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Chatham, NJ 07928

Community Volunteers Recognized at Fishawack!

Community Volunteers Recognized at Fishawack!
While for many, the highlights of Fishawack were the dunk tank, the pretzels, and rides, the event also served as a time to honor three residents who have set extraordinary examples in providing service to the community.

The three being honored were:

  • Megan Deaton, co-founder and co-executive director of Moms Helping Moms, which distributes over 1 million diapers to families in need.
  • Reverend Jeff Markay, who helped establish the Chatham Food Distribution and Chatham Food Bank and who has helped reinforce and guide the community in meeting Chatham’s goals of inclusiveness and respect for people of all backgrounds.
  • Tom Salvas, who served in the U.S. Air Force for 10 years and who has made it his mission to document the history of Chatham and Chathamites, most recently through the Chatham Library Veteran’s Project.

    Council President Jocelyn Mathiasen presided over the ceremony as Mayor Carolyn Dempsey was out of town. 

“This is the first time we have given these awards since before the pandemic,” said Mathiasen, “and I think it is fitting now to remember that while the pandemic was such a dark, frightening, and tragic time for so many of us, it was also a time that brought out the best in so many as we turned to each other and asked ‘how can we help’ instead of just retreating into ourselves.”

“The three people being commended today are examples of how people give back and make a difference, and each of them is a role model in a different way,” she added.  

“When Megan Deaton was struggling with being a new mom, she turned around and focused not just on her own struggle, but on how to help other moms … Reverend Markay lives the belief that addition, not subtraction, is what holds us together, that a diverse community is a strong community, and that we are all one even as we are different in our beliefs, backgrounds, and experiences.”

Regarding Tom Salvas she spoke about the importance of being remembered, not just for our own sakes but to help our good deeds echo forward. “Tom’s role in the Library’s Veteran’s Project of the Chathams and the is just one example of his work to document and share the history of our community today and for generations to come.“

Pictured L to R: Council President Jocelyn Mathiasen, Tom Salvas, Megan Deaton, Reverand Jeff Markay, and Council Member Justin Strickland