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Democratic Town Committee to bestow honors for dedicated service

Date: 9/8/2009

By Katelyn Gendron

Reminder Assistant Editor

AGAWAM -- Jay Berger lived through an era of uncertainty -- a time when President Franklin D. Roosevelt enacted sweeping reforms to pull this country out of the Great Depression and toward economic stability.

Berger told Reminder Publications that FDR was "considered a god" in his household growing up, which led him to adopt the principles of the Democratic Party and later gain membership in the Agawam Democratic Committee. The organization will honor Berger for his service with the Lifetime Achievement Award at their annual brunch on Sept. 27.

"I didn't expect it," Berger said of the honor, adding that he's privileged to be in the company of Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray, who will be named Democrat of the Year.

Berger recalled that he chose to join the Agawam Democratic Committee 15 years ago because he believed its members had "the good of the town and the Commonwealth [in mind]."

Corinne Wingard, chair the Agawam Democratic Committee explained that Berger and Murray were chosen because they embody democratic principles in their life and work.

Berger said he supported Murray's appointment as Democrat of the Year because of his willingness to put the good of the Commonwealth before personal gain.

"I am very proud to receive this award from the Agawam Democratic Committee and thankful for the support they have given me over the years," Murray said. "The Agawam Democrats have been extremely active and engaged in state and local politics, and its members are some of the Commonwealth's staunchest advocates for Democratic ideals.

"With important elections on the horizon, I look forward to working closely with the Agawam Democrats to help advance our shared values and elect Democrats up and down the ballot," he continued.

The 2009 Agawam Democratic Committee Brunch will take place on Sept. 27 at 10 a.m. at Chez Joseph on Shoemaker Lane.

Congressman Richard Neal will be the keynote speaker and political consultant Tony Cignoli will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.

Tickets to the brunch are $25 and may be purchased by calling Wingard at 786-9467 or by contacting Kathy Arnold at 786-1285. Proceeds from the event will be used to support Democratic candidates and for student scholarships.