MANSFIELD — Several local residents were honored recently at the Connecticut Rivers Council, Boy Scouts of America’s 3rd Annual Evening of Champions Reception.
Craig Gates was recognized with the Outstanding Leadership Award for his dedication to local causes and for his consistent attitude and actions of caring for others. The award was presented by his longtime friend Gene Michael Deary.
Putnam Bank, represented by Thomas Borner, was presented with the Community Service Award for its significant contribution to improving the quality of life in northeastern Connecticut by supporting numerous local charities and youth groups. The award was presented by Charlie Puffer.
The Arc Quinebaug Valley, represented by Susan Desrosiers, received the Community Organization Award for its continued support of numerous youth groups and, in particular, its significant role in providing much needed developmental services in the Quiet Corner. The award was presented by Arc board member Gene Michael Deary.
Anna Murphy, a Senior at Woodstock Academy was presented the Young American Award for her dynamic leadership of the FRESH program. The award was presented by social studies teacher Sara Dziedzic.
As a surprise, Woodstock Academy Headmaster Chris Sandford was presented the Elbert K. Fretwell Outstanding Educator Award by State Representative Pat Boyd. The Fretwell Award is presented to teachers, educational support staff, and school administrators who deliver outstanding support to their students by instilling Scouting-like values in their daily life. Dr. Fretwell was a professor of education at Columbia University, and the second Chief Scout Executive of the BSA.
The Master of Ceremonies was Representative Boyd, an Eagle Scout himself.
Thomas Borner said, “I’m very proud of the community support and volunteering Putnam Bank employees do in all the communities they serve. We are honored to be recognized with this award. We routinely see Scouting in our towns and know the value it brings to our youth and the greater community.”
The event was designed as a way for the Boy Scouts of America to recognize those community partners who are impact players in the Quiet Corner. The Scouts seek to instill service, citizenship, and community involvement to its members, and with that in mind, recognizes others who do the same. The BSA presented awards to organizations and individuals from the area.
Jim Calhoun, former UConn basketball coach, was the keynote speaker at the event. He gave an engaging and personal speech about the importance of community and helping others.

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