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Thomas is Mendham-Chester's Person of the Year

Mendham Township's OEM coordinator Evan 'Buzzy' Thomas wins 2012 honor.

Last year, he was honored by the state. Last month, he was honored by the Mendham Rotary.

Now, Mendham Township OEM coordinator Evan "Buzzy" Thomas has been chosen as Mendham and Chester's Person of the Year.

Poster TA commented on Thomas' dedication in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

"During Sandy he put his own life on hold to make sure that everyone in the area had assistance. Whether it was a listening ear, a rescue, information, or shelter he was willing to help every single person at any moment. Spending countless hours in the office answering questions and trying to solve problems might make someone irritable but not Buzzy. Sleep deprived and running near empty Buzzy always put on a smile and gave 100 percent."

Thomas emerged victorious in a field of stiff competion.

A close second to Thomas was Mendham Township's Noreen Staples, who organized relief efforts for those by the shore who were so devastated by Sandy. 

"Noreen Staples has really shown me the meaning of the term 'pay it forward'. She is not a part of any organization or committee. She is and has been doing all of this out of the goodness of her heart," Kris O'Reilly posted on Patch. "Whether she wins this poll or not, myself, our family, and the victims of Hurricane Sandy know what an amazing and giving person she is."

Rounding out the top four finalists were Chester Consolidated School Superintendent Christina VanWoert. Patch poster Wendy said that VanWoert's efforts to communicate to the population of Chester during crisis deserved to be recognized. Natasha Chandler agreed.

"My vote is for Dr. VanWoert who has done a great job in her role," Chandler said.

The Sisters of Christian Charity were also praised for offering shelter during Sandy.

"The Sisters of Christian Charity opened their hearts and home to citizens from more than just Mendham and Chester. It was a great thing that they did to allow people to come in to either eat three meals a day and/or stay at the convent where there was heat, hot water and food," Kelly Mazzocchi posted on Patch. "The kitchen staff also needs to be thanked for preparing all of the extra food needed to feed the people coming for breakfast, lunch and dinner."

Other who didn't make the final four were Jane Shatz of the Morris County Arts Workshop and St. Lawrence Church.

"St. Lawrence's in Chester should get a honorable mention," Brad Lewin said. "They fed people every night when there was no power."

Oldtimer January 08, 2013 at 01:37 AM
I demand a recount. Billy Meyers went above and beyond ALL YEAR LONG!! He was one of the last to get power back too!!!
Noreen Staples January 08, 2013 at 01:11 PM
Good job Buzzy.
Buckley January 08, 2013 at 05:19 PM
Great job Buzzy & Noreen!
Lisa Trummel January 08, 2013 at 09:49 PM
You deserve alot of praise Buzzy--Waooooo! I knew you had it in you since highschool- You deserve alot of praise! I knew you had it in you since high-school---So Proud-
buzzy thomas January 08, 2013 at 11:44 PM
Thanks noreen and congratulation to you and all.nominees. I accept this for all the volunteers who worked during and afterwards it is a great community we live in and it was neighbor helping neighbor for a few weeks .imy thoughts and prayers go out to the everett family from randolph who lost there parents during the storm i was fortunate enough to spend a few hours with them christmas eve in a santa role something i will always rememberlets have a peaceful happy.new year thanks to.all

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