Villager of the Month

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Villagers of the Month

(sources: The South Orange Gaslight, Minutes of various CRC Meetings unless noted otherwise)
(April/2014 draft)


January/February Peggy Farah People to People Ambassador Program Leader. Led hundreds of area teens to destinations around the world over 13 years. Separately and with her husband, Albert, Peggy has also supported her neighborhood, school district students and programs through a wide range of activities.


January/February Columbia High School Robotics Teamcreated in 2010, the team placed 2nd in the 2010 First Tech Challenge World Championships; varsity and junior varsity teams are inspiring the creation of middle teams. The high school team is advised (insert adverb) by physics teacher Mr. Allan Tumolillo (fondly known as "Mr. T").
May Ann Alexandera retired South Orange-Maplewood School District education. Helped organized a block association, a neighborhood watch and block parties. Currently volunteers in the Newark School District. Wife of the late Walter Alexander, the first African-American graduate of Rutgers University Dental School and a Tuskegee Airman.
June Xavier LeeColumbia High School senior. Mentor for CHS MAC Scholars, NJIT and SOMAtv. Will continue to Swathmore College.


February Bradley Takahashi(volunteer, business owner, musician, attorney, fundraiser, etc.)
March/April Seton Hall University, Division of Volunteer Efforts (DOVE)Dove coordinates volunteer efforts of students to more than twenty social service agencies. Support is provided to organizations in and around South Orange. Contributions are also made in other countries through DOVE's international division.
July/August CHS Graduate Sarah Hiltonvolunteered for Achieve Foundation; volunteered for the South Orange Public Library; Sunday morning teacher's aide at her church; continuing on to Wheaton College.
CHS Graduate Alexis Ballardvolunteered at a wellness center in South Orange; volunteer for the South Orange Public Library; Loves to help others; continuing on to Fairleigh Dickinson University.


January/Februaryno VOM
MarchLonnie WrightAthlete; played football for the Denver Broncos in the late 1960's, then played basketball for the Denver Rockets (Nuggets) as soon as football season ended; Administrator at UMDNJ - New Jersey Medical School, who supported the recruitment & retention of over 1000 minority medical school graduates.
MayJackie Herships
JuneAlyse Royal and David Hoffman(Students)
OctoberDon Thomashistorian, high school English teacher, school guidance counselor, choir and life-long member of The Episcopal Churches of Saint Andrew & Holy Communion, etc.
December Steven Hollowrenaissance man, puppeteer, teacher, video producer, etc.


JanuaryJoey Martinez
March/AprilKatherine Crenshaw
JuneRuby Scalera and Shari Ann Arena(Students)
July/AugustNo VOM
Sept/OctNo VOM
NovemberTom Morrisroe


JanuaryTamara & Sergio SchraiberAnimal rights activists, volunteers for the Jersey Animal Coalition in South Orange; educate children about caring for animals
February OR March/AprilJanice Newman Teetsellattorney; member and former president of South Orange Rotary; active volunteer of several organizations
May/JuneNo VOM
July/AugustBergenie Celony & Cory Epstein
Sept/OctNo VOM
DecemberDr. Sampson DavisAuthor, Founding member of the Three Doctors Foundation of Newark, a mentoring organization for at-risk y outh with an interest in the medical professions


Jan/FebNo VOM
MarchWilma "Bunny" GrayLongtime resident of S.O.; South Orange Library Board Member, 1992-2007; Tenth director of the Newark Public Library; First African-American woman to head N.J.'s largest municipal library
AprilRob FischFormer President of Main Street South Orange; served on the River Corridor Committee, Downtown Redevelopment Management Corporation Study Committee, Open Space Committee; Has served South Orange in various other capacities; longtime resident of South Orange.
MayRita MillerDespite difficulties with her hearing, volunteers at SOPAC; knits for the elderly; volunteers for the historic society; bakes for library events across different towns; volunteers for Holocaust Remembrance Services; founding volunteer member of First Night
June/July/AugustAdeola Songonuga & Ayesha Makhdoom
Sept/OctDr. Sandford J. Shifman/Sandy Shifman?
NovemberNo VOM
DecemberKyle McLaughlinHas volunteered significant contributions to the SOMS After the Bell Rings program; marketing plans for SO merchants; the Gillage Liaisons; World Autism; SHU-SO cooperative efforts, etc.


