Voices of the Bay

Two Is Better Than One

Meet the first couple to receive Bristol’s Hattie Brown Award


Since 1987, the Bristol Fourth of July Committee has presented The Hattie Brown Award to a worthy Bristolian who demonstrates the same dedication to community service as that of the late Hattie Brown. This year’s recipients Brett and Jennifer Mancieri are now not only part of history, but have made history for being the first couple chosen for the honor.

If there is a need in the community, they are often first on the scene as a volunteer EMT (Jenn) or volunteer firefighter (Brett), or with numerous organizations, including two of which were founded by Jenn: Community Aid Fund and Fire Trailer and the Kick Off to Christmas Community Aid Drive. Brett, who has invested hours building the Orange Crate Derby ramp and parade float, was recognized for his heroism by the American Legion and Town of Bristol when he jumped into Mt. Hope Bay in 2001 to rescue a man trapped in his car.

The lifelong Bristol residents are parents to two sons, and Jenn is a dental assistant at Harborside Family Dental while Brett is chief mechanic for Bristol DPW and owner/operator of BAM Powder Coating company. To learn more about helping families in need, Jenn can be contacted at

Jenn: "My grandmother [Mary Carinha passed away in December at 104] was the neighborhood go-to – she helped everyone, from making food or checking on someone if they were sick. My mom has always been involved with helping, too. I think you volunteer if you grow up with it. At 13, I started volunteering with the children’s summer library program."

Brett: "It was the guys at the Hydraulion [Engine & Hose Company] who inspired me to get involved. They really took me under their wing. We have so many families in the Fire Department, which really helps get the next generation involved."

Jenn: "To see a family lose everything is heartbreaking, but to give them some glimmer of home is an amazing experience. In ten years, they may not remember my name or [that of] the other Ladies Auxiliary members, but they will remember someone was there for them."

Brett: "July 4th will be the first time I will be attending the parade since I started working for the DPW 23 years ago. I usually drop Jenn downtown, come home, watch it on TV, and then get some sleep before going to work for the night."

Jenn: "When we got the call [from Chair Judy Squires] we were like, ‘What?’ We have known multiple people on that list [of past recipients] and have looked up to those people. We are so humbled to have been selected."