Jayson Brennen Honored with Pat Jewett Appreciation Award

March 15, 2019

 

by Len Lathrop

The Pat Jewett Appreciation Award is given annually to a Litchfield resident who has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to public and community service in the Town of Litchfield, possessing those same characteristics of M. Patricia Jewett that cemented her legacy of public and civic service into the annals of town history.

This is the fifth time that selectmen have called a citizen before them to be honored, following in the footsteps of Pat Jewett and the other award honorees, Margaret Parent, Linda Peoples, and Barry Bean, the 2019 honoree is Jayson Brennen.

Laura Gandia spoke about Bennen, his nomination and accomplishments in Litchfield.  Thanks were given to Kim Bedard, Sandra Ray, Steve Gannon, Karen White, and Pete Psalades for submitting his name.  Psalades noted that Jayson started volunteering with youth sports coaching numerous teams and was on the planning board for many years, while Gannon pointed out his unselfish contributions such as being the driving force behind getting the river access created and the beautification fund which will be used for projects around town such as the new fence at Moore’s Falls parking lot.

Gandia told those assembled in the selectmen’s room to overflowing into the lobby what she knew and had learned about the man from the nominations and from interviewing him. She pointed out that there was one common theme — “Jayson is a doer, one who undertakes various tasks and projects and completes them with great success.”

Jayson has been a resident of the town for 19 years with his wife Judy, where they raised two children, Jayla, 24 and Tyler, 22 who are both Campbell High School graduates. Jayson works in environmental engineering.

Starting in 2004 he volunteered in many sporting activities, coaching numerous teams when the children were young.  Those include Baseball, Softball, Basketball, Soccer, and Travel Basketball.  He ran Volleyball Clinic for Litchfield middle and high school girls, and even filled in as Campbell JV Basketball coach. Jayson proudly mentioned he was 2-0 in that role, holding up two fingers.  Starting in 2008 he was the master of ceremonies and DJ at the Blast Softball events and even tried his hand at being an opening act at several comedy night fundraisers.

Away from the sports in town Jayson was a member of the planning board and served many years as vice chair; he represented the town at the Nashua Regional Planning Commission, worked with Pennichuck Water to complete aerial mapping of the town at no cost to the town, and assisted in developing computerized parcel mapping of the town.  He also completed the annual EPA mandated storm water reports for Litchfield.

In 2017, from citizen’s request via the Litchfield “What’s Up” Facebook page and the “stick a dot on the map“ which allows people who have ideas for the town to state their wants, Jayson developed and administrated both electronic media sites.  That is where the River Access Project began and, with a group of 12 members, developed the low-impact carry-in river access site; the plan was approved by Litchfield Conservation and Board of Selectmen.  With the help of the committee and many donations from local companies, the river access opened in 2018.

Another social media suggestion started the drive for the Town Beautification fund which, with donations and fundraising from a calendar project Fencing at the “north-end” conservation area, has been installed.  Next is signage to help people find their way near Hillcrest Road and Charles Bancroft Highway and beautifying the town hall area.

Gandia had asked Jayson when they met “why do you do all of these things?”  His answer was “he really just wants Litchfield to be a place where people enjoy a high quality of life in a beautiful town;” he continued that “we are fortunate to live in a beautiful community.”

Jayson spoke about not doing these things alone as he accepted the award and even had gifts for the folks who worked alongside of him on these projects.  The best tale was from 2008-ish when there was a softball tournament coming to Litchfield and Talent Hall was covered with graffiti.  Jayson and crew went to the selectmen asking permission to paint it “at no cost to the town.”  After they complained about insurance and the softball organization had a rider, the selectmen still said no.  On his way out of the building, Jayson stated there was Pat shaking her head and telling him to just go do it.

All the speakers on Monday spoke of how Jayson and Pat worked in the same manner and Jayson has Litchfield in his blood.