The Scarsdale Bowl Award has had a long and distinguished history in Scarsdale. In 1943, a group of twelve Scarsdale civic leaders organized a dinner to honor George Clifton, a highly respected former Village Trustee and President of the Town Club, for his contributions to civic life. To mark the occasion, Clifton was presented with a silver bowl.
A year later, the twelve men donated funds to the Scarsdale Foundation to administer the Scarsdale Bowl Award. The 1944 Scarsdale Bowl Award was given to four residents, and their names were inscribed on a silver Tiffany bowl. Each year since that date, a new nominee has been chosen to receive the award as an “individual (or in exceptional cases a husband and wife) who has given unselfishly of his time, energy and effort to the civic welfare of the community of Scarsdale.” The honoree’s name is inscribed on the Scarsdale Bowl and the honoree receives a small replica.
For many years, only men were recognized or allowed to serve on the Committee and attend the black tie dinner. Women first served on the Committee in 1973, but were not invited to attend the dinner until the following year. In 1975, Harriette Krantz was the first woman to receive the Scarsdale Bowl Award.
The Scarsdale Foundation Trustees annually appoint a Chair of the Scarsdale Bowl Committee. The Chair and the Foundation President together select 14 committee members reflecting the diversity of the Scarsdale community to serve staggered two-year terms. The Committee chooses the honoree and organizes the dinner.
The Scarsdale Bowl itself is on permanent display in the reference room of the Scarsdale Public Library. Records of Bowl dinners are maintained in the files of the Scarsdale Foundation.
Service for the common good is the hallmark of Scarsdale at its best. The Scarsdale Bowl Award is the highest honor bestowed on a Scarsdale resident in recognition of his or her volunteer public service in the community.