Livingston Chamber Announces 2013 Honorees For Annual Award Dinner
Friday, March 22, 2013 • 6:46am
LIVINGSTON, NJ – On May 1 the Livingston Area Chamber of Commerce will be honoring several members of the Livingston Community.
The ceremony will be held during the Chamber’s annual Awards Dinner and will take place this year at the Cedar Hill Golf & Country Club.
“It’s become the township social event of the year,” said Marie Bennett, prior Chamber president and current board member.
“It gives everyone from all of the different departments and organizations a chance to have a night out with one another to honor the good work of their colleagues.”
In tribute to Livington’s 200th birthday the chamber will honor three of Livingston’s “oldest” businesses which include the Crystal Plaza, Karig’s Hardware and the West Essex Tribune. All three businesses have been serving the Livingston Community just shy of 100 years.
Allan Janoff, owner of The Crystal Plaza expressed his gratitude and happiness for being a part of the Livingston community for so long. “I couldn’t have gotten any luckier,” said Janoff. “When we got here in 1966 Livingston was mostly farmland. It’s grown into a bubbling town and I am blessed to be able to hold many events for the community here.”
Reporting through the years on that bubbling town: The West Essex Tribune. “I’ve been in Livingston for 52 years and have had the Tribune delivered for 52 years. It’s always been an informative, well-written, dependable newspaper,” said Bennett.
Karig’s Hardware, another old reliable recently celebrated its 90th year in business. Scott Schatell, a long-time employee commented, “The community tends to rely on us. People come in and say things like ‘never close’ and ‘you have everything.’” A comment that is no surprise, considering the store carries over 60,000 items.
The Chamber has also added a new honoree category for “Civic Leader” of the year. Alan Karpas has been selected for his volunteerism and dedication to improving the lives of Livingston residents. He has lived in Livingston for over 43 years.
Alan Chairs the Vision 20/20 committee, served as the first president of HCHY and now serves as its treasurer. He sits on the Committee for Disabilities, Camuso Holiday Collection, Transportation Advisory, and the Green Committee. He is a member of the Citizens Institute Board and is presently running the Shuttle service from the Livingston Mall to the South Orange Train Station for the Livingston Commuters.
Livingston former Mayor, Arlene Johnson said of Karpas, “It isn't always easy to know how to move something from idea to reality. It's Alan's gift that he has both the stick-to-it-iveness and the savvy to know how to move something from an idea to reality---like a community skate park or a shuttle to the train station. If there's an important cause or important project going on in the community, you can be sure Alan will get involved and will bring both a positive attitude and a humble spirit. Whether he's in the lead or in the ranks doesn't matter to Alan. He sticks with the job until it's done.”
Franklin Leck was nominated for Firefighter of the Year for his dedication and devotion to the Township of Livingston through his service over the past 54 years as a volunteer firefighter. Firefighter Leck has held the Company Officers positions of Lieutenant, Captain and Deputy Chief over his years of service.
“The years of service alone make Frank worthy of this award,” explained Fire Chief Christopher Mullin.
“Getting out of bed at all hours of the night – that should be commended. Frank’s wife Linda also deserves commendation for supporting Frank through the years, even as he sometimes missed family functions due to his strong sense of duty to the fire department.”
Lucy Lee has been teaching at Livingston High for 23 years and recently received Teacher of the Year Award. Lizbeth Sanchez, Supervisor of World Languages and ESL for Livingston Public Schools describes Lee as, "A consummate professional, a master teacher, a respected educational leader, and a strong advocate for Chinese language education nationally and internationally." The Chamber will be honoring Lee as Educator of the Year.
A member of the Livingston Police Department for nearly 40 years, Lt. John B. Durkin will be recognized as Police Officer of the Year. In 1999 he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant where he currently serves as a Shift Commander. Lt. Durkin is the recipient of numerous commendations from both the Livingston Police Department and the Essex County PBA, and his service record reflects his devotion and dedication to duty to the Township of Livingston.
Last but not least, the Chamber is honoring Ann Freeman as First Aid Squad Member of the Year. She has been an EMT instructor and has taught thousands of students in the past 25 years, which led to her joining the Livingston First Aid Squad in 1990.
Ann has served in many capacities including Lieutenant, Captain, and President of the Livingston First Aid Squad. She has also been the Training and Certification Officer for the past 22 years.
“She goes above and beyond her response to the job, always taking calls after hours. She’s very deserving of the award she’s being presented with,” Craig Dufford, First Aid Squad Active Member and Engineer
The Livingston Area Chamber of Commerce is inviting the community to join in celebrating the honorees and the work they have done for the town. For more information please call Beth Lippman at 973-992-8080.