Visiting almost all fifty of the United States and all seven continents, Barbara J. Ferrier, Ph.D. was educated and encouraged by many individuals working to make their communities and countries a better place to live. On November 6, the avid traveler and lifelong educator will be recognized for her own noteworthy contributions at the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Westmoreland-Fayette Council 2013 Distinguished Citizen Dinner. The event, to be held November 6 at Saint Vincent College’s Fred Rogers Center, will honor the former teacher and administrator whose community work has benefitted women, children, families and the arts. A 6:30 p.m. dinner is planned, following a social at 5:30 p.m.
Since 2003, the Westmoreland-Fayette Council has sponsored the Distinguished Citizen program to recognize individuals for outstanding impact upon the Westmoreland County community. Funds raised from the annual recognition dinner will support the Council in carrying out the mission of the Scouting program, which reaches 7,000 youth and 2,000 adults and contributes 52,000 hours of community service annually in Westmoreland and Fayette Counties.
“Good citizenship is a key concept in the Scouting program,” said Matthew Dowling, Westmoreland-Fayette Council Development Director, who served on this year’s Distinguished Citizen committee. “Dr. Ferrier believes and lives the idea that ordinary people can make a significant difference, individually and collectively. She’s an inspiring role model to our Scouts and to all of us.”
Ferrier, an Erie native who is retired from the Hempfield School District, has served the Scouting movement in numerous capacities over the past 25 years. She currently serves as Chair of the Risk Management Committee, and has previously acted as Vice President for Membership and Administration, Chair for Council School Night and Scouting for Food. She has also been active on the Council’s Strategic Planning Committee and Eagle Scout Scholarship Selection Committee. Ferrier was presented with the Council’s Silver Beaver Award in 2008.
Outside of Scouting, organizations that have benefitted from Ferrier’s active brand of volunteerism include the Blackburn Center, Hempfield Foundation Committee, Penn State Extension, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Rotary International, Kiwanis, the United Way, YMCA, and YWCA.
"Those who have been blessed need to give back. I want to make sure that I leave a legacy into the future,” Ferrier said. “I feel strongly that I must give back since I have received so much. Opportunities in the BSA have allowed me to do that.
Previously named Distinguished Citizens include luminaries representing a variety of businesses, organizations, and movements in Westmoreland County: Judge John Driscoll (2011), Commissioner Charles Anderson (2010), Archabbot Douglas Nowicki, O.S.B. (2009), Dr. Stavinsky and Mr. Bellissimo (2008), John Skiavo (2007), Tony DeNunzio (2005), and Mr. Tom Sochacki (2003).
Committee members for this year’s Distinguished Citizen Dinner include several individuals who have worked closely with Ferrier and have been impacted by her work. Among them are Charles Anderson, Nancy Anderson, Linda Austin, Martin Barbie, Regina Beatty, Jim Bendel, Julie Cawoski, Ann Emmerling, Bobbi Watt Geer, Judith Hansen O’Toole, Dr. Ed Lewis, Malcolm Sias, Jeanne Smith, Jack Waite, and Mandy Zalich.
Further information on the 2013 Distinguished Citizen Dinner and tickets are available by contacting the Westmoreland-Fayette Council Scout Service Center at (724) 837-1360.