Jan/FebReverend Sandye Wilson
MarchSouth Orange Rescue Squad
AprilVillage Colonials Neighborhood Association
MaySenior Circle at Baird
JuneAnna Toledano & Alex Hirschberg
JulyThe South Orange Performing Arts Center
SeptemberNo VOM
OctoberBob DanzigGrew up in 5 different foster homes, got a college degree at nights and on weekends, became Vice President of the Hearst Corporation
NovemberMeredith Sue Willis
DecemberMiriam Peretsman


Jan/FebWaterlands Park Playground Commission
Jan/FebKaren Hartshorn Hilton & Robin Gray & Eve Peterson & Cathy Faughnan
MarchClaudia Mattheiss
AprilStacey & Dennis Borden
JuneEleanor FarrellNamesake for Farrell Fields (community park on Walton Ave,; Part of a family legacy of caretakers of village parks; Contributor to the Once Upon a Gaslight...A Walking Tour of South Orange documentary.
July/AugustNo VOM
SeptemberCharlie Tamayo
OctoberMary Kay Mitchell</td
NovemberMarilyn Lehren
DecemberGeorge Iverson


JanuaryNedra Clarke?
The Giants of Jazz Committeeled by John Lee and others, has developed annual Giants of Jazz fundraiser events, since 1998
FebruaryNo VOM
AprilArt Klimowicz
MayRabbi Yeheil Orenstein
JuneRebecca Brady & Quentin WilliamsStudent V's OM
July/AugThe South Orange-Maplewood Baseball Committee
SeptemberNo VOM
OctoberNo VOM
NovemberNo VOM
DecemberNancy Denburg


Jan/FebAngelo R. Bianchi
MarchThe South Orange Symphony
AprilNo VOM
MayCatherine Lazen
JuneAmir Billups
July/AugustKathy Flaxman
SeptemberThe South Orange Bulletproof Fund
OctoberSouth Orange Historical & Preservation Society
NovemberNo VOM
DecemberRayna PomperTrustee, Montrose Park Historic District Association (MPHDA); initial organizer of the MPHDA Family Fun Day; local teacher.
Helen DuBowyInitiated the Newstead 5K Run in 2003, fundraiser proceeds donated to various nonprofit organizations


Jan/FebNo VOM
MarchNo VOM
AprilThomas HutArchitect, S.O. Public Library Renovations
JuneThe Luminaries Committee
July/AugustLinda Katz & Edward FruwleyStudent V's OM
SeptemberNo VOM
OctoberNo VOM
NovemberKaren Cole
DecemberSenator CodyAssemblymen Hackett and McKeon


Jan/FebNo Vom
MarchNo Vom
AprilNo Vom
MayNo Vom
JuneNaoma Welk
July/AugustJohanna Wright
SeptemberNo Vom
OctoberWilliam S. Furman
NovemberAmy Dahn


Jan/FebNo Vom
MarchKen Greene
AprilNo Vom
MayFrank Mustilli & Arthur Paulina
JuneRobert Lowell & Martin Rosenblum
OctoberNo Vom
NovemberNo Vom
DecemberNo Vom


