Ahearns named Knights of Columbus ‘Family of the Year'

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:49

    WARWICK-"If you stay around the Knights of Columbus long enough," said Scott Hilley, "you get to do some pretty neat things." Hilley, a past Grand Knight of the Warwick Valley Council No. 4952 of the Knights of Columbus, referred to his role as Chairman of the Selection Committee for the "2004 Family of the Year Award." And on Aug. 11, he presented that award to Jeff and Kathy Ahearn and their two daughters Shannon and Megan. He then told their story. The Ahearn family has lived in Warwick since 1986 and they are well known in this community as the founders of the Brian Ahearn Children's Fund, a charitable organization that grew out of a personal tragedy. In 1998, the family lost their son Brian, 14, to brain stem cancer. It had been a long and painful experience for Jeff and Kathy Ahearn and Brian's two older sisters. But the Warwick community, St. Stephen's Parish and Jeff Ahearn's fellow employees at Imperial Schrade in Ellenville helped the Ahearn Family survive this difficult time.The Brian Ahearn Children's Fund was established during that time to bring aid and comfort to families in distress. It provides assistance to those needy children and their families who live in Orange, Sullivan or Ulster Counties. The Fund also offers two college scholarships annually for Warwick Valley High School students who have demonstrated achievement in the face of adversity or have shown extreme courage. The organization's annual golf outing, silent auction, basketball tournament, putting contests and other fundraising events have raised over $250,000. In presenting the award, Hilley praised the Jeff and Kathy Ahearn family for "selfless dedication to helping others in need and their real life demonstration of what a family can accomplish in the face of tragedy."