HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. – Ten outstanding individuals who have been an important part of the greater Hackettstown community will be inducted into the Hackettstown Area Senior Hall of Fame in May. A recognition luncheon that will honor the 10 is scheduled for Wednesday, May 10th, at David’s Country Inn in Hackettstown.
The Hackettstown Area Senior Hall of Fame was originally established as part of a community outreach initiative. From the start, honorees have been recognized for the impact that they have had in helping others. Over 260 individuals have been so honored since the hall’s inception several years ago. All of the honorees either live in the Hackettstown area or have been associated with organizations nearby.
Following is a rundown of the Class of 2023 and brief details about each of them:
John Maxman, Columbia: John has been a member of the Blairstown Rotary Club for 40 years, serving two terms as president and many years on the executive board. He was a driving force behind the annual Fourth of July Fireworks Program and has been actively involved in the rotary’s International Eye Glass, Hearing Aide and Foreign Exchange programs. Additionally, John helped construct the Sycamore Park concession stand, co-founded the Blairstown Duck Race fundraiser and is a member of the Blairstown Beautification Committee. He also helps with the VFW Memorial Day parade, and the list goes on.
John LaPadula, Allamuchy Township: John is the recipient of the 2021 Outstanding Senior of the Year for Warren County, and with good reason. He is the director of the Friends of Rutherfurd Hall, the president of the Allamuchy OWLS (Older, Wiser, Livelier Seniors), a member of the Aging Services Advisory Council of the Warren County Division of Aging and Disability Services and is also a member of the Panther Valley Communications Committee. To keep seniors informed, John arranges meetings and gets guest speakers, coordinates trips and produces a monthly newsletter.
Charlie Uhrmann, formerly Mount Olive: Charlie’s dedication to causes for veterans near and far is certainly commendable. Charlie has been involved in the Morris County Cares/Operation Outreach, One Soldier and was founder of All Veterans Alliance. Charlie also founded Health Plus (now a Rotary program). Charlie was instrumental in the design (and fundraising for) the All Veterans Memorial at Turkey Brook Park in Mount Olive, and is still involved to this day including the annual Memorial Day Remembrance Day and POW/MIA 24-hour vigil. Charlie is also active in Helping Homeless Heroes/Helping Homeless Hounds Backpacks.
Lewis Donaldson, Mansfield Township: Over his long career in farming, Lewis has been hugely involved in his profession. He was the chairman of the Warren County Soil Conservation District for 32 years, was on the Farm Home Administration for six years and was also on the board of directors of the NJ Farm Credit. In his hometown, he served on the Mansfield Township Board of Adjustment for 30 years. In addition, Lewis was on the Agway Petroleum Co-Op Board for 10 years.
Joan Watters, Mansfield Township: Where to being with Joan’s volunteer efforts in the community! A member of the Rockport Presbyterian Church for 65 years, Joan has been a music ministry volunteer playing organ, directing both adult and children’s choirs, directing the bell choir and president of the Ladies Auxiliary for 20 years. She also served on the Church’s food pantry, was president of the Mansfield Elementary School PTA and has helped work the family farm.
Beverly “Joan” Crouse, Hackettstown: Joan’s volunteerism began some 47 years ago as a founding member of the Hackettstown Soroptimist. A past president, she is still active with the organization. After joining Trinity United Methodist Church, Joan soon became involved with the Trinity Thrift Shop on Main Street in Hackettstown where she goes above and beyond in taking care of customers. She is also a member of the HRMC Auxiliary and serves on the tricky tray subommittee.
Kathy Halpin, Washington: While Kathy has served in several volunteer capacities over the years, many people know her as the long serving chair of Washington Celebrates America, the area’s premier July 4th celebration. Although no longer on that committee, her foresight was instrumental in keeping that event alive and well. Her volunteer time goes way beyond that, however, with her efforts on the Warren Hills Board of Education, the Washington Business Improvement District, the Washington Borough Shade Tree Commission, Warren Habitat for Humanity and Hope in the Hills.
Sarah Brelvi, Allamuchy Township: Sarah has been involved in numerous non-profits over the years in a variety of roles including United Way, Warren County Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault Crisis Center, Rutherfurd Hall Foundation, the Joan Knechel Walk for Hackettstown Regional Medical Center and the Warren County Community College Foundation. Among her philanthropic endeavors was initiating the United Way of Warren County Women’s Leadership Council Scholarship Fund.
Despina “Daisy” Paghidas, Hackettstown: Despina, known as Daisy at the House of the Good Shepherd, has been like the Energizer Bunny when it comes to volunteering at the house. She was a member of the board of trustees, served as secretary of the Independent Living Resident Counsel, led the Employee Appreciation Committee, volunteered at community yard sales, organized countless chapel service binders, was an integral member of the Chime Choir and helped decorate the Country Store on campus.
Mary Litwhiler, Hackettstown: If you enjoy the Hackettstown St. Patrick’s Day Parade, you have Mary in great part to thank. Volunteering in conjunction with the Hackettstown Business Improvement District, Mary has worked tirelessly to put the parade on the regional map. She gets involved in other HBID events as well. In a commitment to the young people of Hackettstown, Mary has also served on the town’s recreation commission and on the board of education.
The luncheon event, which includes live music with Grover Kemble, is open to the public. The luncheon starts at noon. For ticket and general information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.riverwalkvillage.org.