Thursday, November 7, 2013

2013 Rotary Citizens of the Year for The Bridgewaters

The Rotary Club of the Bridgewaters celebrated its 14th Annual Citizen of the Year awards yesterday evening at the Moakley Center on the Campus of Bridgewater State University. Benefiting from the Grand Sponsorship of Bridgewater Savings Bank, the Rotary club is able to provide five scholarships this year to graduating seniors at the local high schools due to that financial support.

The three recipients were Evelyn DeLutis from Bridgewater; George Hart from East Bridgewater; and Kenneth Thaxter from West Bridgewater. Their biographical statements are below with photos of their presenters. Sirley Krasinski, the 2012 Citizen of the Year from Bridgewater, spoke on behalf of Mrs. DeLutis; Police Chief John Cowan, the 2011 Citizen of the Year from East Bridgewater, spoke on behalf of Mr. Hart; and Dr. Patricia Oakley, Superintendent of the West Bridgewater Public Schools and the 2011 Citizen of the Year from West Bridgewater, spoke on behalf of Officer Kenneth Thaxter.

Having celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2005, Rotary International is an organization of business and professional persons united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build goodwill and peace in the world. The world’s first service club, Rotary is some 1.2 million service-minded women and men belonging to more than 27,000 clubs in virtually every nation.

The object of Rotary is “to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise.”

The purpose of the Citizen of the Year awards is to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the quality of life in the Bridgewaters, and to raise funds to endow our scholarships to high school students in the Bridgewaters. Our club’s endowment is divided into five funds:

Jay Asack Memorial Fund for West Bridgewater

Robin “Red” Brittain Fund for East Bridgewater

Paul S. Lehtola Memorial Fund for Bridgewater

John & Bea Rogers Memorial Fund for Vocations

V. James DiNardo Memorial Fund for Vocations

Evelyn DeLutis

Evelyn DeLutis, who personifies strong feelings for “harmony and community,” has been best know as an outstanding teacher and a leader, with her late husband Donald, of the marriage prep program at the Catholic Center of Bridgewater State College, now University. Leading that program for 30 years serving about 24 couples per year, provided the loving couple with opportunity to help guide the impending marriages of hundreds of men and women most of whom were married after their involvement in the program.

Evie met her husband of 46 years in math class at Bridgewater State College in 1961, where they were both elementary education majors. They brought up three children: Stephanie Ryan, Donald Jr. and David, who have blessed them with 7 grandchildren, Brendan, Stephanie, Emily, Rebecca, Joshua, Justin and Devin.

Born to Newell and Alice Ekberg, Evelyn grew up in the Campello section of Brockton with her sister Paula, graduating from Brockton High School in 1959. There she was a member of the Future Teachers of America and she worked at Dunnington Drug Store.

After graduation from college Mrs. DeLutis opened a private kindergarten in Brockton, which she operated as the Rocking Horse Kindergarten for 3 years, serving 28 children with 3 helpers. Then she moved on to be a public school teacher at the Hunt School in Bridgewater, retiring after 30 years. Feeling as if she were “not part of a team anymore,” Evelyn reached out to My Brothers Keeper in Easton five years ago, still serving by sewing mattress covers which she finds relaxing and fulfilling.

Four years ago Evelyn DeLutis became involved in “One Book-One Community” which she says is now her greatest pleasure – being involved in choosing a book around which a number of community events are conducted and through which greater harmony is achieved among a broad-range of citizens.

Evie has also taught CCD classes at St. Thomas Church and she has volunteered in the schools by reading to classes and helping out in other ways at the Mitchell School in Bridgewater, including helping to provide scholarships for students there to be involved in after school enrichment activities.

The Rotary Club of the Bridgewaters is honored to call Evelyn DeLutis its 2013 Citizen of the Year for the Town of Bridgewater.

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