Hattie Brown Award Recipient for the 236th Fourth of July Celebration

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Dick Devault​

2021 Hattie Brown Award Recipient

The Bristol Fourth of July Committee presents the Hattie Brown Award each year to a Bristol resident who demonstrates the same spirit of community service that was so much the distinguishable trait of Hattie Brown.  This includes involvement in organizations and charities in town with extension statewide.


This year’s selection knew after retiring from a 30 year military career he needed to fill his available time with involvement in the community.  He found the solution when local barber “Burkie” suggested he join the Bristol Elks. In following that advice he quickly found many ways to contribute. He joined the Lodge Scholarship Committee and within a short period became chairman. With the support of the Elks he worked closely with local high schools to inform graduating students of the many Elks scholarships available at the local, state and national level. His scholarship role extended to the State level where for 10 years as Chairman of the Rhode State Elks Scholarship committee he ensured students throughout the state were informed on Elks scholarships. His involvement at all levels required chairing and establishing scoring committees to move selected applicants to the next step. The State program now distributes $40,000 a year in college scholarships to Rhode Island graduating seniors. Through the Bristol Elks Scholarship Committee with assistance from Mt Hope and Barrington High Schools he identifies one graduating senior each year from each school to receive Leadership recognition with a plaque and financial gift. He chaired the local Elks Americanism Essay Committee for many years that encouraged local elementary school students to write an Americanism essay that might reach the state and national level.


He joined the 4th of July Committee in 2004 with encouragement from Committee member Donna Falco and soon after assumed responsibilities as Chair of various subcommittees. In 2010 he became Vice Chairman/Parade Chairman and two years later General Chairman. He is a committed supported of the Elks East Bay Cares program which raises funds to purchase food for Food Banks and families in the Eastbay area. This involvement includes volunteering at the weekly Merrill Raffle, a major East Bay Cares fund raiser, that is conducted nearly every Saturday starting in October through March of the following year. As needed throughout the year he picks up food for delivery to food banks and individual families. He is a Poll worker and for several years has been Chairman of the Bristol Personnel Board. He retired from the United States Navy upon completion of 30 years of service with rank of Captain and has been married to Lydia for 50 plus years. They have two children Amy and Todd and four grandchildren: Annabel, Ella, Braedan and Lucas.