2015 Person of the Year
Middle Smithfield Township's 2015 Person of the Year Award finalists were Michelle Cacko, Tim O’Donnell and Chauly Younger. An independent panel of judges selected the finalists from those nominated for Middle Smithfield Township’s second Person of the Year award. The judges announced who they selected as MST Person of the Year at a New Year's Eve celebration at the Whispering Pines Banquet Hall on December 31, 2015.
The Person of the Year received $2,000 toward their cause and the finalists received $750.
2015 Person of the Year
Chauly Younger is a passionate gardener that brought her skills and enthusiasm to the newly created Middle Smithfield Township Community Garden on Coolbaugh Road. Embracing and promoting the "Grow a Row" program for the needy, Chauly inspired a community effort that led this year to the donation of more than 150 pounds of fresh vegetables to friends, neighbors and to the amazing folk at Bushkill Outreach. You'll always see her in the garden, in her tie-dyed attire, doing her own carpentry (building raised beds and trellises), giving away free seeds to gardening newcomers and offering up gardening tips as needed... and on those few occasions when she's not in the garden, she's on Facebook continuing to inspire a world of budding gardeners. Chauly came to this country as a refugee from Viet Nam in 1980 and has chosen to give back to this wonderful country by acting to help the needy.
Michelle Cacko was nominated for her continuous work with the East Stroudsburg Youth Association. She does the shopping for the concession stands, as well as set up and clean up for games. She also worked with the parade committee to make it so the children can march in the parades for the past 2 years. On top of her work for ESYA she also organizes the Christmas in July toy run for the Independent Bikers of Pennsylvania, which benefits a children’s group home in Orefield, Pa.
Timothy O’Donnell works as the public relations director of the Kiwanis Club of the Poconos- Daybreak. He has created a program to all children to learn about the environment by bringing together Middle Smithfield Elementary, the National Park Service and East Stroudsburg University. An accredited course will be provided for ESU students who are enrolled in courses offered by the Science and Environemt Department. He is also working with the NPS and elementary teachers to teach students more about the environment.