Beth Berry, a tireless champion for youth and those living on the margins, recently received Northfield Rotary’s Good Neighbor Award.

The award is given annually to an individual outside the club whose work in the community reflects the Rotary club’s motto of “service above self.”

Berry worked as a school counselor for many years, but is probably best known as founder of TORCH (Tackling Obstacles and Raising College Hopes), a successful program that provides first generation students a pathway to higher education.

Scott Wopata, executive director of Northfield’s Community Action Center (CAC), the person who nominated Beth for the award, said Beth’s contribution to community cohesion and service work extends far beyond TORCH. In his nominating statement Scott wrote: Beth is a “tireless, fierce and strong advocate….championing countless causes, often behind the scenes.”

He cited her work with numerous programs at CAC, including making diapers and feminine hygiene products available at the food shelf, her mentoring of countless youth and her leadership in helping raise $3 million for the Hillcrest Village sustainable housing project.

“Beth has spent a career building up programs (like TORCH) that have served the greater community, specifically individuals who lacked access to traditional, mainstream programs,” Scott wrote.

At a recent meeting, Rotary recognized Beth with a Paul Harris Fellowship representing a $1,000 donation in her name to the Rotary Foundation and a stipend.

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