Jenna Price and Barbara Katz have been selected as Warwick’s 2022-2023 Outstanding Community Service Award honorees.
An 11-member committee evaluated 14 impressive finalists nominated by local residents before choosing Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton as this year’s Warwick Citizen of the Year and Jenna Price and Barbara Katz for their active community volunteerism.
The three will be honored Wednesday, Oct. 26, at The Landmark Inn. The event, sponsored by the Warwick Valley Rotary Club, begins with a one-hour open bar social at 6 p.m., followed by food and the awards program. Tickets are $60 and available at warwickvalleyrotary.org or by calling Leo R. Kaytes at (845) 629-6497.
Proceeds from the evening will be donated to Rotary International’s PolioPlus project to eliminate polio worldwide. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will match the donation two-for-one.
Jenna Price was described in one of her dozen nominations as “always one of the first to step up when anyone is asking for help -- whether the school PTA is looking for someone to manage the yearbook process or run the huge middle school craft fair; the theatre company looking for help with the website, fundraising and corralling the kids during rehearsals and shows; one of our local non-profits needing help with an event, or someone in the community who she hears needs a helping hand.”
Several letters credited Price with saving Backpack Snack Attack, a local non-profit that provides food on the weekends to over 250 hungry children. In 2018, when the organization suddenly lost a key volunteer just before the start of the school year, Jenna stepped up and kept the program going for the kids.
In 2020, when the pandemic struck, she worked with the superintendent of schools to organize a large group of volunteers to pack and deliver not only the Backpack food, but to also deliver school meals directly to the children in Warwick’s school district who qualify for the federal free and reduced lunch program. Also in 2020, she became the Director of Backpack Snack Attack after its founder, Shirley Puett, retired.
As director, she has attracted many new volunteers and more support from the community and local businesses. She is raising enough additional funds to not only provide weekend meals during the school year for Backpack kids, but to also give them gift cards to help feed their families during the holidays and summers, and to buy school supplies in the fall.
Barbara Katz has been a resident of Warwick for over 45 years. Throughout these years she has found ways to volunteer and give where there is a need.
More recently her volunteer work has consisted of starting a soup kitchen at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. In 2021-22, the soup kitchen served 4,411 meals in the Warwick community.
Katz has also joined the Garden Club and personally gathered over 600 pounds of soft plastic so Warwick could receive park benches at no charge.
She continues to volunteer with Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, and a few years ago, when a hurricane hit the state of Florida, she volunteered with Samaritan’s Purse to help clean up from the devastation in the Florida Keys.
Barbara Katz has worked in her community as a dedicated kindergarten teacher for more than 20 years and was the first Green Team Leader at Park Avenue Elementary School in Warwick. She has tutored children in need at no charge when the needs have been identified.
Throughout her career and now in retirement, Katz has been generously engaged with the Warwick community.
Jenna Price was described in one of her dozen nominations as always one of the first to step up when anyone is asking for help. Barbara Katz was the first Green Team Leader at Park Avenue Elementary School in Warwick. She has tutored children in need at no charge.