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MNY District Award Winners

Award for Excellence in Religious Education—This award is presented to an individual whose achievements include several of the following: contributed to the quality of religious education at the congregational level, affected more than one congregation, contributed to the  quality of religious education at the District level through leadership and/or  publications, made good advantage of opportunities for continuing professional education, been innovative in the development and/or use of religious  education resources, brought dignity to the profession of religious education.

  • 2005 The Rev. Carol Haag (Summit)
  • 2006 Susan Nykolak (Freeport)
  • 2007 John Cavallero (Hastings)
  • 2008 Lara Campbell (White Plains)
  • 2009 Linda Volkersz (Stony Brook)
  • 2010 Britt Cryer (Paramus)
  • 2011 Rev. Dr. Barry Andrews (Manhasset)
  • 2012 Rev. Debra Haffner (Westport)
  • 2013 Chris Buja (Somerville)
  • 2014 Tuli Patel (Summit)
  • 2015 Judy Tomlinson (Montclair)
  • 2016 Robin Pugh

Young Adult Leadership Award—Established in 2013, this award is given to a young adult who serves other young adults ages 18-35 with exemplary and tenacious leadership, whether leading out front or quietly behind the scenes. The award honors an individual who has done the work that is essential to building communities of young adults.

  • 2013 Jai Berg
  • 2014 Jake Campbell (Manhasset)
  • 2015 Shari Halliday-Quan (Fourth Universalist Society)
  • 2016 Brooke Donaldson

Jerry Davidoff Award for Lifetime Achievement—Named for the award's first recipient, this award honors an individual who furthers through lifetime accomplishment a greater awareness and understanding, in our congregations and our region, of the potential of Unitarian Universalism to transform individual lives, communities, and the greater world. The District Board nominates candidates for this award. 

  • 2008 Jerry Davidoff (Westport)
  • 2009 The Rev. Carol Haag and Carl Haag (Princeton)
  • 2011 Charlie King (Brooklyn First)
  • 2013 The Rev. Don McKinney (Brooklyn First)
  • 2014 Ted Fetter
  • 2015 Mary Ella-Holst and Guy Quinlan (Manhattan All Souls)
  • 2016 Denny Davidoff (Westport)

June Z. Gillespie AwardJune Z. Gillespie Award, named to honor a former District UUA Trustee and District President, recognizes an individual who has encouraged congregational participation in denominational affairs at the District or national level. The District Board nominates candidates for this award.

  • 2000 Robert Lavender (Westport)
  • 2001 Michelle Hunt (Washington Crossing)
  • 2002 Denise Taft Davidoff (Westport)
  • 2003 Warren Ross (White Plains)
  • 2004 The Rev. Dr. William F. Schulz (Huntington)
  • 2005 The Rev. Forrest Church (Manhattan All Souls)
  • 2006 Nancy P. Ruckes (Manhattan Community)
  • 2007 Lynda Bluestein (Westport)
  • 2008 Doug Rhodes (Princeton)
  • 2009 Inez Miller (Manhattan All Souls)
  • 2010 Kirsten Henrickson (Ridgewood)
  • 2011 Bill Slezak (Orange) and Carl Spatt (Freeport)
  • 2012 Jim Sanders (Titusville)
  • 2013 The Rev. Hope Johnson (Garden City)
  • 2014 John Hooper (Westport)
  • 2015 Rev. Margie Allen (Stony Brook)
  • 2016 Mia Morse and Charlie Schott

Mendon W. Smith Award—The family of the late Mendon W. Smith, a former District Treasurer and Finance Chair, underwrites the presentation of a plaque awarded to a District congregation that has shown outstanding dedication to our UU purposes and principles and to the strengthening of our liberal religious faith. Activities that demonstrate such dedication include leadership development, community outreach, creative programming, and participation in denominational affairs, among others.

  • 1995 UU Fellowship of Poughkeepsie
  • 1996 UU Fellowship of Huntington
  • 1997 UU Fellowship at Stony Brook
  • 1998 Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, and Unitarian Church in Summit
  • 1999 UU Church at Washington Crossing
  • 2000 UU Congregation at Montclair
  • 2002 Unitarian Church of Staten Island
  • 2003 Unitarian Society, A UU Congregation
  • 2004 UU Congregation of Monmouth County
  • 2005 UU Congregation of Somerset Hills
  • 2006 UU Fellowship of Huntington
  • 2007 Central Unitarian Church
  • 2009 Unitarian Church in Summit
  • 2011 UU Congregation of Princeton
  • 2013 First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn
  • 2014 UU Fellowship of Huntington

O. Eugene Pickett Award—Named for a former president of the UUA, this award is presented to a congregation that has contributed significantly to the growth of the District. Factors for consideration may include congregational growth, organizing a new congregation, consistency as an Honor Society in support of the UUA's Annual Program Fund and District dues, and participation in District activities. The District Board nominates candidates for this award.

