Longtime children's advocate Edwin T. Bean Jr. and Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director JoAnn Falletta will receive Red Jacket community service awards tonight at the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society's annual dinner in the museum on Nottingham Terrace.
Bean "has been unwavering in his support of children and families, and Maestro Falletta has brought international attention to Western New York and its arts community," said Kenneth P. Friedman, president of the Historical Society board.
A lawyer, Bean started his volunteer work with the Children's Aid Society. In 1964, he drafted legislation urging physicians, surgeons and other medical personnel to report suspected abuse or neglect of children. He was president of Children's Aid from 1968 to 1970 and oversaw its evolution into Child & Family Services, where he remains an active board member.
Bean helped establish the Stanley G. Falk School for severely emotionally handicapped students, where he is a former board chairman and a current trustee. He was a trustee of the Gow School in Aurora from 1978 to 2002 and chairman from 1991 to 1994. He and his wife, Susan, were honored by the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2002.
Now in her 10th year as music director, Falletta has made the Philharmonic one of the nation's most-respected orchestras. This season will bring the release of four new discs on the Naxos label and the recording of two others, bringing to 10 the number of Naxos discs the orchestra has produced under her baton.
An enthusiastic Buffalo ambassador to the orchestra world, Falletta has received numerous professional honors, including the Seaver/National Endowment for the Arts, Stokowski Competition and Toscanini, Ditson and Bruno Walter conducting awards and the American Symphony Orchestra League's John S. Edwards Award.
The community service award, given annually since 1957, is a replica of the medal presented by President George Washington in 1792 to the Seneca orator and leader Red Jacket.
The Daniel B. Niederlander Award, which honors programming at Western New York historical organizations, will be shared by the Central Terminal Restoration Corp. and Shea's Performing Arts Center.
The restoration group has worked since 1997 to rehabilitate the landmark East Side railroad passenger terminal, while the historic Main Street stage has become a leading tour stop for Broadway musicals as well as concert, dance and comedy productions.
Tickets for the Red Jacket dinner, which will start at 6 p.m., are $150 or $275 a couple. Call 873-9644, Ext. 318, for reservations.