The Red Bandanna Service Award was established in 2008 by the Crowther family in honor of their son, Welles Remy Crowther, a volunteer firefighter and equities trader who, on September 11, 2001, lost his life saving, it is estimated, between 5 and 12 others. The award was created in the spirit of Bonnie Brae’s mission to create an environment where young men reclaim their potential through education and therapy and is presented at the Bonnie Brae Polo Classic, to an individual or group who has shown initiative and dedication in support of children in need.
Bonnie Brae and the Welles Remy Crowther Charitable Trust are proud to present this year’s Red Bandanna Award to Pastor Timothy Hart. Tim came to Bonnie Brae 20 years ago as a troubled teenager. Angry and addicted to drugs, Tim had lost his will to live and had no one to turn to. In his own words, he was a complete failure and had damaged every relationship and burned every bridge. Bonnie Brae helped Tim discover that his life was worth living and that he had something to contribute. Since leaving Bonnie Brae, Tim has devoted his life to sharing his gifts serving and mentoring others. Tim’s journey was not an easy one, but through God’s grace, many special people, and Bonnie Brae, he was able to turn adversity into opportunity, using his personal experiences to offer hope, encouragement and empowerment to others.
Tim has served as Senior Pastor of the Garden Chapel in Dover for the past 5 years, and continues to serve as an Associate Pastor at the Christian Faith Center in Bloomfield NJ, where he was the Youth Director for over 10 years. In addition to serving those in his faith community, Tim pays it forward every day by mentoring young people throughout the community. When he isn’t working full time at a local State University, Tim might be found: speaking to youth at local juvenile facilities; offering support, advocacy and guidance to those struggling with substance abuse, addiction or behavioral challenges, oftentimes guiding them to treatment and assisting them with court proceedings; visiting, offering hope, and lending an ear to those suffering in hospitals; and even playing basketball with local teens. He is particularly proud of the fact that he is able to give back to Bonnie Brae, as he often says, “I can say with utmost certainty that if it weren’t for Bonnie Brae I would not be here today.”
Tim finds his greatest joy and inspiration in the eyes of his wife, Maria, his daughter Melody, and his ‘adopted’ son Adrian. They give him the strength to live his personal mission and belief that “you can change the world, one person at a time….and you never forget where you came from by always giving back.”
The Man in the Red Bandanna
Welles Remy Crowther – a man of distinction, a lacrosse and ice hockey player, Welles was working at Sandler O’Neil & Partners on the 104th floor of 2 World Trade Center when the attacks began. At that moment, firefighting overshadowed equities trading. Welles’ final hour remained a mystery until an article printed in The New York Times (5/26/02) mentioned eyewitness reports of the appearance of a mysterious man on the 78th floor Sky Lobby after the second plane crashed into the South Tower. He was stripped to his T-shirt and wearing a red bandanna to cover his nose and mouth, protection against the smoke and debris. This man organized a rescue effort on the floors high above where official rescue workers weren’t able to reach. Knowing that her son always carried a red bandanna in his back right pocket, Welles’ mother Alison Crowther, believed that the description of the mysterious man fit her son. When sent photographs, eyewitnesses confirmed that Welles Crowther was indeed the “Man in the Red Bandanna”. He was recovered on March 19, 2002 along with NYFD firefighters and emergency services personnel who had been on their way back up the South Tower to free victims who were trapped under debris. In 2006, Welles was made an honorary member of the FDNY, only the second time in the history of the department that the honor has been granted posthumously.
The Welles Remy Crowther Charitable Trust was established in September, 2001 by the Crowther family to honor and keep their beloved son’s memory alive. The mission of the Trust is to assist young people to become exemplary adults through education, health, recreation and character development. The Trust provides scholarships and supports other not-for-profit organizations that benefit young people through annual gifts and special awards.