JanuaryNo Vom
FebruaryEd SemperLeads a weekly walker's group through South Orange & Maplewood, local busines owner, Community Coalition on Race trustee; Rotary Club member
AprilPatty & Dave NathanLongtime residents of South Orange, Columbia H.S. Alumni; Patty - SOMSD Special Education Teacher; South Orange Beautification Comm. member; the Community Coalition on Race member, American Cancer Society Member; and member of other committees and boards. Dave - Rescue Squad Volunteer; Cable TV Advisory Comm. member; radio reader for EIES, SO Public Library volunteer.
MayNo Vom
JuneNo Vom
July/AugustFather Thomas PetersonFormer Chancellor of Seton Hall University; served on N.J. National Conference for Community and Justice, Boy Scouts of America; United Way Essex & West Hudson, N.J. - Israel Commission; recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees; oversaw development of Seton Hall School of Law in Newark, multi-million dollar fundraiser campaign; the development of Walsh Library and other notable campus buildings; worked with numerous university and non-university based organizations
Brandis Belt & Alex ToledanoCHS seniors
AugustNicole Mustilli
OctoberSouth Orange Swim Team
NovemberNo Vom
DecemberPeter Connelly


Jan/FebNo Vom
MarchNo Vom
AprilCarly Rothman
MayNo Vom
JuneBill Johnson
JulyMatthew Kusher & Anna Korn
AugustRobin Gray
SeptemberNo Vom
OctoberNo Vom
NovemberNo Vom
DecemberRay BahtoFormer Rescue Squad volunteer, member of the Planning Board; Village Trustee (1983-1987), member of the Parking Authority, Korean War veteran.
South Orange Civic Organizationorganizer of an annual Dr. Martin Luther King celebration; sponsor of various community events, fundraisers and an annual scholarship program.


JanuaryWilliam "Bill" GainesColumbia H.S. Social Studies Teacher; college instructor, business owner, community volunteer, Summer Basketball League
AprilNo Vom
MayNo Vom
JuneBrandi ColanderColumbia H.S. Honor Roll student, Garden State Scholar; various CHS committees and services
James CalisterColumbia H.S. Student Council President; Honor student; organizer and volunteer extraordinaire.
July/AugustJohn LeeWorld-class bassist, composer, educator, producer of The Giants of Jazz, etc.
SeptemberNo Vom
OctoberJaguar Track Clubcompetitive tracke & field events for children, Member of the USATF, founded by Andrea Johnson, Carl Lea and Maurice & Daneen Cooper
NovemberDiance CrupainVolunteer extraordinaire; organizer of various village projects, Executive Director of an office that serves the disabled.


Jan/FebEric De Varis & Paul Goldmanawarded for Dec. 1996, but published in this issue of the S.O. Gaslight
MarchMira Stillman & Marjorie Eiseman
AprilRichard Janowvoluntarily designed an automated library catalog for S.O. Public Library. Works professionaly as a technology forecaster for Lucent Technologies
MayNo Vom
JuneNkosi AndersonColumbia H.S. senior; president of the CHS MLK Association; Peer counselor; math tutor; reporter for school newspaper; athlete; homecoming king; recipient of various awards. Scheduled to move on to Columbia University.
July/AugustNo Vom
SeptemberNo Vom
OctoberNo Vom
NovemberJoseph & Janet Giorgio
Carlo CarbonaroThe Girogio's S.O. residents and owners of Giorgio's restaurant; Carbonaro created and owned Cafe Arugula


Jan/FebValerie JamesFounder, President of Concerned Parents of Color; youth basketball league developer; Camping Director, City of Newark
MarchNo Vom
AprilAline & Claude BeckhamVolunteers and philanthropists for the S.O. Library, gardening projects along S.O. Avenue and for a local historical society
MayMsgr. William Noe Field
JuneAngelica Jongcostudent
July/AugustTerry BrewinCreator fo the Recreation Academic Program, an after-school recreation program that required academic achievement for students at South Orange Middle School.
SeptemberSandy Johnson
NovemberStephen GrayCaptain, S.O. Rescue Squad, member of S.O. Juvenile Conference Committee, also served on Citizen's Budget Advisory Committee and the Recycling Committee


