Observer 25th Anniversary Celebration

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Photos by Ron Kirschbaum and Ginny Bromage

On April 21, the Observer volunteers gathered at Oak Ridge Country Club to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the paper. Jay Presser, emcee, welcomed everyone and recognized the four volunteers who were at the first group photo 25 years ago: Lester Smith, Carol Martin, Sally Peters and Eileen Moncrief.

The Observer volunteers are keeping Sam’s dream alive! See if you can identify all the volunteers in this photo.

Jay asked Abby Wolcott to reflect for us on her father’s initial thoughts on creating The Suffield Observer. Sam was a town advocate through and through. He wanted the Observer, which had morphed from his newsletter the Watchful Messenger, to promote community unity in Suffield, and Abby confirmed that mission.

Jay presented the Sam Award for contributions over and above, to Tony Peterson, Karen Jason and Dave Kannen. Julie Dodds also received a Sam Award, but she was unable to attend the party. The final presentation was to Carol Martin for her long-term commitment to the paper. She received a Lifetime Recognition Award.

It was a wonderful party and a great turnout as you can see from the group photo!

Observer volunteers mingle at the reception.
Jay Presser, emcee
Marsha and Alan Fahrenholz enjoy chatting with Jay Presser.
Ellen Peterson and Tony Peterson, a SAM Award recipient as an excellent reporter and photographer, with Jeanine and Gerry Crane.
Julie Dodds received a SAM Award as a conscientious downloader and contributor.
Eileen and Ron Kirschbaum with Karen Jason, a SAM Award recipient as another great reporter and photographer, with Rick Kirschbaum.
Dave Kannen, SAM Award recipient as our Distribution Manager and who miraculously secured two grants (TIF Town grant and a Zak Hartford Foundation grant) this spring for capital improvements at the Observer, Bob White, Ginny Bromage, Ann Kannen, Lester Smith, an original volunteer from 1999 and Kerry White.
Lucille Miller and Donna and Fran Milliken enjoy the party.
Lauren Life, Dan and Krystal Holmes are all smiles.
Beth Chafetz, Johanne Presser and Mel Chafetz catch up.
Scott Miller and Eileen Moncrief, an original volunteer from 1999.
Lynette Roy, Darlene Burrell and Mary Ann Muska
Carol Martin received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Jay Presser. Carol was one of the original volunteers in 1999 and has made major contributions to the Observer over the past 25 years. She has held many positions at the paper. She has been Co-Editor-in-Chief with Mary Ann Muska, editor-of-the-month for many years, a prepper, a proofreader and a log in and layout volunteer. Her most notable contribution is that she has written 253 book reviews for the Observer. In addition to all of this, Carol would generously bring in warm oatmeal cookies for the volunteers!

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