A crowd of over 400 gathered in the Hunterdon Central High School auditorium on Wednesday evening in honor of Hunterdon County Sheriff Frederick W. Brown, who received Scouting’s 2017 “Distinguished Citizen” award. Over 150
Scouts of all ages were on hand to display their Scouting skills and help to honor Sheriff Brown.
The evening which started with a powerful flag ceremony led by the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office Honor Guard and local Scouts was full of highlights including a fascinating presentation by world-renowned entrepreneur and astronaut Dr. Gregory Olsen. Dr. Olsen described his travels into space and his ten-day stay at the International Space Station with
Russian Cosmonauts. He cited, the training involved, the careful planning and the daily living experience. “We could not
have had a better keynote speaker,” said Bob Benjamin, Chairman and Emcee for the evening. “Dr. Olsen loves talking to
kids, and judging by the number of photos taken with him after the show, the scouts loved having him here tonight”.
Mary Melfi, Hunterdon County Clerk, took the stage and had the honor on of introducing Sheriff Brown, citing her respect for all that he has done for Hunterdon and “how much he deserves such an honor”. She called Heidi Rohrbach, wife of Congressman Leonard Lance to the stage to present him with a U.S. flag flown over the Capitol in Washington. Raritan Twp. Committeeman Louis Reiner and Freeholder Director John Lanza presented Sheriff Brown with citations from the
New Jersey Assembly and Hunterdon County Freeholder Board.
Scouts presented Fred Brown, Hunterdon County’s highly popular second term Sheriff, with the Distinguished Citizen Award and followed with a most gracious acceptance speech, thanking the Scouts, his fellow elected officials, colleagues past and present on the police force and “most importantly” he said, his “wife Pamela and their sons.”
As a surprise to all but the host committee and Sheriff Brown, long time Eagle Scout and Flemington resident, “Captain” Craig Proctor was presented with the “National Outstanding Eagle Scout Award” bestowed upon only those select Eagle Scouts who distinguish themselves over a lifetime. “For decades, this man gave everything he had to enhance the lives of so many young people. No Eagle Scout could deserve this more,” said Benjamin.
Soon after the bugler played Taps and with the colors retired, long time Eagle Scout and event committee member Raymond Vanden Berghe proudly stated, “What a spectacular evening – the best ever! Fred was such a deserving honoree, Craig got recognition he deserves and I think everyone had a good time!”