When Deirdre Bryant Worth visited Warren County with her future husband Norman for the first time many years ago, her first reaction was “Where are we?”
“I was a city girl,” she recalled recently. “In one of my first visits I was invited out to lunch on a Tuesday and we ate (in the diner) at the Hackettstown Farm Auction. This was a real experience for me!”
Worth warmed up to Warren County so much so that she soon became an important part of the community through WRNJ Radio and other endeavors.
Worth is among this year’s seven inductees to go into the Warren County Hall of Fame. The other inductees include former Freeholder Rick Gardner, St. Luke’s Warren Campus President Scott R. Wolfe, Knowlton’s Frank William “Bill” Clifford, Brian Kathenes and Christine L. Rusin, both of Hope, and posthumously longtime coach and sports official Joseph Steinhardt, Sr. The Class of 2021, which will be recognized on Nov. 6, offers an array of individuals with varied backgrounds from business to community leadership and volunteerism.
Deirdre Bryant Worth was born in Michigan and lived for a long time in New York City. Her career accomplishments are stellar. She has enjoyed a distinguished career in broadcasting, both locally on WRNJ radio and nationally at the ABC Radio Network. For 34 years her hourly newscasts from New York were heard on hundreds of radio stations across the country. Deirdre has the distinction of being the first journalist to draw attention to radon gas in the 1980’s. Her 10-part series on indoor pollution earned her the Pinnacle Award from American Women in Radio and Television.
Locally, she hosted the WRNJ talk shows “Kids, Parents & Families,” “Teen Trends,” “Downtown” and “Coffee Break.” Her programs highlighted the people and events making news in northwest New Jersey and beyond. Deirdre has also written and produced a number of daily features such as “In the Schools” and “Hackettstown Histories.” In the late 1990’s she was stunned to learn there were teens in Warren County who were addicted to heroin. She assembled a team of experts, did a series of radio programs and held a number of community meetings throughout the county to inform parents about the danger and signs to watch for.
Additionally, Worth has voiced more than 1,000 radio commercials and public service announcements over her 40 years with WRNJ. She can be heard every year hosting The ARC Radiothon and the Hackettstown Medical Center Radio Auction, along with her husband, Norman Worth. The pair have been honored by Hackettstown Medical Center, Centenary University and other non-profit organizations for their community service.
One of the first local community efforts that Worth got involved with was as a founding member of the Hackettstown Hospital Auxiliary”I’ve met so many people and through them I got interested in a number of different things here,” she said, adding that Warren is “the kindest, most giving community.”
Worth has also served as a lector at Good Shepherd Church in Andover for 20 years, served on the board of the Karen Ann Quinlan Foundation and is currently a Trustee for the Rutherfurd Hall Foundation. She has also performed in several Centenary Stage Company musicals and leads a group of local tap dancers (The Tap Divas) who perform at nursing homes and for charity events.
Worth has clearly figured out “where she is” and has become an integral part of the Warren County community.
“I am so honored and humbled to have been nominated to the Warren County Hall of Fame,” said Worth.
She points to her family as a real inspiration. “I am most proud of my children, Yoli and Armando. Becoming a mother was the best thing that ever happened to me. My husband Norman is a member of the inaugural HOF class and has been a constant example for me of community service at its best.”
Deirdre Bryant Worth herself is an inspiration to many and she too represents community service at its best.
The seven inductees will be honored at a gala dinner event at Hawk Pointe Golf Club on Saturday night, Nov. 6. The event, which is also a fundraiser for the College Foundation, includes musical entertainment. For tickets and other information about the event go to https://bit.ly/2021WCHOF or email email@example.com.