During Wednesday’s 42nd Annual Board Meeting of Auburn Youth & Family Services, a local business and an individual were recognized for their service to Auburn’s children.

The Sixth Annual AYFS Ben Masterman Business Community Service Award was presented to Everybody’s Fitness Center. Long-time Masterman’s employee Cindy Dwelly presented the award to Jason Cook for their charitable contributions within the town.

The Eighteenth Annual Auburn Children’s Friend Award was given to Mr. Joe Hurley by Superintendent of Schools Maryellen Brunelle. Hurley is a retired Auburn High School biology teacher and is currently an adjunct professor at Quinsigamond Community College. For nine years he has graciously volunteered as the master of ceremonies at Dancing with the Stars of Auburn, AYFS’s premier fundraising event.

When describing Hurley, Brunelle quoted Carlos Santana, “There is no greater reward than working from your heart and making a difference in the world.” Any student of Hurley’s will describe a warm learning environment, and he says the students had so much fun they didn’t even know they were learning.

As a young man, Hurley had already been accepted to medical school when he decided to go into teaching. “I wanted to make a difference”, he told the audience, and he paraphrased an Albert Schweitzer quote, “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.”

Hurley regularly interjected his fine sense of humor, a characteristic that makes his presence enjoyable. As for his future in teaching, “I’m going to do it until I can’t.”