Jan/FebNedra Clark
MarchNo Vom
AprilNo Vom
MayKathy Flaxman
JuneSam Joseph
July/AugustCarla PetermanColumbia H.S. senior
SeptemberNo Vom
OctoberDon HamingsonDirector & Teacher, S.O./Maplewood Adult School; helped found First Night; Columbia H.S. teacher
DecemberFirst Night Board of Directors
Fay Capazze


MarchAlisa AronsonFaithfully attends and provides input at official Village meetings; volunteers at local food pantry
AprilRon ChelelFormer three-term Village Trustee; former member of the Village Planning Board; founder and First President of NJ Tourette Syndrome Association; board member of NJ Electronic Information and Education Service: recipient of various awards.
David SchechnerRetired Village counsel
MayJoan Burrell
Lynn Cucciniello
JuneAileene BeckhamVolunteer for the South Orange Garden Club, Historical Society, S.O. Neighbors and other organizations
Mary Pat DeaneVolunteer for PTA, Girl Scouts, South Orange Garden Club, decorate train stations, skating pond and other public places
July/AugustNeil Jasey & Jaime PewSeniors at Columbia H.S.
SeptemberNo Vom
OctoberSickley Brothers & Town Hall DeliThe two oldest businesses in town, in honor of 125th anniversary of Village incorporation
NovemberKaren LynchFor years of service in editing and organizing The South Orange Gaslight prior to same responsibilities assumed by Robin Patric


FebruaryB. Johnson & Mila JaseyVolunteerism on behalf of the students of the Maplewood-South Orange School District
MarchGerry & Patricia Nardone, Fred Shaw, Adele ByrneBaird Theatre & Baird Players
AprilFriends of the South Orange Public Library
MayMary McMahonVolunteer work in the church and with Literacy Volunteers
JuneMiriam Axel-LuteOutstanding Columbia High School Senior
NovemberMary ConnorFor 25 years of service as a Rescue Squad volunteer


JanuaryDallas JacksonVolunteerism, South Mountain PTA, CBAC, Main Street South Orange
MarchVillage Players of Baird Community Center
AprilConnie Gilbert-NeissPublicist, Community Relations Committee, Created Village Aglow, Gaslight, Renaissance Art Shows
MayWilliam ParryUnofficial South Orange Historian
JuneLiddy ChuColumbia High School student
OctoberAmy MarcusFormer President, S.O Chamber of Commerce
Harriet ConnollyVolunteerism


FebruaryClarence "Bud" CavanaughCoach, South Orange Little League, 20 years, Boy Scouts, Shu?
MarchDana and Billy Steck
Ken GreeneExtraordinary acts of bravery and heroism on 12/17/00
Robert Lowell & Martin RosenblumDonated AARP services to senior citizens
Frank Mustilli & Dr. Arthur PaulinaCoaches, led Columbia High School Fencing Team to 4th consecutive state title.
AprilSister Rose Thering, O.P.Co-Founder, Holocaust Observance ceremony, Significant contributions in area of Christina-Jewish relations
MayDr. & Mrs. William St.
JuneSuzanne LeeColumbia High School Volunteer
SeptemberPeter DavisOf Stuft Shirt restaurant, employed many residents of South Orange
OctoberNancy ChelelFormer CRC Member


JanuaryZeralene Verner
FebruaryInterfaith Hospitality Network
AprilNorman Cox?
MayMary & Manny Jaye?
JuneAdele ReganProprietor, Molly Dickens; Various contributions to South Orange
OctoberNorman CoxPresident, South Orange Symphony Orchestra


JanuaryJoyce Wilson Bryant
FebruaryWilliam Smith
MarchBertrand SpiottaFormer Village President
AprilJohn MulvihillGeneral Manager, EIES
JuneLen CupariCoach, Columbia High School Wrestling Team
NovemberBrent Farrand & Patty SealeReactivated Crime Watch Program in the Tuxedo Park neighborhood


