Volunteers Recognized at City of Newark Jefferson Awards Ceremony

April 13, 2017
By

City of Newark
April 13, 2017
Newark, DE

Surrounded by a crowd of friends, neighbors and local officials, several outstanding volunteers were presented with Jefferson Awards at a ceremony held at Grain Craft Bar & Kitchen on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. Organizations and groups engaged in LEAD360 projects were also recognized with certificates of achievement.

“This event provides us with an opportunity to recognize and honor those who selflessly give their time and talents to support the community in which they live and work,” said Mayor Polly Sierer. “Their dedication and service to the City of Newark not only benefits us today, but will be a benefit for generations to come.”
Founded in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Senator Robert Taft Jr., and Sam Beard, the Jefferson Awards Foundation identifies and honors local unsung heroes, celebrating their outstanding community service.

Below is a list of the individuals recognized this year, along with a portion of their nomination submission:
Mark Deshon
Mark has worked tirelessly to improve bicycle safety here in Newark. He donates his time and talents to Newark and Delaware organizations that seek to make the community a better place. Mark has donated his graphic design and editing expertise to produce newsletters for the former Emmaus House and Pike Creek Valley Running Club; volunteers at the New Castle County Habitat for Humanity ReStore and was named volunteer of the year in 2016; and served on the communications team at Newark United Methodist Church. He is the current president of Bike Newark (formerly Newark Bicycle Committee), and played an active role in many projects including the Cleveland Avenue Task Force, Bike to work day, First Friday Rides and Mayor’s Fun Ride.

Margie Masino
As President of the Newark History Museum, Margie works tirelessly to preserve the history of the City of Newark through good stewardship. She recognizes opportunities to engage the community in the past, and engages art conservation students from the University of Delaware to work as curators of our history. The Newark History Museum plays a large part in preserving the history of Newark. Through understanding our history and the parts that many citizens have played, we gain a sense of community and pride in belonging to a place with such diverse and interesting stories to tell. The Museum is free to the public and is funded only by donations and membership fees. It is staffed by volunteers.

Gabby Alaimo

Gabby is inspired by all of the life lessons she has learned through sports and always looks to use her platform as a student athlete to help better the lives of those in the community. Gabby is a senior at the University of Delaware majoring in exercise science with a concentration in biomechanics and motor control and minoring in Italian and integrated design. In addition to being involved in the athletic community at the University of Delaware, Gabby has been involved in event planning for the Special Olympic of Delaware, planning the first annual Polar Plunge event; organizes and participates in the UD Student Athlete Talent Shows, which also benefited Special Olympics; participates in multiple campus-wide drives including shoes for the MORE foundation, canned food for the Colonial Athletic Association Food Drive, and Be the Match bone marrow registry, among others; and she participates in UD’s celebration of National Women and Girls Sports Day.

Jessica Bruen

Jessica began volunteering at Newark community events when she was just three years old. Through the years, she progressed into assisting with other programs, summer camps and much more. She has devoted over 1,700 volunteer hours to the City of Newark and has made a substantial impact in the development of events, as well as recreational and educational programs in the community. In the summer of 2016, Jessica volunteered as art coordinator of Camp REAL, a free half day camp held at Dickey Park in Newark. The camp provides summer activities in a low income neighborhood for children 6-14 years old. She devotes her heart and soul to assisting others, volunteering over 2,035 hours in her lifetime. Besides the City of Newark, Jessica has volunteered at Angels Among Us Animal Sanctuary, Special Olympics of Delaware, Project Unify, Pennsville Visiting Nurses Association, Delaware State Parks, and the Kenny Family Foundation. Jessica has consistently demonstrated a commitment to service.

Marilyn Minster

Marilyn Minster is the owner of Minster’s Jewelers, a fourth generation business serving the Newark community for over 112 years. Marilyn has been a significant contributor and volunteer to our city for so many years and in so many ways. In addition to being a sounding board for businesses in the Main Street area, Marilyn has volunteered for and supported the Newark Historical Society; was instrumental in the renovations of the Newark Shopping Center; and logged decades of volunteer work with the Downtown Newark Partnership, including efforts that led to the City of Newark receiving the National Great American Main Street Award. Her dedication and commitment to our City is remarkable and her devotion to making it the best City to live, work and play is certainly reflective to her public service efforts.
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