We are here tonight to present the Local Legend Award to Paul Howard who has been promoting square dancing for over 33 years. The Local Legend Award was established to honor those individuals and couples who have advanced the goals of the Square Dance Foundation of New England over the years, within their local areas. Promotion, Preservation, and Perpetuation are the goals.
In 1977, Paul graduated from the square dance class being sponsored by the Great Plain Squares of Needham, MA. After class was over, Paul volunteered to become a Class Angel and has been a Class Angel ever since. We believe that makes him an Arch Angel! In the late 1980’s, his enthusiasm for teaching and calling square dances led him to organize a square dance youth club, ages 8-12 years, called “Calico Swingers”. It eventually disbanded, because the kids wanted to line dance more than square dance. Paul still has lots of line dances in his teaching repertoire.
Paul is an avid square dancer and has attended every New England Sq.& Rd. Dance Convention since 1976, except in the year 1984 when he married his wonderful wife, Carol. So many years of NESRDC experiences made it a natural to invite Paul to become Exhibitor Chairman for the 50th & 51st NESRDC held in Sturbridge, MA. Exhibitors and dancers praised his job performance.
In 1980-1981, to foster square dance participation between clubs, he was instrumental in organizing Friendship Dances between 4 area clubs: The Birds Hill Stompers, Waltham Twirlers, Garden City Squares, and Great Plain Squares. While a member of Great Plain Squares, Paul was President of another Needham club, The Birds Hill Stompers. Because of Paul’s dedication to square dance, Great Plain Squares continues to dance.
Paul has held many offices in the Great Plain Squares. His devotion to the Great Plain Squares is exhibited by his constant involvement.
. President 1989-1990 and 1996-2001 and Co-Pres. 2009-2010 with Ruth Orenstein
. Acting President 2002 after the death of Roger Harris.
. Vice President 1988-1989 and 2002
. Board of Directors 1990-1991 and 1993-1994
. Treasurer 1994-1996
Other vital jobs he handled expertly:
. Class Coordinator Many years, and the latest was 2008-2009
. Refreshment Chairman 1992-1993
. Point Man for 4th of July Parade Float starting in 1977, and every float thereafter. Paul strutted in front of the Great Plain Squares Float in various costumes that carried out the theme of the Needham, MA parade. E.g. 1985- Uncle Sam, 1989- Minuteman, 1991- Uncle Sam, 1993- Astronaut. The club won many trophies for their part in the 4th of July parade.
. Chairman – Class Snowflake Ball 1984 to the current year
Paul has also been active in S.E.M.C.A. (South Eastern Massachusetts Coordinating Association, Inc.). He and Carol are annual members of the Square Dance Foundation of New England, Inc. They both modeled 1950’s square dance clothing in the 50th NESRDC in Sturbridge, MA. Looked great, too! Paul was an early organizer of the Tri-Club Co-operative Board. The Tri-Club consists of Great Plain Squares, Square Riggers, and Fairs ‘n Squares.
You will recognize Paul at a square dance because of his ever-present cowboy hat. He is affectionately know to many dancers as “The Hat”. His enthusiasm is contagious. You will always smile when you are in a square with Paul Howard.
It is with great pleasure that the SDFNE presents this year’s Local Legend Award to Paul Howard.