A Mahwah mom who organizers say is "instrumental" in helping run the township's Municipal Alliance and two summertime student programs has gotten the attention of one of the state's senators.
According to Mahwah Municipal Alliance officers, the volunteer group's President Carolyn Blake recently won a commendation from her work with the organization from Senator Robert Menendez.
In a note to Blake, Menendez congratulated her on "completing yet another successful year of leadership academies."
He went on to congratulate the police department, parents, community, and students on the Youth Leadership Academy, which wrapped last week, and the Junior Police Academy, both of which are run by the MMA every summer.
"It is truly a community-wide commitment," Menendez said of the academies.
"To the graduates…I say 'congratulations,' and to the parents, police, and organizers, I say 'job well done.'
MMA members in the township also commended Blake's work.
"The township is very fortunate to have Ms. Blake lead the Mahwah Alliance," Police Chief Jim Batelli said.
"Her contribution to the MMA has been instrumental to our success."
Mayor Bill Laforet, a longtime MMA member, read Menendez's letter from the senator at the YLA graduation ceremony.
The recently concluded 8th annual Leadership Academy saw more than 250 students attend, and made headlines when the students broke a world record - the longest distance travelled on a slip and slide in one hour. The students shattered the previous record of 103,650 feet by sliding continuously for 168,593 feet, or about 31.93 miles.
"It was a tremendous accomplishment by our children and the second world record set in three years by students from the Leadership Academy, the first one being the world’s largest smiley face," Batelli said.
While the MMA members are quick to credit Blake with organizing many of the student opportunities offered by the MMA, she said she is the fortunate one.
"The Leadership Academy means so much to the children and teaches them valuable life lessons," Blake said.
"I am fortunate to be a part of it.”