Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany celebrates 25th Anniversary

Frank Cahill and Greg Elbin were honored with Hixson Awards and Robert Young and Deborah Mellinger were named Kiwanian of the Year

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Steve McKinley, Frank Cahill, Connie Keller and Greg Elbin at the Kiwanis Club 25th Anniversary celebration

PARSIPPANY — The Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany celebrated its 25th Anniversary at a dinner-dance held on Tuesday, January 12 at the Hanover Manor.

In attendance was New Jersey District 9 Lieutenant Governor Steve McKinley, New Jersey District Governor Gordon Meth and Kiwanis International Trustee Lance Incitti.

During the Anniversary Celebration, there were two George F. Hixson Awards honored and two Kiwanian of the Year.

Kiwanis President Connie Keller presented Greg Elbin, the current President-Elect with the first George F. Hixson Award. Then she presented Frank Cahill, the current Vice President with a George F. Hixson Award. Cahill is a charter member of Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany.

The George F. Hixson Fellowship was created in 1983 by the Kiwanis International Foundation Board of Trustees. It is named in honor of the first Kiwanis International President, who served from 1916 to 1918.

First time George F. Hixson Fellowship members receive two numbered medallions bearing the likeness of Hixson. Both hang from a blue-and white-ribbon.  One is encased in a walnut and velvet shadow box for display, and the other is worn at high visibility Kiwanis functions.  Also awarded is a lapel pin.

Then Kiwanis Treasurer, Steve Dickens, awarded two “Kiwanian of the Year” awards. Bob Young and Deborah Mellinger shared that honor. Bob and Deb met at Kiwanis, and is engaged to be married on May 21.

Kiwanian of the Year Award is given to one Kiwanian each year, at the annual holiday party. The Kiwanian of the Year is designed to honor Kiwanians who have made a significant contribution to the club within the year.  Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany has been honoring a volunteer since 1992.

Connie Keller said “Tonight we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany. It is because of every member of the past 25 years that we are still an active viable club. For every member that has volunteered, attended a fundraiser, chaired a function, was a direct or an officer … this night is for you.  Celebrate and enjoy all that you have accomplished over the years. You have shown me that way and I am proud to be part of this organization.”

In it’s 25-year history, Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany has awarded almost 40 “Hixson Awards.  Hixson are given to Kiwanians who have contributed to the betterment of the club. The Club is eligible to award a Hixson for each donation of $1,000 to the Kiwanis International Foundation.

The Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany held its first meeting on December 5, 1991 and was officially chartered on February 1, 1992.

Charter members included Jayne Beline, Frank Cahill, Margaret Mary Cerbo, Nick Cerbo, Karen Gajewski, Ronda Kron, Jeanne O’Donnell, and Dr. Joseph Weisberg.

Entertainment during the evening was Teddy Comora, on the keyboard. Teddy is a Parsippany Hills High School graduate and currently attends Cornell University.

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Some of the past and present programs and projects of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany are:

  • Sponsor the Parsippany Hills High School, Parsippany High School and Whippany Park High School Key Clubs.
  • Sponsor the Brooklawn Middle School and Central Middle School Builders Clubs.
  • Sponsor nine K-Kids Clubs in the Grammar Schools in Parsippany.
  • Cook and serve dinner for Homeless Solutions once a month.
  • Co-sponsor a Division Aktion Club.
  • Donate to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of Parsippany.
  • Donate to Project Graduation.
  • Donate to Family Promise of Morris County to help homeless families.
  • Donate to Prevent Child Abuse NJ and help raise awareness for their two campaigns:
    Pinwheel Campaign in April – Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect
    Purple Hat Campaign in October – Prevention of Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) & Baby Abuse
  • Donate to Jersey Battered Women’s Service of Morris County (JBWS).
  • Donate to the Parsippany Library Programs.
  • Donate to the Parsippany Food Bank.
  • Donate to Programs through grants to our Foundation, such as Craftsman Farms.
  • Donate to the Parsippany Day Care Center.
  • Donate to Autism, Eliminate and Children’s Specialized Hospital.
  • Donate to Camp Nejeda.
  • Sponsor the Parsippany Street Fair.
  • Sponsor Scholarships for Kiwanis Youth Leadership Training, Key leader Training, Hugh O’Brien Camp and Scholarships for further education.
  • Support Parsippany’s East and West Little Leagues.
  • Support our local churches through an Ecumenical Breakfast for friendship, fellowship and exchange of ideas.

Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world, one child and one community at a time.

Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany meets Thursday mornings at 7:15 a.m. at Empire Diner, 1315 Route 46.  For more information visit their website by clicking here.

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