Marge King-Porter and Sue Gardner, local volunteers with major contributions to the Warwick community in vastly different ways, will receive Outstanding Community Service Awards during Warwick’s 2018-19 Citizen of the Year ceremony honoring Doug Stage. The celebration will be held on Wed., Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Landmark Inn, located at 526 Rte. 94 in Warwick. The event will begin with a one-hour open bar social at 6 p.m. followed by food and the awards program.
Stan Martin and Leo Kaytes, Sr., both former Warwick Rotary presidents and Citizens of the Year, are co-chairing the event for the 11th consecutive year. Rotarian and Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton will serve as master of ceremonies.
Marge King-Porter has been an active member of the Warwick community for decades, helping local youth and senior citizens alike with a variety of programs to make their lives better. She has been and continues to be a successful businesswoman who is not above walking the streets of Warwick to solicit contributions for charitable organizations she assists. Her organizational skills, combined with her talents as a decorator, stager and gardener, have helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for community non-profits.
One of her nominating letters mentioned that “Marge prefers to work behind the scenes with her volunteer efforts. It would be wonderful if Marge King-Porter received the public recognition she so richly deserves for all the years of unpaid service to the community.”
Claire Gabelmann, Citizen of the Year two years ago, pointed out that she, Marge and members of Warwick in Bloom worked together in preparing the Village of Warwick’s successful campaign to win the prestigious International Communities in Bloom Award. During that campaign, Marge hosted a dinner in her home for 12 international representatives.
In 2009 Marge King-Porter was named Warwick Queen for a Day for her “generous spirit, caring heart and selfless nature.” In announcing her selection, Mayor Michael Newhard said, “This recognition was long overdue for someone with such an extraordinary history of service to the community.”
This soft spoken woman of action teamed with Mayor Newhard and Village Trustee George McManus in starting the Warwick Summer Music Concert Series at Stanley-Deming Park, the predecessor to the Railroad Green concerts. She has chaired the Applefest T-shirt committee for eight of the past 10 years. She is a past president of Warwick in Bloom, an election inspector and volunteers for the Warwick Valley Humane Society’s annual golf outing and car show.
As a member of the Warwick Valley Rotary Club, Marge is the service organization’s chair for the Holiday Party for Children in Need, a server at the Warwick Senior Picnic and she heads the decoration committee for the Warwick End of Summer Luau.
Much of Sue Gardner’s volunteer work has been out of the public eye but her contributions in promoting, documenting and preserving the history of Warwick will have a lasting imprint on the community. In the late 1990s when the Historical Society was in a small room at Baird’s Tavern, Gardner and her volunteer assistants began indexing and categorizing boxes and boxes of unsorted original papers, ledgers, photographs, maps, and manuscripts.
She taught her helpers the value of restoring, recording and preserving this important historical information to ultimately make it available to the public. Under Gardner’s guidance, additional materials were solicited and recorded to create a clearer biographical and genealogical understanding of Warwick’s past. Her exhibit and subsequent web site, “Stone Age Warwick, New York,” traces the history of prehistoric Warwick from the end of the last glaciation, some 12,500 years ago. She is responsible for three historical CD’s issued in the early 2000s (Postcards, Vintage Photos and the 1899 Breed’s Directory).
Railroad enthusiast and historian Marty Feldner added, “In 2007, when we uncovered approximately two tons of railroad archives, long thought lost, it was largely Sue who arranged for help in securing temporary storage while we inventoried the papers. What she has done and continues to do online with the Albert Wisner Public Library’s local web presence is a tremendous effort.”
Better known to the Warwick community is her successful crusade to save and restore the historical home of General Hathorn. In her position as deputy Warwick Town Historian, Sue has worked with Professor Richard Hull, Town historian, on numerous volunteer activities at the Warwick Historical Society, Friends of Hathorn House, the Albert Wisner Public Library and Town and Orange County historical projects.
Attorney Doug Stage will be honored as Warwick’s 2018-19 Citizen of the Year. He has been described as “a consummate community volunteer.” A lifelong resident of Warwick, Stage takes great pride in his community.
He joined the Warwick Ambulance Corps in 1982 and became an EMT riding the ambulance for several years. He also joined the Warwick Jaycees and served as president. He was involved in many Jaycee projects, including newspaper recycling, youth leadership training and the Christmas Shopping Party, which evolved into the shared Lions/Rotary Clubs’ Christmas Party for Children in Need.
Doug is a past president and Board member of the Warwick Lions Club, chairing numerous club committees, including the Lions See Program. This project has been instrumental in early detection of treatable vision issues with young children. He is also a member of the Warwick Valley Rotary Club, another community service organization. He especially enjoys working on the annual Christmas Party for underprivileged children.
Tickets are $60 per person and are available at www.warwickvalleyrotary.org or by calling Leo Kaytes at 629-6491.