This Is Rutherford
St. Patrick's Day Parade 2023
By Jennifer Ersalesi
Photo credits: Rutherford Irish American Association Website
This year's St. Patrick's Day Parade, organized by the Rutherford Irish-American Association (RIAA) will take place on Sunday, March 5th. The parade will kick off at 1:00 pm on Park Avenue and end at Ames Avenue.
Six years ago, the Rutherford Irish-American Association started this annual tradition. Although the pandemic curtailed the parade for one year, it was back last year and will be back again this year with many participants and spectators.
This year's Grand Marshal is Mark Dolaghan (left photograph), thirty year resident of Rutherford, member of the Rutherford Elks and an avid volunteer. When his children were younger, he coached Little League, Babe Ruth, Rutherford Junior Football, Recreation soccer and basketball. He also founded the Rutherford Red Wing travel baseball program. The Deputy Grand Marshal is Mike Coyne (right photograph). He is a US Army Veteran who was born in Ireland. As an active member of the Sacred Heart Church in Lyndhurst, NJ, he has helped with a number of Irish fundraisers, including Irish Night where he donates and cooks fifty pounds of corned beef.
Member of the Year, Tom Sharkey (left photograph), worked on Wall Street for over forty years as part of the International Operations Association and in doing so traveled to over 25 countries. Tom also volunteered his time as a coach for Little League baseball, boys' basketball, and girls' softball for both of his kids. Christopher Connors (right photograph), Law Enforcement Officer of the Year and lifelong resident of Hasbrouck Heights, has been a Hasbrouck Heights Police Officer for eight years. He has received many service awards and was inducted in the NJ Police Honor Legion. He heroically rescued Phyllis Caporino, a fellow RIAA member, during an active fire in her home by carrying her from the second floor outside to safety.
Lifelong Rutherford resident, Patrick O'Keefe (left photograph) is this year's EMT of the Year. Patrick was named "Rutherford's Volunteer of the Year" in 2022 for his volunteer work as an EMT with the Rutherford First-Aid Ambulance Corps, especially during the pandemic when he logged in over 400 hours of volunteer service. This year's Firefighter of the year is Brian Fitzhenry (right photograph), resident of North Arlington, who served on the North Arlington Board of Education where he worked tirelessly to obtain grant monies to help begin the North Arlington Schools SACC program. He is currently serving his fourth term as a Councilman in the Borough of North Arlington. In an effort to honor his family traditions, he has also played bagpipes with the St. Columcille United Gaelic Pipe Band in Kearny, NJ.