Volunteer Profile/Tribute

Cameron “Cam” Thebaud
Mentor and Friend: Dave Haworth
Cameron poses with his mentor, Dave Haworth. (Photo/supplied)
Issue Date: 
March, 2020
Article Body: 

There are few faces more iconic in Ashland than Dave “White Wolf” Haworth. Haworth moved to Ashland in August of 1994. He said he fell in love with the house and chose the quiet town of Ashland to avoid its “loud” neighbor, Framingham. The people are his favorite part of the town. “They’re always there when you need them,” Dave said in a recent interview.
Dave moved to Ashland with his wife Marian, sons Casey and Keith, and daughter Ashley, when all three children were under eight years old. He wanted his kids to be able to participate in school sports. Through his children, Dave found a passion for volunteering for youth organizations around town.
He volunteered in some way with all the sports his kids played: baseball, football, softball, and cheerleading for his daughter’s squad. Even now, though his children are adults, you will see Dave cheering on Ashland’s youth from the sidelines.
For many years, Dave could be found at the Mindess School Kids’ Night Out (KNO) program. Known as “Mr. Tie Dye,” he volunteered as a chaperone and could be seen sporting his iconic tie dye shirt. He continued volunteering for KNO well past his own kids’ attendance at Mindess. Dave still runs into adult “kids” who remember and recognize Mr. Tie Dye.
The most notable of Dave’s volunteer service is his work with Ashland’s scouts, which began when his youngest son, Keith, was looking to join a Cub Scout den. Initially, Keith joined Pack 1. After a short stint in that pack, he decided to join Pack 119. From this change in packs, Dave coined his own nickname, “White Wolf” because “the White Wolf travels alone.”
Upon his son joining 119, Dave noticed they needed adult leaders. So, he dared to ask, “You need any help?” and ever since then he was involved in Ashland scouting. As his sons grew out of the scouts, Dave remained involved. Over the years, Dave has continued to support young men through their scouting careers.
In his 26 years of scouting, Dave volunteered his time for countless service hours, assisting Eagle Scout candidates with their self-organized service projects. Because of his compassion and service to Eagles, Dave holds 15 Eagle Scout Mentor Pins, awarded to someone who has wholeheartedly supported a scout through his journey to Eagle.
Dave formed a tight bond with each scout he mentored. He said he views the troops as one big family under scouting. Dave has given almost every scout a nickname. He said it helps him remember people better and brings some excitement to the kids. Some names are, “Maky’s Back,” “Little Ben,” or “Jordan Marsh.” I’ve been nicknamed, “Son.” I earned the name by devoting my title of Eagle Scout to him, to honor his inspiration and encouragement, telling me I’ll make Eagle. I honestly contemplated if I even wanted the rank, but Dave was the spark that started the fire in me. I have and always will say, “I didn’t do it for me, I did it for Dave.” Within a year, I finished Life Scout requirements and made Eagle.

With my age, I have come to appreciate all adult leaders, especially Mr. Haworth, who volunteered their time to deal with me, from age 12 through 18. It was in my later teens that I learned to appreciate the knowledge Mr. Haworth gave us about safety, survival, and common sense. He lectured and guided us so that we in turn could better ourselves, and for that I am forever grateful. Because of leaders like Mr. Haworth, I will always look back fondly on my years in the scouts.
Dave worked in a family construction business with his dad and then with his brother. In 2017 Dave’s son Keith passed away unexpectedly at age 26. A few months later, Dave was diagnosed with cancer. With treatment, he was told he was cancer-free, but since January 2020, he was told the cancer had spread.
“At this moment Dave is fighting to the end and is happy to be home surrounded by family and friends,” his son Casey reported. “We are thankful for the continued love and support from the community and beyond.”
To help with mounting bills, the family has set up a Go Fund Me page, https://bit.ly/2RSYMsE.
Sadly, Ashland Local Town Pages learned that Dave Haworth, 61, passed away on Feb. 10. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Boy Scouts Troop 232, 35 Heritage Ave., Ashland, MA 01721.
Camron Thebaud is an Ashland resident, a 2019 graduate from Keefe Tech, and currently a freshman at Mass Bay Community College. Thebaud works at WACA-TV and is considering a career in journalism.