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  • Writer's pictureThis Is Rutherford

RIAA Upcoming St. Patrick's Day Parade 2024

Updated: Feb 25

By Jennifer Ersalesi

This is the sixth year that the Rutherford Irish American Association will host its much anticipated St. Patrick's Day Parade on Sunday, March 3rd at 1 pm. Over the past six years, the parade has grown both in size and popularity.

Each year, the Rutherford Irish American Association chooses its Parade Dignitaries. Joseph Kelly, a Founding Trustee of the RIAA, will march in the parade this year as the Grand Marshal. Kelly was born and raised in Ireland but has raised his own family in Rutherford where he has been involved in coaching his daughter's travel soccer teams (better known as football in Ireland). Kelly also owns his own painting company, Joe Kelly Interiors, through which he has met so many families in Rutherford.

Brendan Dunphy's grandparents were born and raised in Ireland. In 2017 Dunphy became an Irish citizen and enjoys visiting Ireland often. Dunphy is the Global Director of Credit for BrandSafway, a multinational $5 billion Construction and Civil Engineering Firm. Every March, Dunphy publishes his annual listing of Irish cultural events for the Irish community. He is a proud charter member of the RIAA. Dunphy will march as this year's Deputy Grand Marshal.

This year the RIAA's Law Enforcement Officer of the Year is Rick Fuentes. With over four decades of service with the New Jersey State Police, Fuentes received numerous awards, including the National Meritorious Intelligence Award while a member of the Newark Joint Terrorism Task Force. Since his retirement, he has been the Deputy Director of the Rutgers University Miller Center on Policing and Community Resilience. He is an active member of the RIAA.

EMT of the Year, Carmen Addeo, has been an active member of the Rutherford First-Aid Ambulance Corps for over twenty years where she has served as President for seven years and is currently a Trustee. Addeo was born in Galicia, Spain, sometimes referred to as the "Seventh Celtic Nation". She was also a member of the Lions Club of Nutley where she served as President, Treasurer, and on the Board of Directors. After thirty-five years at Blue Foundry Bank, Addeo retired as Assistant Vice President/ Manager.

RIAA's Firefighter of the Year is William Rood. After retiring as a business professional with Barclays Bank PLC, Rood took a two-year break and then became the Director of Finance and Building Administration for the First Presbyterian Church in Rutherford. Rood has been a member of the Rutherford Fire Department since 1974. He served as the Chief in 1988 and 2003. For twenty-nine years, he has served as a mutual aid fire coordinator for South Bergen. In Rutherford, he is the Chairman of the Department's Fund Drive Committee, Secretary of the Rutherford Firemen's Relief Association, and Treasurer of his local fire company.

Karen McDermott, a CPA for over thirty years, has been named. RIAA Member of the Year. McDermott has been a part of the RIAA since its inception when she assisted in preparing the association's annual federal and state information returns. Her father was born in Roscommon and her mother was born in Limerick, Ireland. She has volunteered on several boards and is currently on the board of the Hackensack Riverkeepers.

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