Those memorable moments--including some that turned out to be quite humorous--were recalled at a Nov. 18 banquet that benefited the Saucon Valley Community Center, at which Henshaw was the guest of honor.
Banquet emcee Craig Medei kept the tone light-hearted and wasn't afraid to occasionally rib Henshaw, whose life and 25-year borough career were brought into perspective at the event.
Among the interesting facts about Tom Henshaw that were noted in the evening's program were the following:
- He is a Hellertown native, and the son of Robert E. and Charlotte Henshaw of Hellertown.
- He is a graduate of Saucon Valley High School and Williamsport Area Community College, where he earned a degree in Heavy Equipment Maintenance and Operation.
- He worked for Bethlehem Steel Corporation for 13 years before being hired by the Borough of Hellertown in 1986.
- He is a volunteer for Saucon Valley Relay for Life, which raises funds for the American Cancer Society, as well as Second Harvest Food Bank and Hellertown-Lower Saucon Community Day.
- In his spare time he enjoys scuba diving, reading and spending time at his cabin in the Poconos.
One of the more humorous stories told involved Henshaw's run-ins with bears near his mountain cabin, where he often vacations with his wife, Anne.
In a message inside the evening's commemorative program, she wrote of how "very proud" she was of her husband being honored.
"I know just how much our community means to you, and how hard you work everyday to make it a better place who live in it," Anne Henshaw said.
Another story shared with banquet attendees recounted a time when Henshaw used ingenuity to help rescue some ducklings that had fallen into the fountain at Detwiller Plaza. By leaning a board on the wall around the fountain, he created a ramp for the ducklings to use to climb out of the water, and helped reunite them with their mother.
Former Borough Manager Charlie Luthar and friend Bud Prosser provided a highlight of the evening when they dressed up as Hellertown Public Works Department employees and discussed some of their experiences with their "boss" over the years, eliciting laughs from the audience of about 100 local civic leaders, elected officials and businesspeople.
Henshaw, who attended the banquet with his wife, appeared emotional when he got up to thank those who contributed to making the evening a success, as well as his friends, family members, the community center, and the elected officials who presented him with proclamations in honor of his years of service.
Among the local dignitaries present that evening was state Rep. Bob Freeman (D-136), who read a proclamation in Henshaw's honor from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives before hand-delivering it to the honoree.
Another significant highlight of the evening was a silent auction that raised money for the Saucon Valley Community Center, which serves 150 to 200 children and adults each day.
The center administers a child care facility with two sites, a senior center with two sites, a pre-teen center and an early childhood development program that includes a preschool licensed by the Department of Education.
Dozens of items for the silent auction were donated by Saucon Valley businesses, and several other items--including an antique map of Pennsylvania--were donated for a live auction at the banquet that raised hundreds of dollars for the community center.