DPD Taps Dr. Bret Hartman and Councilman Jay Dunham for Prestigious Awards

There was golf, camaraderie, food, prizes, Miss New Jersey, and libations. But for most, the main attraction was honoring two township men and acknowledging their selfless contributions benefiting Jefferson: Dr. Bret Hartman and municipal council member Jay Dunham.

Miss New Jersey, Kaitlyn Schoeffel, joined the golfers for some conversation and spoke at the dinner. (Photo: Maria Weiskott)
Blue sky, perfect temperatures … it was perfect golfing weather for those who turned out for the annual Wiegand Farm Golf Classic at Crystal Springs Resort in nearby Hamburg. (Photo: Maria Weiskott)

Well over 450 were in attendance as the men were honored on June 25 during a dinner following the annual Wiegand Farm Golf Classic at Crystal Springs Resort in nearby Hamburg.

More than 450 attendees filled the banquet hall at the Crystal Springs Resort. (Photo: Maria Weiskott)
Après golf: In between golf and dinner, attendees enjoyed catching up with friends, making new friends, and enjoying the camaraderie found at the annual classic. (Photo: Maria Weiskott)

Hartman received the 2018 Humanitarian of the Year Award, which is given to a person who displays kindness and a willingness to help those in need. A doctor of chiropractic, he owns Total Wellness of New Jersey, a holistic family wellness and chiropractic center. He currently serves as president of the Jefferson Township Chamber of Commerce.

Dunham was presented with the Jack Kelly Community Leadership Award, which honors a public servant who has made a lasting impact on the community. Vice president of the township council, he has also served in many other capacities throughout Jefferson.

The golf classic, now in its 44th year, has grown into one of the longest running charity golf outings in New Jersey, according to Chris Brancato, event chair. He tells The Jefferson Chronicle that last year, the event raised more than $100,000.

Event chair Chris Brancato and his wife, Jaclyn. (Photo: Maria Weiskott)

The Wiegand Farm Golf Classic is hosted by the Department for Persons with Disabilities (DPD – Catholic Charities, Diocese of Paterson). The DPD, a nonprofit organization in Jefferson Township, serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through a vocational day program and three group homes. Brancato is director of development and public relations.

Après golf: In between golf and dinner, attendees enjoyed catching up with friends, making new friends, and enjoying the camaraderie found at the annual classic. (Photo: Maria Weiskott)

Selfless Giving

“The Humanitarian of the Year is given annually to a person who exemplifies the ideals of Catholic social teaching, displaying kindness and willingness to help those in need,” according to DPD, and “has contributed to the department’s advancement, as well as Catholic Charities, the Diocese of Paterson, and their individual community.”

Through Hartman’s leadership as president, the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce established the annual Doris Roberts Business Scholarship given to a student, an annual food drive contributing to local food banks, volunteer projects for various events and programs in the township, and an annual awards dinner honoring teachers, public servants, nonprofits, and businesses. The chamber also works with local officials to combat the opioid epidemic.

In addition, Hartman personally hosts the Chiropractic Gives Back Golf Outing. Proceeds go to scholarships for Operation Camp Jefferson and Hearts and Hands of Jefferson Township.

The DPD salute to him states that he is a “dedicated supporter of the Department for Persons with Disabilities and the Wiegand Farm Golf Classic. He is an exemplary role model who cares deeply for the Jefferson Township community and those in need.”

The Jack Kelly Community Leadership Award is named in honor of the founder of the Wiegand Farm Golf Classic.

In addition to serving on the Jefferson Township Municipal Council, award honoree Jay Dunham is quartermaster of VFW Post 564 as well as chaplain and firing squad commander of American Legion Post 423. A Vietnam veteran, he is past commander of both the Legion and VFW posts. He is also a member of the Milton First Aid Squad and the township’s Historical Society.

Jefferson Township council member Jay Dunham (pictured with his wife, Bonnie-Jo) received the Jack Kelly Leadership Award. (Photo: Maria Weiskott)

In other community involvement, Dunham served on the Morris/Sussex Superior Court Neighborhood Dispute Committee for more than 20 years. He is a founding member of the Jefferson Township Veterans Memorial Committee and a past member of the Jefferson Arts Committee and Jefferson Highlights Public Access TV.

Dunham currently serves on the finance committee of St. Thomas the Apostle R. C. Church in Oak Ridge, and is the municipal council’s liaison to both the Milton Golden Age Club and the Jefferson Township Library.

Knights of Columbus New Jersey State Deputy Bob Hatler was also honored during the dinner as Knight of the Year. The honor is presented to a “Catholic gentleman” who embodies the Knights’ four core principles: charity, unity, fraternity, and patriotism. He is a resident of Rutherford.

Volunteers, volunteers, and more volunteers were on hand to assist with everything including selling raffle tickets, setting up prize tables, and directing traffic at mealtime. Among the Wiegand Farm volunteers, pictured here, were Diane Madsen, Elisa DeYoung, Roberta Salvemini, Kathleen Peterson, Kim Tackett, Kate Saporito, Stacey Kerstner, Jean Nicholas, Emma Nicholas, Hope Eder, and Tascha Spagna. (Photo: Maria Weiskott)
Volunteers, volunteers, and more volunteers were on hand to assist with everything including selling raffle tickets, setting up prize tables, and directing traffic at mealtime. Among the Wiegand Farm volunteers, pictured here, were Diane Madsen, Elisa DeYoung, Roberta Salvemini, Kathleen Peterson, Kim Tackett, Kate Saporito, Stacey Kerstner, Jean Nicholas, Emma Nicholas, Hope Eder, and Tascha Spagna. (Photo: Maria Weiskott)

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Maria Weiskott is a Jefferson Township resident and a forty year veteran of the publishing profession. An award-winning journalist and editor, she served in top managerial positions at numerous business-to- business newspapers and magazines including Reed Elsevier and Fairchild Publications. Early in her career she operated a local newspaper in the Passaic Valley towns of Little Falls, Totowa and the former West Paterson. Following retirement, she launched a “ghostblogging” service that provides social networking update and blogging services for small and medium sized businesses. Maria travels widely with her husband and is a passionate photographer. She can be reached at maria.weiskott@thejeffersonchronicle.com.

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