Five Citizens to Receive Maple Leaf Awards

Maplewood Civic Association will honor five residents April 14


The Maplewood Civic Association has selected John Branigan, Carol and Jim Buchanan, and Chris Dickson and David Wagner, co-founders of Rent Party, as recipients of the 2013 Maple Leaf Award.

"The recipients of this year's awards were selected after a thorough review of the many worthy individuals who were nominated," said chair Mary Devon O'Brien in a letter. "John, Carol, Jim, Chris and David, however, have demonstrated the generosity of spirit and selfless gift of time and talent that epitomize Maple Leaf Award recipients.'

The Award will be presented at a Mimosa Brunch to be held April 14 at 1:30 p.m. at L’Affaire on Route 22 in Mountainside. Maplewood Township Committee members will also present official congratulations at the award ceremony.

The Maple Leaf Award recognizes residents who have provided outstanding, unpaid volunteer work -- often "behind the scenes" -- within the Maplewood community. This year is the 45th anniversary of the awards. The awards originated with the Jaycees in 1964 and has been sponsored by the Maplewood Civic Association since 1983. 

Branigan was a founding member of the Maplewood Village Alliance, is a member of the Maplewood Planning Board, and has designed flyers and exhibit graphics for the Durand-Hedden Historic House. He and his wife, Beth, have furnished the annual Dickens Village “Nephew’s House” for several years, as well as designing posters for the Dicken’s Breakfast with Santa events. 

The Buchanans also longtime residents; Carol is president of the Hilton Neighborhood Association. Jim was formerly the Maplewood Cultural Affairs Director and is a musician.

Carol and Jim Buchanan said, "We are very pleased to be honored with a Maple Leaf Award.  The Maplewood Civic Association has sponsored this community event since 1983.  We hope that many people will join us on Sunday, April 14th."

Founded in 2009, Rent Party is a monthly live concert at the South Orange Elks Lodge that raises money for local food banks. Dickson and Wagner also run BackPack Pals, which helps provide food on weekends for needy students in SOM schools.

"We are genuinely humbled by this recognition, but Rent Party is very much a team effort," said Dickson. "We are glad that we have this opportunity to let more folks know about the work we're doing and to continue to raise awareness about the issue of hunger in our community."

. 2011's winners were Janet Crane, Mark Mucci, and Irene Kosinski. 2010's winners were Dr. Elizabeth Jones Crandall, Dr. Charles Crandall, Bruce Mandel of the Maplewood Volunteer First Aid Squad and Nancy S. Sobieski.

For tickets and more information, contact Mary Devon O’Brien at (973) 763-4135.

Lee Navlen March 21, 2013 at 03:10 PM
Great honor for Carol, Jim, Chris, David and John! Like the choices from the past including Janet, Irene, the Crandalls and Bruce Mandel, it's a special award and should be cherished!


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