Tartan Ball to Honor Lou and Diane DiGiovanni
32nd ANNUAL BONNIE BRAE TARTAN BALL WILL HONOR LOUIS AND DIANE DIGIOVANNI WITH THE RED BANDANNA AWARD
On Saturday February 24, Bonnie Brae Residential Treatment Center, one of the nation’s preeminent therapeutic learning environments, will return to the era of the Rat Pack at “The Best is Yet to Come”, the 32nd Annual Bonnie Brae Tartan Ball. This year’s Ball will honor former Bonnie Brae Board of Trustees President, Louis DiGiovanni and his wife, Diane, with the prestigious Red Bandanna Award. The Red Bandanna 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 at least a ten people. The award was created in the spirit of Bonnie Brae’s mission and is presented by the Welles Remy Crowther Charitable Trust to an individual or group who has shown initiative in support of children in need.
CEO, Paul Rieger, states, “Lou and Diane have been an incredible gift to Bonnie Brae. They’ve served as ambassadors of our mission, and invested in our future. They both embody the spirit of this award in their dedication to the boys of Bonnie Brae and the staff who serve them.”
Lou served as President of the Bonnie Brae Board of Trustees from 2011 through 2017 and is the longest-tenured President in Bonnie Brae’s history. During Lou’s leadership Bonnie Brae received outstanding evaluations from the Joint Commission and the American Association of Children’s Residential Treatment Centers. Lou initiated the renovation of four cottages on campus; was instrumental in bringing solar power and sustainability to the Bonnie Brae campus; led Bonnie Brae through the opening of two community based transitional living homes; oversaw the hiring of CEO, Paul Rieger; added 13 new Trustees; and helped put into place a vision for a new family center and residential cottage on Bonnie Brae‘s main campus. Lou’s wife Diane, has been a pillar of support during Lou’s tenure, and has also played a pivotal role in helping Bonnie Brae. As a realtor, Diane helped Bonnie Brae acquire their two newest community based transitional living homes in Bound Brook and Bridgewater, which are home to 13 young men ages 16-21. Additionally, Diane has been actively involved in helping Bonnie Brae cultivate new friends at all Bonnie Brae special events.
In addition to honoring Lou and Diane DiGiovanni, this year’s Ball will serve as a forum for Bonnie Brae to share their progress on plans to build a premier family center and state of the art new cottage. These projects mark a turning point in Bonnie Brae’s commitment to young men and families and will help Bonnie Brae better provide life-changing services to their residents, giving them the greatest chance to heal and realize lasting change. CEO Rieger adds, “The family center will propel Bonnie Brae into a whole new dimension of care. Young men will be received into treatment with utmost compassion. We will have the space to educate Bonnie Brae families and families from the surrounding community about the challenging issues of today, including mental health, addictions and trauma. All are areas in which Bonnie Brae has amassed expertise through its 100 year history. The new cottage will maximize our potential for healing boys with formidable clinical and behavioral issues. Our goal is to touch more lives and help more youth and families achieve ‘Small Victories. Every Day.’” A project of this magnitude comes with significant investment. Reiger adds, “We’ve established a strong foundation: the Board of Trustees is 100% committed and several generous foundation partners and donors have pledged support, but we are actively seeking additional investors in our mission in order to make this dream a reality.”
The Tartan Ball will feature entertainment from the famous Bob Hardwick Sound, a live auction led by Nicholas M. Dawes, VP of Heritage Auctions as well as special events including a wine pull, scotch pull, basket auction, scotch bar, wine and cigar cellar -- all sponsored by local businesses, the Tartan Ball Committee and Bonnie Brae Board of Trustee members.
For more information about Bonnie Brae and attendance at the 32nd annual Tartan Ball, contact Maureen Hunt, Bonnie Brae’s Assistant Director of Development at 908 647-4700, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.bonniebraetartanball.org. If you’d like to learn more about the Welles Remy Crowther Charitable Trust you can visit www.crowthertrust.org.
About Bonnie Brae. Bonnie Brae is an extraordinary residential school and a safe place for boys and young men in crisis, ages 8-21. Accredited by the Joint Commission, Bonnie Brae is one of the nation’s preeminent therapeutic learning environments for troubled adolescent boys who have been neglected, abused or abandoned. Since 1916 when Bonnie Brae was founded by Judge Harry Osborne, we have helped over 10,000 boys at-risk. Today, Bonnie Brae serves 93 boys at their main campus in Bernards Township and 21 young men at transitional living homes in New Brunswick, Bound Brook and Bridgewater. Bonnie Brae’s mission is “Empowering youth and families to achieve small victories every day through comprehensive care and education.” For more than 100 years, when all other resources have failed, Bonnie Brae has been a refuge for New Jersey boys and young men.