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A Joyous Celebration of Honoree Bev Sved and Volunteerism at the Scarsdale Bowl Dinner

DSC01990The Scarsdale Bowl Dinner celebrated honoree Bev Sved and the spirit of volunteerism at their annual dinner on Wednesday April 25, 2018 at the Fountainhead in New Rochelle.

Bev Sved’s long resume of volunteerism began with service on her neighborhood association in 1988 and from there took her to more volunteer roles than can be listed here, but included two terms as Scarsdale Village Trustee, Scarsdale Mayor, The Village Planning Board and ten years on the board of the Scarsdale Foundation. There is almost no community organization that she didn’t touch, serving on the Scarsdale Forum, the Scarsdale Procedure Committee, Scarsdale Edgemont Family Counseling, the LWV of Westchester and the Westchester County Historical Society and many more.

Most notable was her ability as Mayor to forge consensus on a contentious downtown development project on Christie Place, which resulted in the Christie Place apartments, retail spaces and parking, now enjoyed by so many.

Speakers noted Bev’s intelligence and problem solving skills, which may have been a result of her engineering prowess. Bev was one of only six women to graduate from Renssselaer Polytechnic Institute and enjoyed a long career at IBM as a system engineer, analyst and corporate strategist. She was also credited for her wry sense of humor.

DSC01899Terri Simon and Evelyn StockIn her welcoming remarks, Scarsdale Bowl Chair Terri Simon noted Scarsdale’s unique culture of volunteerism, saying, “Although tonight is a celebration to recognize Beverley’s extraordinary service, it is also an opportunity to acknowledge all of you. In this room are so many people who are deeply involved in the tradition of volunteerism, who work hard on behalf of our schools, our village government, and the gamut of civic, recreational, religious, and social service organizations. You have helped to make Scarsdale the exceptional community that it is and that we love. Thank you for all you do and for sharing in our festivities tonight.”

Simon greeted Sved’s sisters, March Wyatt and Emily Walsh along with the seventeen past recipients of the Bowl who attended the dinner. She invited this group to stand for applause – if they were able. Also in attendance were:

State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin
Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins
County Executive George Latimer
County Legislator Ben Boykin
Westchester County Family Judge Arlene Katz
Scarsdale Mayor Dan Hochvert
Deputy Village Manager Robert Cole
Village Justice, Jack Alemany
Acting Village Justice, Cindy Dunne
Scarsdale Library Director, Beth Bermel
Former Village Manager Al Gatta
Former Scarsdale Inquirer Editor Linda Leavitt

DSC01880The Scarsdale Bowl Committee

Simon thanked the members of the Scarsdale Bowl Committee for producing the evening and gave kudos to Treasurer Robert Jeremiah, who served four years as treasurer of the Bowl Committee.

Scarsdale Foundation President Randy Guggenheimer explained the work of the foundation that funds some community organizations, but primarily awards need-based college scholarships to Scarsdale students in their sophomore, junior and senior years. For the 2017-18 academic year the Foundation awarded over $120,000 in scholarships.

Evelyn Stock, herself the winner the 1997 winner of the Scarsdale Bowl spoke on behalf of her friend. Simon introduced Stock, saying that Evelyn “served as president and chair of virtually everything!” Stock called Sved a “dedicated, calm consensus builder … a proven team player who never micro manages … and solicits others points of view.” Most important she said Bev was “fun” to work with and a “has a wicked sense of humor.”

2015 Bowl recipient Peter Strauss worked with Bev as a trustee on the Village Board and was deputy mayor when she was the mayor. He said, “I have had the opportunity to serve with many kinds of leaders – you rank with the best of them.” He said Bev had a “backbone of steel,” coupled with “a gracious demeanor.” He complimented her on her courage and pioneering spirit and with “pushing the glass ceiling forward.”

Before presenting Sved with the silver Scarsdale Bowl, Simon said, “By exemplifying the value of unselfish devotion to the civic welfare of the community, Beverley, you have built a record of service that is truly remarkable. For almost thirty years, in parallel with a distinguished business career, you have consistently contributed to Scarsdale your perceptive intelligence, clear thinking, leadership talents and hard work with grace, humility, good humor, integrity, and personal decency.”

DSC01884The Board of the Scarsdale Foundation

In her acceptance speech Sved acknowledged all community volunteers, saying, “As I accept this award, I think of the hundreds of Scarsdale volunteers who may not be as visible as Planning Board Chairs and Mayors but are, without a doubt, just as deserving. I accept this award for all of us.”

She thanked Evelyn Stock, noting that “Luckily Evelyn, a former Bowl winner, was able to fit this into her schedule… she’s very busy picking up awards in the Village, County, and State for her volunteer contributions and of course winning recipe contests on National Public Radio for her lemon bars.”

Sved called Peter Strauss, “also a former Bowl winner, her deputy Mayor… Scarsdale Volunteer Ambulance Corps major cheer leader and, when he wasn’t riding around on snow plows scaring Al Gatta and Benny Salanitro to death, a consummate Trustee and later Mayor.”

She said, “Volunteerism is not just a Scarsdale tradition; it is a community-wide activity …. that shapes the character, personality and values of our community. Values such as our commitment to education and high quality services, our treating every resident with respect, and intolerance for anything other than civil discourse.”

Explaining why she volunteers, Sved said, “Volunteering has given me so much more than it has taken from me in time, attention, and yes a few stress-filled nights (hello Christie Place). I have been blessed to use my skills to solve problems, to mediate disputes, to take risks in areas that would otherwise never be open to me, and to develop long-term friendships with some pretty remarkable people. Along the way I gathered really great stories… most of which I can’t tell.”

She predicted that the recent changes in the tax laws would pose future challenges to Scarsdale and called on those in the room to step up to take on these issues.

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She closed by thanking Paul Sved, her husband of 47 years. She said, “This couldn’t have happened if you didn’t know how to cook dinner for yourself… this wouldn’t have happened if you weren’t so supportive. Thank you Paul.”

The evening was a well-timed, lighthearted, warm gathering of many neighbors who care so much about Scarsdale.

Thanks to the Bowl Committee and the Scarsdale Foundation.

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