Maple Leaf Awards to honor local volunteers

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MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The 51st annual Maple Leaf Award Ceremony and brunch on Sunday, May 5, will honor Mike David, Robert McCoy and Mike Summersgill with Maple Leaf Awards for volunteer and community service; Bardin Levavy will be honored posthumously.

“This year’s Maple Leaf Award recipients includes both relatively long-time and more recent residents of Maplewood,” Maple Leaf Awards Chairwoman Mary Devon O’Brien said. “Whether the volunteer work of this year’s recipients has been given to maintain and enhance the character of Maplewood and its traditions, like the July 4th celebration; or for the support and enrichment of opportunities for young people including anti-bullying programs; or for the environmental protection, conservancy and beautification of Maplewood and its surrounding areas; or for the care and well-being of Maplewood’s seniors and adults; or for the safety and well-being of our community, these volunteers are exceptional individuals whose dedication and service have made Maplewood a better place to live.”

The ceremony and brunch will be held at Pantagis Renaissance on Route 22 in Scotch Plains, is open to all and will begin promptly at 12:30 p.m. Arrive earlier in order to find seating. Reservations and payment in advance are required. For attendance information, call Devon O’Brien at 973-763-4135.

 

Michael David

David grew up in several locations in the South, including New Orleans; Mobile, Ala.; Atlanta; and Boca Raton, Fla. After graduation from high school, he studied architecture at Georgia Tech, then attended the Ecole des Beaux Artes in Paris. Adding to his international experience and understanding of other cultures, David spent a year working in Isfahan, Iran, leaving in 1979 just before the Islamic revolution that ousted the shah.

In 1980, David married Cecilia Weiss, and in 1985 they moved to Maplewood, drawn by its charm and access to transportation. They have two grown children, Kate, 29, who lives in Huntsville, Ala., and Melissa, 28, who lives in New York City. Both Kate and Melissa grew up in Maplewood, attended the Maplewood schools, and they both ran track and cross country at Columbia High School. Michael David was an actively involved volunteer parent, helping and participating in all of his children’s school activities.

A professional engineer who works for Plaza Construction, one of the largest construction companies in New York, David is currently the senior project manager for the tallest building in New Jersey, at 99 Hudson St. in Jersey City.

The Davids are members of St. George’s Episcopal Church, where Mike David has been an active volunteer locally and in the Episcopal Diocese of Newark. He served on the Vestry, the governing body of St. George’s Church, for six years and headed the Property Committee for nearly 10 years. He also served on the board of the Ward-Herbert Fund, a capital improvement management organization of the Episcopal Diocese, whose mission is to help less endowed parishes.

Shortly after moving to Maplewood, Mike David became active with the Maplewood Civic Association and the Fourth of July Committee as a volunteer in various capacities. Under the guidance and encouragement of Bruce and Winnie Conley, he took over the financial responsibilities of the committee and began his decadeslong service as its treasurer, then served as chairman from 1998 to 2000. After that, he resumed management, reporting and financial oversight responsibilities as treasurer.

 

Robert McCoy

McCoy was born in Midland, Mich., home of the Dow Chemical Company, whose impact on the environment was an early motivator for him. His family moved to Hong Kong when he was in seventh grade, and there he graduated from Hong Kong International School. Growing up in Hong Kong, in the shadow of China’s Cultural Revolution, established McCoy’s lifelong commitment to social justice, and his family’s hosting of U.S. soldiers and sailors on leave from the Vietnam War, gave him a perspective on the best of American values as well as the perils of a challenging foreign policy involvement.

McCoy graduated from Swarthmore College with a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1977, and has a diploma in machine tool operation. In Atlanta, Ga., he was certified as a journeyman toolmaker and worked for a contact lens manufacturing company for a decade, while being actively involved in organizing voter registration drives through the DeKalb County NAACP.

Drawn by its diversity and broader aesthetics, McCoy and his wife, Laurel, with their then 2-year-old daughter, moved to Maplewood in 1994, when Laurel McCoy took a position as a professor at Drew Theological School in Madison. Bob McCoy stayed home with their daughter, who now has a degree in mechanical engineering from MIT and works in the solar industry, and their son, who was born in 1996 and has a degree in international relations from Tufts and works in policy advocacy communications. Both children attended Seth Boyden School, where Bob McCoy monitored district budget issues for the PTA; Maplewood Middle School; and Columbia High School, where they were active in sports, including soccer, baseball and Ultimate Frisbee, which he helped as an assistant coach. During this time, Bob McCoy completed his master of engineering degree in design management from Stevens Institute of Technology.

