Maplewood's storied Maple Leaf Awards broke with tradition this year.
First, the event was not held at the Woman's Club as the ownership of that building is in transition. Instead the event took place at L'Affaire on Route 22 in Mountainside on Sunday, April 15, with a "Mimosa Brunch" at 1:30 p.m.
Second, the Awards — which are sponsored by the Maplewood Civic Association — are usually given to two or three individual volunteers in the community. However, this year, the Awards recognized many, many volunteers by honoring the town's volunteer service organizations — the Maplewood/South Orange Elks, the Maplewood Kiwanis, the Maplewood Lions, the Maplewood Rotary and the Maplewood VFW.
As Maple Leaf Award Committee Chair Mary Devon O'Brien wrote in her invitation letter, "The recipients of this year's awards were selected after a thorough review of the many worthy individuals who were nominated. The members of the Elks, Kiwanis, Lions, Rotary and VFW, however, have demonstrated the generosity of spirit and selfless gift of time and talent that eiptomizes Maple Leaf Award recipients."
She added, "The high degree of citizen participation in volunteer work characterizes the special community of Maplewood and is typified by theses volunteers."
were Janet Crane, Mark Mucci, and Irene Kosinski.
2010's winners were Dr. Elizabeth Jones Crandall, Dr. Charles Crandall, of the Maplewood Volunteer First Aid Squad and Nancy S. Sobieski.
The Maple Leaf Awards originated with the Jaycees in 1964 and have been sponsored by the Maplewood Civic Association since 1983. Often the award is given to modest or unassuming volunteers who work "behind the scenes."
Thanks to Caroline Gosselin for the photos!