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32nd Annual Awards Dinner

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.  Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dear Friends,

It is our pleasure to extend to you an invitation to attend the 32nd Tri-County Scholarship Fund Annual Awards Dinner on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 6PM at the Hanover Marriott in Whippany, New Jersey.

Our greatest natural resource is our children.  As we celebrate 32 years of providing a values-based education for many children living at poverty levels in northern New Jersey, we ask for your support to help lift a child out of poverty and give him, or her, the hope of a brighter future.  It is up to each one of us.

A Word About Our Honorees, John C. Parry, Sr. Francis Raftery, S.C. and Walter and Irene Crum….

John C. Parry is Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Solix, Inc., a business process outsourcing provider for government, telecom, broadband, utility and healthcare organizations. Parry was elected to lead Solix in 2004 after serving as Executive Director of Program Operations at The National Exchange Carrier Association, Inc. (NECA) for six years. He has more than 40 years of experience including serving as President of Bell Atlantic Network Systems and Vice President of the Bell Atlantic Global Systems Company (now Verizon). As a Lieutenant in the United States Navy, Parry served in Vietnam and had various assignments in Surface Warfare, Aviation, Logistics and Intelligence during a 23-year career. He retired from the Navy Reserve as a Captain in 1990.

Under Parry’s leadership, the company has increased its revenue nearly 250 percent and has created hundreds of jobs in addition to completing two tactical acquisitions to complement Solix’s portfolio of services. The company also successfully entered the commercial market while expanding its services to the government sector.

Two hallmarks of Solix’s corporate culture fostered under Parry have been creating a flexible work environment and a commitment to promoting community service. Solix offers a diverse set of work/life policies, technical training and education assistance while also providing employees with two paid days for volunteer work and a matching gift program.  The company has earned six consecutive Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility and has been chosen as one of New Jersey’s ‘best places to work’ by NJBIZ magazine for four consecutive years. In 2012, Parry was invited to speak in Congress at a Briefing focused on workplace policies that help American businesses stay competitive in the global marketplace.

Parry’s educational background includes a BA in English from University of South Carolina and an MBA from Pace University.  He also completed the Tuck Executive Program at Dartmouth College. John and his wife Vicki have two daughters and six grandchildren.

Sr. Francis Raftery, S.C. finished her term as the sixth President of the College of St. Elizabeth in June of 2012.  Sister Francis holds a doctorate in education from New York University and a master of arts in guidance and counseling from Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.  A native of Kearny, NJ, she entered the Sisters of Charity after earning her bachelor’s degree in early childhood/elementary education from New Jersey City University.  She taught at the elementary and secondary levels before joining the College of Saint Elizabeth.

During her tenure, the school completed more than $54 million in projects on the campus, established its doctoral programs in educational leadership and counseling psychology, and added several master’s degrees.

As a professor of Education and department Chairperson, she designed and implemented the College’s Education major, its field experience component and its student/transfer advisement program.  The College of Saint Elizabeth bestowed on her its prestigious Seton Award in 1991 and she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Seton Hall University in 2004.  In June 2011, the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education honored Sister Francis with the Sister Rose Thering Award, given for her support of educational and community programs and activities that combat bias, bigotry and intolerance.

On June 7, 2013 the Board of trustees named Sister Francis President Emerita.

Walter and Irene Crum have served a combined total of more than 50 years teaching young men at Oratory Preparatory School in Summit, New Jersey.  Upon graduating from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1974, Wally, as his friends call him, joined the faculty at Oratory and taught all levels of Chemistry, Physics (and even Health and Physical Education when needed) for 35 years.  Wally also served as the Student Council Advisor for 25 years, moderated an early club ice hockey team and coached basketball.  His annual ski trips around the world have become part of Oratory lore.

For the past six years, he has served as the Director of Development and Alumni Relations at Oratory, spearheading a $10 Million capital campaign designed to improve facilities and make more scholarship money available to needy students.  Mr. Crum received the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award in 1994.

Irene is also a Science teacher.  She came to Oratory after 4 years at Union Catholic High School  in Scotch Plains.  Mrs. Crum received a B.S. in Biology from St. Peter’s College in 1975, and completed her Comprehensive Science K-12 N.J. Certification in 1976.  She has taught Science, Math and Religion courses in her 20+ years in education.  The Crums have four sons who attended Oratory and, in addition to two granddaughters, a grandson who they hope will one day enter the Class of 2026!

A Word About Our Students…David Ortiz, a Tri-County scholar and Rutgers graduate, “beat the odds.”  He has since embarked on a career at GE where he is Manager of Human Resources.

“If you live in a great neighborhood you have doors open for you…kids that don’t…don’t have doors open for them.  Tri- County instilled in me the confidence to follow my dream.  Growing up in Paterson, I was pulled in many directions.  However, I developed a positive inner voice and decided I wasn’t going to hang out with certain friends and that I had to do what was right for me.  The people at Tri-County saw my potential and encouraged me to reach for my goals.  It’s different when someone outside your family sees your potential, than trying to realize this on your own.  You can’t put a dollar sign on that.  Their encouragement started a spark in me and gave me hope to believe in myself and to reach for my dream.  My dream was to leave Paterson, work for a good company, get married and start a family.  I’m now living my dream and giving hope to others so that they can reach for their dreams.”

David is now a board member for Community Shelter Services where he is developing a plan that will give people the skills to attain jobs in local manufacturing companies in Erie, Pennsylvania.

A Word About Our Results…Since 1981, Tri-County has funded over 30,000 scholarships to students from kindergarten through 12th grade which have changed the lives of thousands of children.  With your support you will be changing lives, one student at a time.  Truly, there is no better return on your investment.  This year, 99% of Tri-County seniors graduated from high school and virtually that entire group is headed to college this Fall, most of them the first in their families to do so.  Our students count on the generosity of friends and donors.  With average single parent family incomes of $28,000, they cannot succeed without your help.  So please, right now, take a minute to send your check for dinner tickets, a table, and/or an ad in our program journal.

On behalf of all the students of the Tri-County Scholarship Fund, we sincerely thank you.  We look forward to seeing you at the Tri-County Dinner on October 28th!


Paul Boudreau Dinner Chair

P.S. If you have questions, please call the Tri-County office at 973-984-9600.

Call 973-984-9600 to register for a Chancellor, Founder or Leader Sponsorship.


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