Service Above Self Awards Brunch honors several residents

Photo by Chris Sykes
October Hudley on Sunday, March 12, during her visit to the statue of Civil rights Movement era heroine Rosa Parks in the Essex County Government Complex on West Market Street in downtown Newark, in observance of Women’s History Month. Hudley was one of the honorees at the annual Service Above Self Awards Brunch.

IRVINGTON, NJ — The Rotary Club of Irvington will be hosting its annual Service Above Self Awards Brunch on Saturday, March 18, at 10 a.m. in the Hanover Manor in East Hanover.

This year’s awardees are: Dr. October Hudley, the library media specialist at Grove Street Elementary School; Public Safety Director Tracy Bowers; Irvington Fire Division Investigator Danny R. Cruz; Deacon Franklin G. Henderson of Solid Rock Baptist Church; and chef A. Roscoe Coleman of RMT Buffet Catering.

“On Saturday, March 18, at the Hanover Manor, the Rotary Club of Irvington will hold its annual ‘Service Above Self’ Awards Brunch to honor individuals and organizations who exemplify and demonstrate through their profession and volunteerism a commitment to the township of Irvington community their adherence to the RCOI ethos, which is ‘Service Above Self’,” said Rotary Club of Irvington President Alison Bryant on Monday, March 13, in a press release. “Please join us in celebrating our honorees and supporting Rotary community service programs and projects.”

Bryant said awards are presented annually to outstanding members of the Irvington community that demonstrate their worth and worthiness to receive them. Hudley fits both those criterion.

“We decided to honor Dr. Hudley because of her education background and the work she does with her students over at Grove Street School,” said Bryant on Monday, March 13. “She literally lives right around the corner from the school that she attended as a child before going off to college, continuing her education, and then coming back home to work in the school she once attended. You really don’t see that very often, with someone as educated and accomplished as she is coming back to work in their home communities, so it’s rare when it does happen and that should be recognized and appreciated.”

Fellow Irvington native Mayor Tony Vauss said remaking the township into the kind of quality municipality where people can live, work and play is a goal they all share. He said the award is well-deserved.

“The interesting thing is that she’s been doing that for 31 years,” said Vauss on Monday, March 13. “I think it’s a good thing. I’ll be there.”

Both Bryant and Hudley said they were glad to hear that the mayor would attend the annual Service Above Self Awards Brunch.

“I feel deeply honored to be a recipient for the Service Above Self Award for doing what I feel passionate about — serving the community and advocating for education,” said Hudley on Sunday, March 12, during her visit to the statue of Civil Rights Movement era heroine Rosa Parks that sits in the Essex County Government Complex on West Market Street in downtown Newark, in observance of Women’s History Month. “I truly adore Rosa Parks and I wish I could turn back the hands of time to have a talk with her, to hear firsthand about her struggles and how she overcame them with such grace and dignity. I literally sat there to feel her presence and share my personal struggles. What an amazing feeling.”

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