full 2014 pickup schedule, click here.

Wednesday, April 30

Board of Canvassers meeting: They will be meeting with state election officials to discuss the 2014 elections. The agenda is here. Town Hall, Conference Room B. 10 a.m.

EGHS Wall of Honor ceremony: Every year, a few graduates of East Greenwich High School are singled out to be added to the EGHS Wall of Honor. It’s a special evening full of stories, some history, and family and friends of the inductees. To read profiles of some of the recipients click here. EGHS auditorium. 6 p.m.

Town Council Budget Session: The council will be looking more closely at the 2015 budget proposal. The public is welcome! Here’s the agenda. Swift Community Center. 7 p.m.

Thursday, May 1

School Committee Mental Health Subcommittee meeting: Here’s the agenda. EGHS Guidance office. 10 a.m.

David-Max’s 1st Anniversary Open House: The home goods and artist boutique is celebrating one year on Main Street, with refreshments, appetizers, music and sales. Shop local! 187 Main Street. From 5 to 7:30 p.m.

Friday, May 2

Goddard Park Farmers Market returns! It’s been a really LONG winter, but a sure sign of warm weather is the opening of local farmers markets. On Friday, the market at Goddard Park reopens for the season (through Halloween). Welcome back! Here’s more information about the market. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

School Committee Health & Wellness Subcommittee meeting: Here’s that agenda. Eldredge School. 3:30 p.m.

‘Wine & Wonderful’: The East Greenwich Rotary Club’s sixth annual wine tasting event – Wine and Wonderful – takes place at Swift Community Center Friday. Food will be provided by Siena, Besos, Pinelli’s, Chianti’s, Greenwich Bay Gourmet, Gregg’s, and Silver Spoon Bakery. Tickets are $35 per person. For more information, call the East Greenwich Rotary at 885-4650 or find them online at www.egrotary.org.

 

 

EGHS Wall Of Honor: Hurd, Miller, Joyce and Cauley

Every year, East Greenwich High School (and before that, the East Greenwich Academy) graduate a class of students who go out to make their way in the world. The EGHS Wall of Honor was established to recognize those graduates who contributions since high school have left a mark on the wider world – this year, as close by as Fire Station One on Main Street and as far away as a slum in Kenya.

The ceremony takes place Wednesday, April 30, in the auditorium at the high school. Here are brief profiles of a few of this year’s honorees:

Chris Hurd, who graduated from East Greenwich High School in 1977, was known in high school as an exceptional athlete, particularly in baseball. He lettered in football, basketball and baseball, and was on the basketball team when it captured the state championship. He went to Wake Forest University on a baseball scholarship and there led the team in hitting. He graduated cum laude in business.

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Back in Rhode Island, he joined the family auto sales company is sales. By 1990, he was president of Hurd Automall in Johnston, a position he still holds. During his tenure, the company has nearly tripled in size and Hurd has earned the Time Dealer of the Year Award for Rhode Island (in 2011), the Rhode Island Family Business of the Year Award from Bryant College (in 1995), and the Blue Chip Enterprise Award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (in 1994).

Hurd followed his father and grandfather in the business, something he’s proud of but also something that keeps him on his toes.

“It’s been a real honor to carry the ball,” he said. “My grandfather handed it down and it got handed to me and I’ve been running ever since.”

Hurd has served on the boards of a number of agencies and panels, including the Greater Providence YMCA, Rhode Island Family Shelter, Warwick Retirement Board and the state Auto Collision Repair Licensing Advisory Board. He has supported many nonprofits over the years, including Toys for Tots, food banks, junior achievement and many, many others but, perhaps reflecting his early years, the title he’s most proud of is “coach.”

“I can’t think of a more endearing title for someone than to call him “coach,” Hurd said. “I got into coaching and it was probably one of the best things I’ve done.”

Being named to the EGHS Wall of Honor is an “awesome honor,” he said. “I just think it’s really neat that someone’s gone to the effort to reach out to past students.”

About Wall of Honor organizer Bruce Mastraccio, Hurd said, “I give him a lot of credit. He bleeds crimson. He’s a real cheerleader for East Greenwich. Every town should be so lucky.

Fred Miller, EG Academy Class of 1917, is named to the Wall of Honor posthumously. If you live on Tillinghast Road, perhaps you recognize his name – a short street off of Tillinghast bears it. That’s because Miller’s another one of those people who gave their all, plus more, to their hometown.

He joined the East Greenwich Fire District as a volunteer in 1921, staying for 56 years, 41 of those as chief. Along the way, Miller served as president of the Rhode Island Association of Fire Chiefs, and was a member of both the international and New England chapters. He also developed a program for new (read: green) recruits. He did all this for the EG Fire District while working full-time at Bostitch as a toolmaker.

He played for both the Townie football and baseball teams and, legend has it, he swam the distance between Rocky Point and Warren – five miles – in 55 minutes.

Miller never had sons, but he coached baseball in EG for 20 years. Among his honors, he served on the Governor’s Youth Council, was inducted to the East Greenwich Athletic Hall of Fame, was EG Rotary’s Man of the Year in 1971 and earned the Knights of Columbus Certificate of Merit in 1976.

Legend has it, 700 people attended his EG Fire District retirement party.

Appreciation Award winners this year are Tom Joyce and Beth Cauley. These are awards to non-East Greenwich graduates whose contribution to the town is significant.

For Joyce, that commitment started when he fell in love with an East Greenwich gal while serving with the Marines at Quonset. He abandoned his beloved Pittsburgh to make a life for himself in East Greenwich. The EGPD was waiting.

During the early years, he played quarterback for the EG Townies football team (he’d played for the Quonset Point NAS team while still in the Marines). He worked for the police for 48 years, advancing to the rank of lieutenant. Joyce made his mark as the town’s first juvenile officer. As such, he served as liaison to the town’s Juvenile Hearing Board. He also worked at Safety Town for many years, teaching kindergarten-bound youngsters about the police and about making safe choices. Joyce also served as a volunteer for the town’s Friday night Teen Center for more than 20 years.

Beth Cauley has only been school principal at Hanaford since 2011 but she’s made a big impact. A graduate of Rhode Island College, she started her teaching career in Pawtucket. While teaching at Nathanael Greene Elementary, Cauley created “Difference Makers,” an organization to help student see their own worth and give back to the community. At Hanaford, Cauley has continued those efforts. She has helped her students find creative ways to give back to the community, including the “Souper Bowl” Challenge, a Toy-Book-Can drive, Thanksgiving food drives, coat and mitten drives, and book-and-DVD drives for the VA hospital.

You can read Part One of the 2014 Wall of Honor story here.