Each year we present 2 scholarships of $1,000 each to graduating seniors at Braintree High School’s Scholarship Night. These scholarships are awarded by the BHS Local Scholarship Committee to students who display a commitment to public service, and are pursuing higher education in the public safety or medical fields.
Dave Benelli was a beloved member and leader of the Braintree Firefighters Association, and served as our President for several years before being diagnosed with occupational cancer. Unfortunately Dave’s life was cut short on November 29, 1999 when his battle with cancer ended at the age of 44. It was a great loss to his family and his brothers here at the Braintree Fire Department.
It was not as well known at the time, but since his passing, we’ve learned a lot about how cancers like Dave’s are caused by exposure to harmful toxins released during a fire. And unfortunately these cancers have been found to be one of our leading killers in the fire service, with firefighters being diagnosed at an alarming rate. With the inspiration of guys like Dave and the thousands of others who have been taken by this terrible disease, the fire service has made fighting cancer one of its highest priorities.
We're honored to have the opportunity to present these scholarships in Dave’s name, and hope they not only help keep his memory alive, but help inspire some of our youngest and brightest to contribute to finding a way to prevent, treat, and ultimately cure cancer.