Graduates of Distinction Dinner to honor five
The Lehighton Education and Athletic Foundation will be hosting its second Graduates of Distinction Dinner on June 17. Graduates of Distinction serve as role models for Lehighton students and as symbols of the high caliber of students produced by the district, according to LEAF President Hugh Dugan.
This year's dinner will be held at the Mahoning Valley Country Club at 7 p.m. with a pre-dinner cocktail hour starting at 6 p.m.
Tickets for the event are $30 and can be purchased at the Larry Markley Insurance Agency at Fifth and Coal streets in Lehighton, or by contacting Tim Tkach (email@example.com or 610-377-4490) or Hugh Dugan (firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-554-4864).
Additional information is available on the LEAF website, http://www.leaf-foundation.org, or on its Facebook page.
The inductees for the class of 2017 are:
Betty Mullen Brey
Betty Mullen Brey was the world record holder in the 100-yard and 100-meter butterfly stroke in 1955 and 1956.
In the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia, she was a member of the silver medal 400-meter freestyle relay team.
Brey also won medals in the Pan American Games in Mexico and Argentina. She was a physical therapist and first lieutenant in the Women's Specialists Medical Corps at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C.
She worked with rehabilitation for Army veteran amputees. She was also a professor and swim team coach at George Washington University.
Brey has won numerous other awards. A statue honoring her accomplishments is slated to be built in the Weissport Park with dedication tentatively scheduled for September 2017.
Tina Berger Dowd
Tina Berger Dowd is the co-founder of Sundance Vacations, which has grown from a small startup to the Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest growing companies.
Sundance Vacations received this award in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
In 2010, Dowd was named Employer of the Year for Women in Business.
Over 25 years her company has received many Stevie Business Awards such as the top Customer Service Team in 2014, Sales Department of the Year 2013, Best use of Technology in Customer Service 2016, best places to work, and a healthy workplace award.
Dowd also gives her time and service to several charities.
She was recognized as "Outstanding Philanthropist" by the Northeast PA Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2014 and 2015. She has also joined forces with a group of six other local philanthropists to form the "Carbon County Community Foundation."
She was one of the founders of a homeless shelter program in Carbon County called Family Promise and currently serves on the board.
This successful program serves 4,704 meals per year, provides 3,300 bed nights and coordinates 9,546 hours annually.
Dr. Harold J. Frey
Dr. Frey was the gymnastics coach at the University of Illinois for 10 years and at the University of California for 40 years.
While at Penn State, he won the gold medal in tumbling at NAAU in 1944 as well as medaling in three additional NMU events. At the University of Illinois, he coached his teams to gold three times and to four undefeated seasons.
He also coached soccer and led his undefeated team to the Midwest Soccer championship in 1956. At the University of California, he served 27 years as head coach and was elected the NCAA Coach of the Year three times. His teams won 12 PAC-8 Conference championships.
He served as a judge for gymnastics at all levels including NCAA and NCAU Championships, Olympic trials, international meets, and also served as chair of the NCAA rules committee. Harold was named as one of 10 members of the U.S. Olympic Team in 1944 but because of World War II, no games were held.
Capt. Robert Holford
Capt. Robert Holford graduated with honors from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1961.
Over his flying career he had five combat tours in Vietnam, where he flew a combined total of 350 combat missions and completed 950 carrier landings. He was awarded 64 medals over his career some of which were the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, Navy Commendation Medal with Combat Device, Presidential Unit Citation, National Defense Service Medal, Joint Meritorious Service Medal, and Vietnam Gallantry Cross.
In 1976, he began the first of three tours in the Pentagon working for the chief of Naval Operations as the Deputy Director Politico-Military Policy and Current Plans Division.
After his first two tours in the Pentagon, he was assigned to teach at the National War College in Washington, D.C., and created the course in congressional politics for prospective officers in congressional liaison work.
He followed that tour with an assignment under the secretary of state as the naval attache to Pakistan and then as the naval attache to Canada.
Dennis Seiwell has been a professional musician for almost 50 years. He has to his credit more than 200 compact discs, records, movie soundtracks, television shows and television commercials.
He was the first musician invited by Paul McCartney to become a member of his new band "Wings" following the breakup of the Beatles. He recorded three albums as the drummer with Wings and participated in many big singles.
His most recent endeavor was to write a drum instruction manual which is currently available for sale in the music industry.
Seiwell has devoted more than 25 years to helping wayward musicians and artists regain their lives and careers. He has won the respect of his peers as both a musician and a humanitarian. He is still recording songs and playing live with a number of jazz and rock groups in the California area.