Purple Heart recipient earns Lifetime Volunteerism Award

Richard "Dick" Benson is the recipient of the 2021 Robert B. Dornfried Sr. Lifetime Volunteerism Award.

A news release announcing the recognition states, “Dick is a Viet Nam veteran and Purple Heart recipient. He has dedicated his life to helping others; particularly veterans and their spouses.”

The longtime volunteer has served on the Republican Town Committee, Charter Review Commission, Police Commission, Veterans Committee and on the Joseph & Anthony Manzi Foundation Board of Directors.

Currently, Benson serves as a Trustee of the State Veterans Commission, and president of the Wilcox Cemetery in East Berlin. He is also a member of the Veterans Cemetery Committee.

Established in 2017, the Lifetime Volunteerism Award is bestowed annually, on a rotating basis, to a member of Berlin Little League, VFW, Lions Club and Italian Independent Political Club. In 2021, the award was open to all residents of Berlin.

Benson was selected by an independent review conducted by the previous four winners. A $500 donation in his name was made to the Joseph & Anthony Manzi Foundation.

As a Lifetime Volunteerism Award winner, Benson joins Charles Colaresi, Bill Petit, Paul Eshoo and Davey Alkas on a plaque that hangs in the Town Hall rotunda.

The late Robert B. Dornfried dedicated many years to volunteer work in Berlin, but was most proud of his military service. A member of the Army, Dornfried served in the Korean conflict, and was awarded a Bronze Star.





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