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Y to Honor Residents Who Keep Township 'Green'

Tickets available for Friends of Y dinner on April 28

 In memory of its distinguished benefactor and mentor, the Wyckoff Family YMCA will present the "William E. Boye Jr. Humanitarian Award" at its 28th annual "Friends of the Y" dinner at 6:30 p.m. April 28 at the Y, 691 Wyckoff Ave.

This year's event will be "Celebrating Those Who Keep Our Community Green and Beautiful," and will honor seven individuals who have devoted their lives to enhance, protect and promote the beauty of our community. 

This year's award winners are: Jim and Judy Abma, Vince Barra, Mark Borst, Tom and Mary Bugel and Scott Fisher.

  • The Abma family began farming in Wyckoff more than 80 years ago. In 1981, Jim and Judy Abma saw the need to diversify their farm operation.  Since then the family has added produce, a greenhouse and a compost business to their poultry farm. Their decision to make a commitment to stay on the farm has provided a living for future generations and has served the community with healthy poultry, produce and plants. 

Abma's Farm is a well-known landmark in town and was recognized with a "Historic Sites Citation" during Historic Preservation Week in 1988.  The Abmas are involved with the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Bergen County Board of Agriculture and New Jersey Farm Bureau. Jim has served on the Wyckoff Planning Board and the Environmental Commission; Judy has served as a board member and Vice President of the Wyckoff Chamber of Commerce and on the 2010 Wyckoff Day Committee. Together, they serve as trustees of the Zabriskie House and are involved in the Wyckoff Historical Society. As owners of one of the oldest businesses in Wyckoff and the largest parcel of farmland left, the Abmas prove that that agriculture can be a vital part of a suburban community.

  • Vince Barra has served as mayor of Allendale since 2007 and is a retired admiralty and attorney. He has served in various capacities in town government and committees, including the Allendale 9/11 Memorial Committee. Barra has had a longstanding commitment to preserving open space in Allendale, saving a sizable parcel of land from development which resulted in a new park and walking path.  In addition, special needs housing will be constructed on a portion of the site.

Vince has lived in Allendale since 1985 with his wife, Roseann. They have two grown children.

  • Mark Borst founded Borst Landscape and Design in 1989 and has since grown it into one of the largest design/build, lawncare and landscape maintenance firms in northern New Jersey.

He received a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture from Rutgers University and is a member of the Professional Landcare Network Association. He spearheaded the formation of New Jersey's Certified Landscape Technician testing program and consults for Vander Koi Associates. He serves as an adjunct professor for Bergen Community College as well as being a member of their Advisory Board. He is chairman of Atlantic Stewardship Bank's Development Board and gives back to the community by serving as chairman of the Wyckoff Shade Tree Commission and member of the Wyckoff Board of Adjustment.

Mark married his wife Heather in 1994 and they reside in Wyckoff with their three children.

  • Tom and Mary Bugel moved to Wyckoff in 1968. In the early 1970s, they initiated the first "Save Spring Lake" campaign. After a second campaign, they enjoyed the rebirth of Spring Lake and the Wyckoff YMCA. Soon after, Tom served on Wyckoff's first Environmental Commission. 

In 1987, Tom and Mary helped form Wyckoff's "Partners in Pride", a committee of volunteers who landscape, plant pocket gardens and planters, and educate the public about keeping Wyckoff litter-free. Today, Partners in Pride is a program that encourages responsibility, volunteerism and environmental awareness. The Bugels have two grown children and reside in Wyckoff.

  • Scott Fisher has been the Wyckoff Public Works manager since 1999 and is in his 22nd year of service to the township. Scott is responsible for a staff of 13 who maintain parks, playgrounds, public areas, roads, buildings and facilities. This includes snow plowing, leaf collection and posting regulatory signs. 

Scott has been awarded the Public Work Manager of the Year award in 2004, 2006 and 2008 by the NJ Chapter of the American Public Works Association. He is an active Wyckoff volunteer firefighter who serves as fire captain in Fire Company 1. In 2005, Scott received the Dana Hannon Distinguished Service Award for rescuing a resident from a hazardous condition with a fellow firefighter. He has volunteered on the Wyckoff Planning Board and currently serves on the Shade Tree Commission. Scott assists students with Eagle Scout projects, provides recycling center tours for Scouting troops, trains new firefighters and helped design and build the township's 911 Remembrance Memorial and Freedom Garden. 

The community is invited to join in celebrating these individuals. Tickets are available at $70 per person.  Call the Y's Development Office at 201-891-2081. 

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