HomeHaddonfield NewsWriting the book on citizenship: Haddonfield Lions Club hosts photo contest for...

Writing the book on citizenship: Haddonfield Lions Club hosts photo contest for commemorative yearbook

Lions Club celebrate 50 recipients of the Citizens of the Year award

The Haddonfield Area Lions Club is looking for iconic pictures to represent Haddonfield for the cover of its yearbook celebrating the first 50 recipients of the Citizen of the Year Award.

The Haddonfield Area Lions Club is compiling a book of Haddonfield’s first 50 citizens of the year to showcase their contributions to the borough since the award was first given in 1973. 

Though the group does not choose the winner each year, the selection committee is made up of prominent local people who have included former citizens of the year, a board of education representative, a representative from the Haddonfield Civic Association, and the mayor among others.

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The Lions sponsor the annual mayor’s breakfast where the award is announced.

“The citizen of the year is someone who has given service to the community, club work, civic work, or just gotten involved,” explained Joe McElroy, a member and past president of the Lions Club. 

“It could be planning board members, zoning board members, it could be the mayor,” he added. “It could be members of the civic association, celebrations  association, the Fourth of July committee, the first night committee – generally people who have sacrificed to help the entire community that we really appreciate and enjoy here.”

The committee for the citizens of the year book has been finding past recipients and compiling their achievements. The goal is for the book to be completed by the end of this year.

“It was thought that someone should put down in a book form who the winners were, what they did to get their award, a little bio piece and profile,” said McElroy. 

The goal is to have a copy of the book in every Haddonfield school library, the public library, the national Library of Congress and the historical society. Past recipients will receive a copy and the books will be available for purchase, McElroy noted. 

“The overarching idea is to inspire people to be better citizens and get involved with the volunteer aspect of being a citizen in Haddonfield,” he explained. 

“We hope students will look at it and see the history of volunteering in Haddonfield and its importance,” said Lions Club President Bill Brown. “That maybe it might motivate or generate more interest in volunteering in town when they see the past history of what people have done.”

The Haddonfield Foundation and the Haddonfield Cultural Events Commission have both provided start-up grants for the project.

As part of the book project, the club is holding a photo contest where residents can submit iconic, striking images instantly recognizable as being associated with Haddonfield to be used on the book’s cover. There is no fee to enter, and both amateur and professionals are encouraged to participate. 

There is a limit of three photographs per entrant, and there will be a prize for the best photograph in the following categories: adult, high school and middle school/elementary school. The contest will be judged by Tom Gralish, a photographer from the Philadelphia Inquirer; Debbie Troy, a professional photographer in the borough and Brown.

Submitted photos need to be color images personally made by the entrant in a high resolution JPG, with a vertical orientation of 8 by 10 inches. Deadline is Sept. 9. To enter, submit images to COTYcover@gmail.com.

This article was updated on May 9, 2023.


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