FebruaryMaurice BickChairman, South Orange Bd. of Adjustment
MarchSharon MayersPast President of the South Orange Rescue Squad
AprilHenry "Ty" KennedyFormer Village Trustee & Chair of the Planning Board
JuneTiffany Ruth & David SchulmanColumbia High School students
SeptemberJoan Lee


January 26Mr. Peter ShapiroFormer Essex County Executive and South Orange resident. Presented the Villager of the Month Award for all the good deeds he had done while in office as Essex County Executive, and as a resident of South Orange.
May 18Mr. Ernst CushingPresented with the Villager of the Month Award, but the minutes did not indicate why he was awarded.
June 22Ms. Catherine La VecchiaA student of Marylawn of the Oranges and Mapelwood.
Sept. 28Mr. Michael SheppardSeton Hall University basketball coach was presented with the Villager of the Month Award for reaching his 500th win.
October 26Reverend Charles ThompsonPastored the First Presbyterian and Trinity Church (at this time) for ten years. He was presented with the Villager of the Month Award for participating in groups such as the South Orange Community Task Force and the South Orange-Maplewood Coalition for Unity, and various other community groups


Feb 24Tuxedo Park Neighborhood AssociationPresented with the Villager of the Month Award for its contribution to the health and well-being of the community, and for being the first and longest lasting neighborhood association in South Orange
May 19Ms. Elizabeth McHughPresented with the Villager of a Month Award for being very active throughout the years as a member of the South Orange library Board, committees and civic associations
June 23Mr. Iman ButlerColumbia High School graduating class of 1986, presented with the Village of the Month Award for being this years most outstanding student
Sept 22Sister Rose TheringPresented with the Villager of the Month award, however, she was not present at the time of presentation.
Oct 14Sister Rose TheringPresented the award in October due to her inability to receive it in September
Nov 24Mr. and Mrs. Alex and Gladys CotlerFor being instrumental in running the Village's Annual Sidewalk Art Show for many years.


Jan 28Mr. Alvin JohnsonRecognized for being active in many organizations
Feb 25Ms. Mary ConnorFormer President of the South Orange Rescue Squad
May 28Mr. Rocco NittoliServed various committees in South Orange Village, especially those dealing with Senior Citizens.
June 10Mr. Barry FleisherPresented the Villager of the Month Award for being a dedicated young man and outstanding student at Columbia High School


Jan 23Rev. Edgar G. ThomasInvolved in many activities and organizations since his appointment as Pastor of the First Baptist Church in 1951
Apr 24Mr. Peter ShapiroSouth Orange resident and Essex County Executive
May 29Mrs. Jenny LongPresented the award for her many contributions, time and efforts on all committees and functions to help all citizens of South Orange.
June 25Mr. Gerry NardoneActive businessman in South Orange, a leading founder and force behind the Baird Community Center's theatrical group "The Village Players."
Oct 22Mr. Anthony M. SuranoPresented the award for his many accomplishments he had in his life and many activities with organizations and groups, which helped benefit the citizens of the Township of South Orange.
Nov 26Mr. Raymon FaheyPresented the award for his extreme dedication and hard work with assisting the South Orange/Maplewood Board of Education with seeking their solution to solving an asbestos problem.


May 11Mr. Stephen RachlinContributed time and services to various organizations and board in the Village.
June 27Mr. Charles ColmeanRecent graduate of Columbia High School. Served as Present of the Student Council. Elected Governor of Boy's State and slated to attend M.I.T. in September of the same year.
Sept 26Mrs. Erna LavesPresented the award for the work and contributions she had given the Village as a former Trustee, as a member of the Beautification Committee and for being active in many other community wide committees and programs.
Oct 24Mr. Larry BernsteinActive in the South Orange Rescue Squad for over 18 years, active member of the South Orange Chamber of Commerce, operating a family business in teh Village for many years and serving as Fund Drive Chairman for the purchase of 45 policeman's vests.