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BillLawrenceOnline Wins Franklin Award — BillLawrenceOnline.Com and Matt Rooney of SaveJersey.com are the 2012 winners of the Independence Hall Tea Party Association’s (IHTPA) Benjamin Franklin Award for Courageous Journalism.
The awards were presented this afternoon, Jan. 5, in a ceremony outside Independence Hall that followed a re-enactment of the Philadelphia Tea Party of 1773 starting with the readings of resolutions writing by Dr. Benjamin Rush and passed in Philadelphia on Oct. 16. WPHT talk show host Dom Giordano played the role of Dr. Rush in reading the resolutions with the crowd supplying the assenting votes. The Bostonians used the resolutions as justification for their more famous tea party on Dec. 16.
John Peteraf of the IHTPA’s board played the role of Captain Ayers who sailed his ship the Polly back to England on Dec. 27, 1773 after being warned what would befall him if he should attempt to unload his tea in Chester as planned.
The narrator was Tory McClintock, a senior at Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School, who recently served an internship with Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ).
Also receiving awards from the IHTPA were U.S. Congressman Allen West, 2012 Federal Legislator of the Year; Sen. Dave Lawson, 2012 Delaware State Legislator of the Year; Alison McHose, 2012 New Jersey State Legislator of the Year; and Rep. Daryl Metcalfe and Rep. Tom Quigley, 2012 Pennsylvania State Legislators of the Year.
Also a check was presented to Broad Street Ministry on behalf of the work they do for homeless veterans. Accepting the check was Joe Eastman, the retired naval officer who directs veterans service for the ministry. Eastman said more women are availing themselves of this service. He said they are learning that many women have been traumatized by sexual assault during their military service. He said Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) has been instrumental in investigating the problem and seeking ways to address it.
A panel discussion featuring Rooney, Bill Lawrence and former Highland New Jersey Mayor Anna C. Little was held following a hoagie brunch in the National Constitution Center upstairs banquet hall.
One very good reason to attend an IHTPA function is the music. The excellent Whitehall Fife and Drum Corp entertained the crowd before re-enactment and provided the appropriate backing during it.
During the brunch they put down the fifes and drums and used a guitar for some nice background music.
Right after the re-enactment, Mayor Little, who has a professional quality voice, led the crowd in God Bless America making sure to include the song’s rarely sung introduction.
The awards were presented by IHTPA President Teri Adams. Don Adams provided the panel questions.