  • 1992 UU Church at Washington Crossing
  • 2000 Skylands UU Fellowship
  • 2001 UU Congregation of the South Fork
  • 2003 UU Congregation of the Hudson Valley
  • 2004 Fourth Universalist Society
  • 2007 UU Congregation of Central Nassau
  • 2009 UU Congregation at Shelter Rock
  • 2011 UU Fellowship of Northern Westchester
  • 2012 Unitarian Church in Summit
  • 2013 UU Fellowship at Stony Brook
  • 2014 UU Congregation of Somerset Hills
  • 2015 Morristown Unitarian Fellowship

Unsung UU Hero—This award is made to an individual volunteer who makes a solid and continuing contribution to the work of her or his congregation or to the District, without consideration of recognition, and is generally not well known throughout the District. 

  • 1986 Anne Frantz (Garden City)
  • 1987 Verne Bell (Rock Tavern)
  • 1988 Charlie McGarry (Manhattan Fourth)
  • 1989 Joella Vreeland (Southold), and Olive Hoogenboom (Brooklyn First)
  • 1990 Mary Ann Storck (East Brunswick)
  • 1991 Athena Drewes (Rock Tavern)
  • 1992 Kenyon Tuthill (Southold)
  • 1993 Kenneth Lawson (Freeport)
  • 1994 Ruth Neuendorffer (Hastings)
  • 1995 Alan Kopsco (Freeport)
  • 1996 Harry Hicks (Staten Island)
  • 1997 Shelly Psaris (Stony Brook)
  • 1998 Robert L. Weida (Flushing)
  • 1999 Inez Lawson (Freeport)
  • 2000 Gil Hart (Hastings)
  • 2001 Clu Engel (Poughkeepsie)
  • 2002 Martin Kushnick (Huntington) and Herb Jones (Manhasset)
  • 2003 Melvin Tiger (Poughkeepsie)
  • 2004 Bill Montfort (Hackettstown)
  • 2005 Nino Luciano (Manhasset)
  • 2006 Jean and Werner Wandelmaier (Paramus); Honorable Mentions: Charlotte Gross (Pomona), Eleanor Mason (Morristown), Frank Rennie (Montclair)
  • 2007 Joe Schenk (Washington Crossing)
  • 2008 Joan Karp (Newton)
  • 2009 Arnie Herman (Freeport)
  • 2010 Rich Held and Elaine Vander Plate Held (Lincroft)
  • 2011 Margaret Jiuliano (Somerville)
  • 2012 Vera Dodd (Baptistown)
  • 2013 John Murray (Hastings-on-Hudson)
  • 2014 Gia Dewitt (Lincroft) and Gregory Morton (Lincroft)
  • 2015 Sue McGovern (Huntington)
  • 2016 Alice Spatt (LIAC), Emily Kratzer (MetroNorth), Julie Bero (NYC), Carolyn Brzezicki (NJ)

Winifred Latimer Norman Award—Established to honor a past UUA District Trustee, the award is presented to the individual in the District, who best represents the ideals and values exemplified by her in the areas of social action and racial concerns.  

  • 1992 Melvin Willbach (White Plains)
  • 1993 Geraldine Babcock Boone (Princeton), Helen Lightbourne (Manhattan Community)
  • 1994 Benjamin Shimberg (Princeton) and Helen Shimberg (Princeton)
  • 1995 Wilma Jaffe (Poughkeepsie)
  • 1996 Frank McWade (Huntington)
  • 1997 Joseph Ben David (Manhattan Fourth)
  • 1998 Theodora Smiley Lacey (Paramus)
  • 1999 Bert Napear (Manhattan Community)
  • 2000 Arlene Cossum (Plainfield)
  • 2001 Helen Lindsay Poland (Ridgewood)
  • 2002 Carl Heath (Plainfield)
  • 2003 Michael O’Neill (South Fork)
  • 2004 May Daniels (Summit)
  • 2005 Janice Marie Johnson (Manhattan Community) and Rori Kanter (Paramus)
  • 2007 Katherine Watt (Plainfield)
  • 2009 Martin and Derek Lavanhar (Ridgewood)
  • 2010 Maryann Woods-Murphy (Paramus)
  • 2011 May Stawksy (Engelwood ) and Roshan and Ellen Chaddha (Lincroft)
  • 2012 Gary Nissenbaum (Summit)
  • 2013 The Rev. Susan Karlson (Staten Island)
  • 2014 Winifred Latimer Norman (posthumous)
  • 2015 Ben Testa (Huntington)

Youth Empowerment Award—This award recognizes an adult who has worked to promote healthy and dynamic youth ministry at the congregational and/or District level.

  • 2011 Peter Green (Manhattan All Souls)
  • 2012 Jamie Forbes (Westport)
  • 2013 The Rev. Emilie Boggis (Summit)
  • 2014 Charlie Neiss (Plainfield) and Denice Tomlinson (Pomona)
  • 2015 Joanne Polichetti (Huntington)
  • 2016 Patsy Kaplan

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