Home Haddonfield News Haddonfield’s Year in Review: Revival of events and individual accomplishments

Haddonfield’s Year in Review: Revival of events and individual accomplishments

A look back at Haddonfield's events, people of the year and how the town addressed hate and tried to foster more diversity and inclusion.

In 2022, there were a number of programs and events that came back following their cancellations over the past two years due to COVID. Diversity, inclusion and counteracting hate were also recurring themes addressed throughout the year, both by the board of education and within the town.

Events and volunteers

A number of groups celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 17. The Kiwanis Club of the Haddons organized service projects ahead of the holiday including collecting pajamas for the NJ Pajama Program, collecting food for food pantries in the local area and gently used pillowcases and towels for the Homeward Bound Animal Shelter.

Other volunteer activities included organizing books at BookSmiles, creating literacy packets for Love Letters for Literacy and more. On MLK Day, the borough Human Relations Commission held its 13th annual vigil with a performance by the Haddonfield Memorial High School (HMHS)’s coed a capella group and a peace walk down Kings Highway.

In March, high-school students in the LEO service club banned together to put on a school-wide rally where they educated the students on the background of the war in Ukraine and raised more than $1,000 for Save the Children, a nonprofit that provides food, water, hygiene kits and cash assistance to families fleeing dangerous situations.

May proved to be a lively month for events. The Haddonfield LEO Club held its annual senior prom in the high-school courtyard as a way to promote liveliness and encourage intergenerational interactions. 

For Memorial Day, HMHS students held a remembrance assembly where they presented two new portraits that honored Haddonfield servicemen who died serving their country: World War I Navy mechanic Edgar Burton Lloyd and Jon Richard Morvay, who also served in the Navy in Vietnam. The portraits were made by National Arts Honors Society students Cece Fitzgerald and Elaine Zhang, and were based on photographs of the men. 

In June, after a two-year hiatus, the Friends of the Indian King Tavern Museum hosted its largest Skirmish event yet featuring breakfast with the troops, a firefight reenactment down Kings Highway and community-wide historic-inspired events throughout the downtown area like learning Colonial dances at the Haddon Fortnightly.

Shani Nuckols, co-leader of the New Jersey chapter of Moms Demand Action and a Haddonfield resident, helped organize the organization’s eighth annual Gun Violence Awareness rally, where local officials, activists, and relatives and friends of those who have died from gun violence spoke about its presence in America, its impact and what can be done about it.

The Haddonfield Crafts and Fine Arts Festival returned for its 28th year in July for a two-day event featuring more than 200 artists. Maria Veneziano, owner and operator of national show producer Renaissance Craftables and the show’s director, noted this year saw a higher number of bag artists than in the past, which also had a higher number of soap artist and ceramicist applicants.

In August, downtown Haddonfield held its annual summer sidewalk sale weekend with an outdoor dining kickoff event on Aug. 4. 

Although Mayor Colleen Bianco Bezich eagerly prepared for Haddonfield’s first Mayor’s Wellness Day, the event was rained out twice. In spite of that, October saw a number of new events – including a Halloween family movie night and haunted house decorating competition –  and a revamped fall festival that encouraged nonprofits and community organizations to create more engaging activities.

“This isn’t as if we’re at a booth or a type of conference event where everybody’s staffing tables and giving handouts, but actually an opportunity for people to interact and engage with nonprofits,” said Bianco Bezich. 

“It really is about connecting our residents and our businesses with our nonprofits and enabling them to thrive, because after COVID, so many of them are struggling.”

Seasonal excitement came to a head on Oct. 28, when the Partnership for Haddonfield held its first Halloween Night Market in addition to a screening of game one of the World Series  between the Phillies and Houston Astros. 

Countering Hate

Swastikas were found on two trees at the cemetery by the Haddonfield Friends meeting house and Haddonfield Friends School in March. After the police and public works department covered the markings, friends of the meeting quickly gathered to cover the trees with chalk drawings of hearts and peace signs as well as the surrounding area, which was adorned with flowers, to help welcome students back from their spring break.

“We’ve been in Haddonfield for 300 years and nothing like this has ever happened (to us),” said Dave Austin, clerk of the Haddonfield Friends Meeting.

“Hate and bigotry have no home in Haddonfield, whether anti-semitism or any other type,” said the mayor.

In April, the school district’s equity council hosted its first World Cafe, which featured eight discussion tables focused on equity, diversity and inclusion in the borough, with one table reserved for kids. The event drew around 60 participants, including parents, teachers and members of the New Jersey Education Association’s teacher’s union.

“I wanted this to be a place where people could connect, where they could have real conversations about how well they feel included in town, how welcoming they feel this town is,” said equity council member Stacey Brown-Downham.

People in the news

Haddonfield School District announced eight recipients for the Governor’s Educator of the Year Award:

  • Merced Valenzuela, buildings and grounds
  • Patty Abbate high school attendance office educational assistant 
  • Stephanie DelFico, Tatem educational assistant 
  • Holly Maiese, high-school English teacher
  • Daria Resnick, high-school math teacher and middle-school math facilitator
  • Michael Hecker, music teacher
  • Katy Roussos, Elizabeth Haddon Elementary ELA specialist and fifth grade facilitator
  • Kelliann Haney, Tatem first grade teacher

Throughout the year, there were a number of achievements made by Haddonfield residents. High-school student Lily Cheatham was recognized as one of two students elected to the US Senate Youth Program as a delegate.

In March, the Haddonfield Lions Club celebrated the 50th anniversary of its Citizen of the Year award at the mayor’s breakfast, where Julia Beddingfield, owner of Inkwood Books, received the honor. High-school senior Madeleine Cush received the William Hansen Youth of the Year Award that recognizes exceptional volunteer work and commitment to helping others.

Twelve-year-old pianist Timothy O’Donnell placed first in the 9-to-12 year-old age group at the annual Elite International Music Competition in New York on Feb. 27.

Haddonfield eighth graders Penelope Incollingo, Naveen Khan and Amina Lewbart tied for third at the New Jersey School Board Association’s STEAM Tank challenge in June for a project on an affordable, gender neutral and environmentally friendly tampon.


High-school senior Henry McFadden represented the nation and the Jersey Wahoos club at the international 2022 Junior Pan Pacific (PanPac) Swimming Championships in August in Honolulu, the first time the event has been held since 2018 due to COVID. 

The 16-year-old competed in the 200-meter freestyle and was one of 41 swimmers from around the country who qualified at the International Team Trials in Greensboro, N.C., earlier this year.

Senior Seth Clevenger was named Boys Spring Track Athlete of the Year by South Jersey Sports Weekly in July after being undefeated in his spring season in the 1,600-meter race. He eventually broke a school record with a time of 4:07.23 previously held by his coach’s son. 

Clevenger also won the 1,600- and 3,200-meter races at both the South Jersey Group 2 sectional and state meet as well as the 3,200 at the 2022 NJSIAA Track and Field Meet of Champions at Franklin High School in mid-June. He was named all-American shortly after his performance at New Balance Nationals.

Haddonfield resident Dylan Hosty competed at the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Jr. Olympic Games track event for the first time in August in the 800- and 1,500-meter runs.

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