By Marie Pfeifer
“We are thrilled to honor these great men. Both are incredible ambassadors to the Morristown Neighborhood House,” said Katie Olsen, director of development for Cornerstone Family Programs, the new parent organization of the Neighborhood House.
The Nabe, as it’s known around town, has been helping immigrants and working families since 1898.
Friday’s celebration is the major fundraiser for the nonprofit; some 175 guests are expected and the evening is anticipated to raise $100,000, Olsen said.
Tickets are going fast. Call 973-538-1229 ext. 20 or ext. 15, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations.
Co-chaired by Judy Pierce of Cornerstone’s board and Bette Simmons, a former Neighborhood House board member, the program will include a cocktail hour, silent auction, and dance and music programs.
Cornerstone CEO Patrice Picard and Dr. Judy Banks, a local obstetrician who spent time at the Nabe in her youth, are scheduled to speak. College students Asante Hohn and Melissa Cedano will describe their experiences in the Nabe’s “High School Incentive Tutoring and Mentoring Program.”
As a “champion and huge supporter” of that tutoring program, Thomas Welsh has been named Volunteer of the Year, Olsen said.
The program places underprivileged high school students in jobs tutoring elementary school students, and also positions them for summer internships with local businesses and organizations.
“We could not manage without the help of our volunteers. They are an integral part of our organization,” said Patrice Picard, Cornerstone’s CEO.
Welsh, a former Marine pilot who served in Vietnam, has spearheaded efforts to secure internships and raise money–some $20,000 last year–to pay tutors.
He is a principal in Welsh Chester Galiney Matone Inc., a Morristown firm specializing in commercial real estate appraisal and advisory services. A member of the American Arbitration Association, he holds a degree in accounting from Long Island University’s C.W. Post College and worked in New York as an accountant before joining the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War.
Welsh logged more than 2,000 hours of flight time and attained the rank of captain.
He has served on the boards of the New Jersey Battered Women Association, the Memorial Health Foundation, the Atlantic Health Management Corporation, the New Jersey Automobile Club, the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, Morris 2000, and the South African
Leadership Development Program.
‘VOICE FOR THE VOICELESS’
Coughlin is being honored as a “Community Partner.” One of his videos helped the Neighborhood House rescue its after-school program amid state funding cutbacks. Another celebrated Cornerstone’s bicentennial. A Nabe staff member served as a judge at this summer’s MorristownGreen.com Film Festival.
“Kevin is a true Community Partner, reporting and highlighting activities and events at the Nabe before other media outlets,” said Olsen.
The Rutgers University graduate formerly covered technology for The Star-Ledger. He helped launch MorristownGreen.com for the paper in late 2007, and re-launched the local news site as his own venture in 2010 after leaving the Ledger.
Pastor Sidney Williams Jr. called Coughlin “a voice for the voiceless in our community [with a] commitment to building our community. Every town should invest in someone like Kevin. I still find it amazing that he is self-funded.”
Coughlin said the Neighborhood House recognition was a pleasant surprise.
“This means a lot,” said the former MIT Knight Science Journalism Fellow. “I have enormous respect for the Nabe for fighting the good fight every day.”