In the fall of 2002, the McCoys’ house became one of the first hundred solar installations in New Jersey. Later they also replaced their gas boiler with a geothermal heat pump system. Bob McCoy’s initiative and interest in solar led to his appointment to the Maplewood Environmental Advisory Committee in 2004 by the Township Committee; he ultimately served as its chairman. In 2006, he led an effort to inventory Maplewood’s greenhouse gas emissions and to develop a climate action plan to reduce that impact. He was also involved in designing and managing two programs to encourage residents to take advantage of New Jersey’s solar funding options, leading to his participation on the Sustainable Jersey Energy Task Force, and on various statewide panels.

Bob McCoy also worked to correct the harm of over-browsing by deer in South Mountain Reservation and helped to coordinate Maplewood’s government, the South Mountain Conservancy and Essex County Parks Department to cull deer. He also works on the EAC’s annual spring cleanup of the East Branch of the Rahway River and is working on the Rahway Greenway project.

Bob McCoy enjoys his large extended family in the United States and overseas, taking care of his parents in North Carolina, international travel, and continuing to camp and hike with family.

 

Mike Summersgill

Summersgill was born in Monterey Bay, Calif., and moved with his family to South Jersey when his father was transferred to Fort Dix. He graduated from Moorestown High School, where he was active in student government and varsity sports, and then graduated from Cornell University with a degree in operations research and industrial engineering. His first job after graduation was with Airborne Express in South Plainfield, where he supervised 20 Union drivers.

Summersgill earned roles of increasing responsibility and transferred to Manhattan when DHL acquired Airborne Express. After working for DHL, he took a role with Williams Lea, a business process outsourcing firm, and moved to Maplewood with wife, Devon.

Appointed by the Maplewood Township Committee, Summersgill served for two years on the Pool Advisory Committee, where he helped rewrite the concession Request For Proposals and advocated for lower rates for families and seniors. He was also an inaugural member of Senior Advisory Committee, and he continues to serve on that committee as an advocate for seniors and helped write the Age Friendly Event Guidelines for Maplewood. Prior to serving on the Senior Advisory Committee, he was a volunteer with Two Towns For All Ages, where he served on the governance subcommittee.

Summersgill serves on the South Mountain YMCA Board of Managers and is a member of its Chairman’s Club. In his service for children, he is a program champion for the YMCA and funds a three-year anti-bullying program for elementary schoolers in the South Mountain YMCA aftercare program. He also serves on the South Mountain YMCA’s Community Programming Committee focusing on extending the Y’s reach into the community. He is also a perennial sponsor of the Duck Race.

Summersgill is a long-time supporter of the Columbia High School Cougar Boosters and can be spotted at their golf outing every year. He has donated and coordinated the printing of the Columbia High School Cougar Boosters programs and signs for years.

Summersgill lives in the Hilton neighborhood with his wife and their three daughters, Bree, Kate and Maggie. He is a member of the Hilton Neighborhood Association, has served on its executive board and has led its Women’s History Month program. He and his family are part of St. Joseph’s parish.

Summersgill is also active with the Maplewood Civic Association. His volunteer service includes serving on the Fourth of July Committee executive board and co-chairing the car show. He was also a holiday decorations captain as part of the association’s Holiday Decorations Celebration Program.

Outside Maplewood, Summersgill volunteers through his current employer, Salesforce, at the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen and does pro bono consulting for the Professional Women In Construction organization.

 

Bardin Levavy – in memory

Born and brought up in Perth Amboy, Bardin “Bardy” Levavy earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in English literature from Johns Hopkins University, after which he earned a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School. While working as a lawyer, he attended New York University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, achieving the status of “All but Dissertation” for a Ph.D. in English literature.

Levavy’s early practice of law in New York City included his interest in intellectual property, focusing on movies and music. He also developed an expertise in trusts and estates and general corporate law. After practicing law in New York for 15 years, he moved his practice to New Jersey, where he practiced for the rest of his career.

In 1972, Levavy and his wife, Sue-Ellen, moved to Maplewood, where they raised their children Rafi and Sara. Almost as soon as they moved to Maplewood, Levavy became involved in numerous community organizations. He was an active and long-time member of the Citizens Budget Advisory Committee, lending his expertise to provide suggestions to benefit Maplewood and its citizens. This led to his further involvement as an active member and officer in numerous organizations in town. He donated his time and lent his expertise to the Maplewood Civic Association and its many activities as treasurer and legal counsel, a position he held for decades.

Levavy was also actively involved in many aspects of Arts Maplewood, and then Friends of the Burgdorff Cultural Center, using his love of music and the arts to enrich cultural activities in Maplewood and the extended community. He also was a long-time member of Friends of Maplewood Recreation, serving as its president.

As a member of Oheb Shalom Congregation, Levavy served as editor of the Oheb Shalom Review and as a member of its board of trustees. In addition, he served as bulletin editor and president of The Unity Club of Maplewood. Levavy also kept connected to his childhood roots in Middlesex County as an officer of the Friends of Preservation of Middlesex County Jewish Cemeteries and Friends of Perth Amboy Jewish History.

Levavy’s death last year was not only a personal loss to many but also a loss to the organizations and community he served.

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