2008 Recipient: John Gikas
Longtime board member John Gikas received the President’s Award in 2008 on the occasion of his retirement from the Board of Directors after three decades of service to Crotched Mountain. John, who owned a manufacturing company in Manchester during his career, was a dependable source of business advice and a key leader of the Board of Directors throughout his tenure. He worked diligently and continually to develop sources of support for the Foundation’s work, always in a modest and unassuming manner. John was a true gentleman. In recognition for his distinguished service, John was presented with the President’s Award “to recognize a friend of Crotched Mountain whose leadership in service and advocacy on behalf of children and adults with disabilities has been exceptional.”
2003 Recipient: Don Kent
In the 1960s, when Don Kent was at the height of his popularity as the WBZ-TV weatherman, he gave some weather-monitoring equipment to Crotched Mountain and encouraged the children to call in their weather reports. And every day on his noontime broadcast he would tell all of New England about the weather in Greenfield, “From the kids at Crotched Mountain.” He invited some of the youngsters to appear on his show and for many years he was Crotched Mountain’s honorary annual appeal chairman. Don Kent inspired many people who first heard about Crotched Mountain from his weather show.
Don and his wife Miriam returned to Crotched Mountain in the fall of 2003 for a tribute celebrating over 40 years of friendship.
Don Kent was a loyal friend and supporter of Crotched Mountain until his death in 2010. His generous spirit helped to change the way the world views people with disabilities. We will be forever grateful and we honor his memory.
1998 Recipient: Thomas Lacey II, MD
Retired orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Thomas Lacey, II of Keene, NH was named the second recipient of the Crotched Mountain Foundation President's Award at a trustees meeting. The honor is periodically bestowed upon a friend of the organization whose leadership in service and advocacy on behalf of children and adults with disabilities has been exceptional. The first President's Award was given in 1996 to Harriett Hasty Gregg, whose husband Harry Alan Gregg founded the organization.
The presentation of the framed award was made at Dr. Lacey's home by Major Wheelock, president of Crotched Mountain Foundation, along with chairman of the board Philip DuBois, directors Benjamin Gayman and Caibre McCann, and vice president of marketing, Chester Bowles. Additionally, the group gave Dr. Lacey a scrapbook which chronicled his service to Crotched Mountain, along with a framed photo of him (circa 1953), and an inscribed copy of Genuine Reality, a book about William James, the father of American psychology, whom Dr. Lacey often quotes.
Like his father, grandfather, and his great-grandfather, Dr. Lacey became a physician. He graduated from Harvard (1941) and the University of Rochester Medical School (1944), where he specialized in the field of othropaedics. In 1951, he returned to his hometown to join the Keene Clinic where he practiced for 34 years. At the time, he found that fully 25% of his patients were polio victims.
Dr. Lacey's association with Crotched Mountain dates back to 1953, when the rehabilitation center first opened its doors. In addition to being a member of the medical advisory staff, Dr. Lacey served faithfully as a trustee from the time of his election in 1967. Over the years, Dr. Lacey served on the Human Rights Committee, the Development Committee, and was the first chair of the Programs and Services Committee. In 1989 he became an original trustee of the Harry Alan Gregg Foundation which awards grants to New Hampshire citizens with disabilities and their families.
Some years ago, Dr. Lacey wrote an article addressing issues faced by families of a child with a disability. One parent was so moved by his words, that she wrote a letter of appreciation from which Major Wheelock quoted during the trustee's meeting at which Dr. Lacey was nominated. "Our family has gone through some difficult times over the years, when present and future worries seemed overwhelming. It was one of those times that I received this article. It gave me inspiration and hope that there are people like Dr. Lacey who really do care, understand and take time from their busy lives to make life better for someone else. He gives families back their hope."
1996 Recipient: Harriet (Hasty) Gregg
Harriett Hasty Gregg (June 15, 1910-September 23, 1996) was born in Arlington, MA, the daughter of Charles S. and Fanny A. (Childs) Hasty of Reading, MA. She was married to Harry Alan Gregg, founder of the Crotched Mountain Foundation. Together they worked tirelessly to build and endow the Foundation which was so much a part of their lives.
On August 27, 1996, Harriett was given the first Crotched Mountain Foundation President's Award in recognition of her dedicated and sustained efforts to improve and enrich the lives of individuals with disabilities.
She was a painter, a lover of the arts and had a special interest in landscape gardening. She was a member of the Fine Arts Society, Ringling School of Arts Library Association, Friends of Arts and Sciences, the University Club, and the Sarasota (FL) Yacht Club.