PARSIPPANY — The Parsippany-Troy Hills Rotary Club hosted their 52nd Annual Distinguished Service Awards Banquet on Saturday, February 13, held at Knoll County Club.
This year’s “Outstanding Citizen” award was presented to Joyce Garrow. Joyce is one of those people who have a spring loaded right hand. If you ask for volunteers she just can’t help herself and that hand goes up especially if it is for the children of Parsippany. Joyce is a member and past president of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany and Parsippany-Troy Hills Woman’s Club. She was a member of the Board of the Parsippany Child Day Care Center and has been seen as the Cat in the Hat reading to children. “If you need something done to help people just ask Joyce”.
George Smith was honored with the Outstanding Public Safety award. George grew up in Parsippany and joined the Mount Tabor Fire Department in February 1982. He was made a Lieutenant in 1985 and has served as Chief a total of 16 years starting in 1991 to 92, 1994, 1998-2001 and most recently 2007 to 2015. District #1 covers the area from Mt. Tabor out to Brooklawn Drive to Littleton Road and all the way up to Greystone. They have 49 active firefighters, 5 apparatus and three fire stations.
The “Outstanding Business Person” award was presented to Nick Marino and Tom Govelitz; The Music Shop. Nick and Tom have brought the gift of music to probably thousands of New Jersey school children by supplying band and orchestra instruments to schools throughout the state. What more needs to be said. “Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife”. Kahlil Gibran
The “Dean Gallo Memorial Vocational Award” has been awarded to Rocco Zicolello. The Gallo Vocational Award is given to someone who does his or her job in a manner above and beyond to make Parsippany a better place to live or work. Rocco is a security guard at Parsippany Hills High School where he is committed to the safety and security of not only the building but all students, faculty and guests who enter. He can always be counted on when a site supervisor or extra security is needed for co-curricular events. He shows courage, empathy and a good heart. Rocco exemplifies the meaning of this award.
This year’s Outstanding Rotarian award was presented to Bruce Downing. Bruce joined the Parsippany Rotary in March 1998 and has been one of our most active dependable members ever since. He never misses a club event and rarely even misses a meeting. If there is a job to be done we just have to call Bruce and he is there. Bruce is part of the backbone of our club (although he can never wear his Spiderman suit again).
Outstanding Educators Award were presented to three educators. Erin Andreatta is a Social Worker at Parsippany Hills High School where she has created programs for students that have cognitive emotional, social and learning disabilities that go beyond her duties as a School Social Worker. She has been involved in development of the Multiply Disabled program, development and management of the Peer Buddies program and assisting integration of special needs children in after-school programs such as athletics and drama.
Also receiving an Outstanding Educators Award was Gregory Dalakian. Gregory is the director of the Award Winning Parsippany High School Marching Band. They are the current USBands Group IV A New Jersey State and National Champions. The band performed at the December 27 halftime show for the Jets vs. New England football game at MetLife Stadium and on Prudential Center concourse before the January 21 Devils game. His success with the band and their accomplishments show that Marching Band is no longer the province of geeks (like when I was in High School).
And Lorraine Esposito was also honored with Outstanding Educators Award. Lorraine is the reading specialist at Northvail School where she has been for the last eight years. Her work is best summed up by Samantha Egger, grade 5. “If you say Ms. Esposito is not the best teacher ever you obviously have never had her. She is the best because she is always there to help you with learning to spell and read. She makes learning fun and enjoyable. She is the best teacher ever”.
Outstanding Law Enforcement was presented to Remo D’ Alessandro. Remo joined the Parsippany Police Department in 2004 after transferring from Paterson. His fellow officers recognized him as ”that guy” they all wanted to work with. Currently he is Community Relations Officer where he coordinates community outreach programs including headquarters tours for schools, workplace safety and crime prevention programs for residents and businesses in town. He is also quartermaster, outfitting the officers, equipping the department and coordinating thousands of hours of training. When not on duty he can sing classical music, breakdance, cook, paint and organize just about anything.
Samantha Gurth and Mariya Rutenberg was this year’s Outstanding High School Students. Samantha is a senior at Parsippany High School where she has been making a difference all four years. She possesses an impressive work ethic, dedication and genuine desire to make a difference. Samantha is President of the Rotary sponsored Interact Club and a leader for Peer Buddies and never misses the monthly Service Night or trips to the Community Food Bank of NJ. She authentically and regularly puts others above herself.
Mariya is a senior at Parsippany Hills High School where she has been active in the Interact the whole time and is the publicist this year. She is also active in Peer Leaders, The American Red Cross Club and the fall drama. Masha is an extremely mature high school student who possesses an adult understanding of her need for an education and community service.
The Rotary Club is a worldwide organization of businessmen and women dedicated to peace through humanitarian efforts and programs. Although most of the honorees are not Rotarians, the club says they demonstrate the epitome Rotary’s Motto: “Service above Self.”
The Parsippany-Troy Hills Rotary Club meets every Wednesday at 12:15 p.m, at Il Villaggio Restaurant, 22 Gibraltar Drive, Morris Plains, with the exception of the first week, they have a breakfast meeting at The Daily Joe, 56 Fanny Road. New members are always welcome to join.