Brett Grande Named a “Good Citizen”

February 7, 2014

Staff Photo by Bob Gibbs Brett Grande surrounded by his wife, Keri and children Hannah and Ethan following the presentation of the Good Citizen Award.

by Bob Gibbs

Citizens Bank and Volunteer NH have named Brett Grande a “Good Citizen” for his outstanding commitment to the Salem community.  The Good Citizen award is a new volunteer recognition program that honors people who demonstrate an exceptional commitment to volunteerism and, through their efforts, strengthen the communities where they live and work.  As part of the award, a $250 donation was made in Grande’s honor to Salem New Hampshire Softball.

The presentation of the award and the donation were made at the Knightly meeting room at Salem Town Hall.  Making the presentation were Holly Doherty of Citizens Bank and Charles Caldwell of Volunteer NH.  Attending the ceremony were Brett’s wife Keri, their 10-year-old daughter, Hannah and seven year old son, Ethan.  Both children attend the Lancaster School in Salem.  Brett also had other friends and family in attendance.

Brett has been a Salem resident since 1987.  When his son Ethan started playing T-ball, Brett volunteered as the team’s coach.  And with his daughter Hannah playing softball, Brett came to the aid of the softball team and the league.  Brett gives his wife Keri much of the credit for his volunteerism.  Between his volunteering, Brett finds time to get to his profession of automobile technician at Bonneville, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge in Manchester.

“Brett is a true asset to the Salem community,” said Holly Doherty, Mortgage Loan Officer at Citizens Bank.  “His passion and leadership unite people around a common goal – to make the Town of Salem a better place to live.  We are proud to work with Volunteer NH to showcase people like Brett and the tremendous work they do in our New Hampshire communities.”

Grande is known as a go-getter in Salem.  In 2012, when the traditional holiday parade was in danger of being shut down, he volunteered to chair the event.  He rallied hundreds of local businesses and citizens and helped raise more than $10,000 to keep the parade going.  Grande continues to serve as chairman and helps make the parade bigger and better each year.

“Brett saved a town tradition,” said Dawn Twombly, a member of the parade committee.  “This annual event brings the entire community together and creates a palpable sense of joy and camaraderie, something that is much needed today.  Brett’s passion to help others inspires people to get involved and I am a prime example of that.  We couldn’t thank him enough for all that he does for our community.”

Grande is also president of Salem NH Softball and previously served as its vice president of operations.  He coaches a recreational and tournament team each year.

Gretchen Berger-Wabuti, Executive Director at Volunteer NH, stated, “One of the key traits of volunteerism is that it is not only nice, but necessary.  Brett has demonstrated just how much can be accomplished when people step up.”

Volunteer NH, a non-profit organization that promotes volunteerism and service in New Hampshire, sponsors and supports national service initiatives such as AmeriCorps.  It also provides training, a volunteer matching service and volunteer recognition programs.

The Good Citizen Award is part of Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities, the bank’s program designed to contribute to the economic vitality of the communities it serves.  The awards will be presented on a monthly basis through November 2014, when all Good Citizens will be honored at the Spirit of New Hampshire Awards ceremony.

Good Citizen Award nominations can be made online at www.volunteernh.org.  Nominations are evaluated based on the long-term impact of the nominee’s service and how they have inspired others to get involved or contributed to a culture of volunteerism.  Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.  Questions may be directed to Charles Caldwell, Administrative Outreach Officer, Volunteer NH at 271-7200 or by sending an E-mail to recognition@volunteernh.org.

Grounded in the belief that a good bank gives back to its community and to the people who live there, Citizens Helping Citizens is a program embracing the community goals of RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc. – the commercial bank holding company serving consumer and small business customers as Citizens Bank and Charter One and commercial banking customers as RBS Citizens.  The Citizens Helping Citizens program is composed of five key initiatives supported directly by RBSCFG and its nonprofit charitable foundations, the Citizens Charitable Foundation, the Citizens Bank Foundation and the Charter One Foundation: Citizens Helping Citizens Fight Hunger, Citizens Helping Citizens Provide Shelter, Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities (economic development), Citizens Helping Citizens Teach Money Management (financial education) and Citizens Helping Citizens Give (volunteerism and colleague charitable donations). Across all of these initiatives, Citizens Helping Citizens strives to enhance quality of life and economic vitality in local communities.