YMCA Recognizes Two Distinguished Citizens
Red Bank's David Prown and Oceanport's Peter Reinhart honored at annual ceremony at Molly Pitcher Inn.
David Prown’s approach to volunteerism is simple. Holding his hands spread wide as if he were priming a whopper about a catch on a river fishing trip, Prown said he thinks horizontally. It’s not about what he’s going to do, it’s about what he can do, and today.
Red Bank’s own Prown and Oceanport resident Peter Reinhart were recognized as YMCA’s Distinguished Citizen Service Award Reception winners at a reception held at the Molly Pitcher Inn Monday. Though their paths of volunteerism are different, each recipient shares the philosophy that there’s always a reason and always a way to help those in need.
Prown is the third generation owner of Prowns, a local home improvement store on Monmouth Street that was once a five a dime on Broad. For much of the past decade he’s dedicated his life to helping the borough’s children, volunteering with the YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, and Red Bank Charter School, among other organizations. He’s never given a check, he said; that’s not what he’s about. He works to pay the bills, and when that’s satisfied he pours nearly all his remaining time into volunteer efforts.
Reinhart is a – soon to be retired – vice president of K. Hovnanian. Hired more than 30 years ago by Kevork Hovnanian himself, Reinhart held the office directly next to the monolithic home builder until Hovnanian’s death just a couple of years ago. It was Hovnanian who first recommended Reinhart for a position on Meridian Health’s board of trustees. Reinhart has also served as chairman for Kaboom! Fireworks, Jersey Shore Partnership, and Bayshore Community Hospitals Board of Trustees, among other organizations.
Much of Reinhart’s desire to give back he credits to Hovnanian, who lauded the importance of personal relationships and the need to give back. He took the opportunity to spread the same message to the gathered crowd of about 100 during the award presentation.
“Everyone in this room has an expertise or a quality that can benefit someone,” he said. “If you’ve got the talent, desire and passion, give back.”
Though acknowledging the importance of giving back, for Prown volunteerism has never been what he would call a responsibility, a sacrifice of his time and effort. Instead, he said it’s just something that he was born with, something that’s a part of his internal makeup.
With the young ladies of the charter school basketball team he coaches sitting in the table in front of the podium, Prown talked about volunteerism as a necessary part of his life.
“I never want to go on vacation; I never want to leave Red Bank; I just want to stay here and help the kids,” Prown, who along with his wife has adopted three children, said.
Charter school Principal Meredith Pennotti introduced Prown as a man always in motion, unable to deviate from a master plan created years ago that includes a tireless dedication to area children.
Like the slogan that once defined Prown’s five and dime, Pennotti said Prown has everything.
“He is tireless, as what I call, the ultimate advocate for young people,” she said. “I can attest to the fact that there is no one, no one, who cares more about seeing that kids have a level playing field to compete on.”
Funds raised at the reception benefit the Y’s Strong Kids Campaign, which provides financial assistance to children and families who utilize YMCAs programs and services.