McQuaid, Petronchak honored for volunteer work

WEST MILFORD. Arthur McQuaid received the 2023 Mary B. Haase Lifetime Volunteer Award, and Donna Petronchak was named the 2023 Volunteer of the Year.

| 10 Apr 2024 | 11:29

Arthur McQuaid received the 2023 Mary B. Haase Lifetime Volunteer Award at the Township Council meeting Wednesday, April 3.

He was selected by a group of former township mayors.

McQuaid is vice chairman of the township’s Zoning Board; he has been of member of that board for 28 years.

He previously was a member of the township’s Insurance Advisory Committee and helped coach a PAL soccer team and several Little League teams.

McQuaid served in the U.S. Navy in 1965 and later taught Sunday school and served on the board of the Good Shepherd Mission, an inner-city mission providing shelter for homeless men and programs for addiction recovery.

“This award is something,” he said, noting that he knew Haase, who was the office manager at a Prudential office where he was an agent.

She encouraged him to move to West Milford, where he has lived for nearly 40 years.

”I’m humbled and honored for this presentation,” he added.

Volunteer of the Year

Donna Petronchak was chosen as the 2023 Volunteer of the Year.

The council picked her from among nine people nominated by residents.

She runs the food pantry at St. Joseph R.C. Church. It serves 75 to 100 families and 250 people every two weeks.

As an unpaid volunteer, she spends more than 40 hours a week collecting, purchasing and soliciting food supplies. She organizes and stocks the pantry shelves, schedules 16 volunteers to help package and disburse food, packs and delivers food to those in need, and monitors a hotline for those with emergencies.

Petronchak also is a ministry leader and a Eucharistic minister at St. Joseph, and she schedules the many Masses at the church each week.

“I’m just so honored for you to think of us in this way,” she told the council.

“I’m so grateful to be able to help” food-insecure residents, she said, adding, “Every week, we see more and more.”

She shared the award with her team of volunteers, ranging in age from 6 to 76. “They’re just the best in the world. Nobody does it better.”

She also thanked the town. “You are so generous to us. We couldn’t do it without you.”

During the council meeting, representatives of service and volunteer organizations highlighted some of their activities.

The groups were the West Milford Municipal Alliance, West Milford Heritage Committee, Friends of the Long Pond Ironworks, West Milford Players, Woman’s Club of West Milford, West Milford Environmental Commission, West Milford Animal Shelter, Upper Greenwood Lake Property Owners Association, Highlander Education Foundation, Friends of West Milford Township Library and West Milford 77 TV Commission.