The St. Patrick's Day Parade is Back
By Jennifer Ersalesi
Information from the Rutherford Irish American Association's Website
Photo credit: Jennifer Mazone
On Sunday, March 6th, the Rutherford Irish American Association will host its annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Unfortunately, the parade had to be canceled in 2021 but will return this year with an incredible lineup of community groups, businesses, musicians, and many more. The parade will kick off at 1 pm at the corner of Woodland Ave and Park Ave. The parade travels down Park Avenue to Ames Avenue.
This year’s Grand Marshal is Maria Kirrane McKenna, the founding Vice-President of the Rutherford Irish American Association who was born in Kildysart, County Clare, Ireland. She began her nursing career in Dublin, Ireland and after being recruited to Memorial Sloan Kettering she traveled alone to America. She continued her nursing career, met her late husband Larry, and had two daughters. After the birth of their first daughter, they moved to Rutherford where she has been an active community member.
Patrick Dunne is the 2022 Deputy Grand Marshal. Patrick was born in Jersey City, but his mother’s family was from County Mayo and his father’s family was from County Sligo, Ireland. Patrick and his wife Mary Lynn Kenney Dunne have three children. He is the Chief Operating Officer of Business Furniture, Inc. Patrick supports a number of local organizations that provide assistance to those in need. Both Patrick and his family have been active in the Rutherford community for many years.
Law Enforcement Officer of the Year is Todd Roth. Todd was born and raised in East Rutherford. After working as a patrolman for many years, he was promoted to Detective Sergeant. He also served as a Task Officer with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)- NJ Division. Todd’s amazing work by the ERPD, DEA, United States Attorney’s Office, as well as the NJ Police Honor Legion and NJ Narcotic’s Enforcement Officers Association. He has received several letters of commendation for high-profile investigations, which led to successful federal prosecutions. Todd currently resides in Nutley with his wife and two children. His grandfather grew up in County Cork, Ireland.
Thomas Verdino is the Firefighter of the Year. Raised in Rutherford, His grandmother came from County Cork, Ireland. Tom is a thirty-year veteran of the Rutherford Fire Department. He has held various positions within the RFD including Lieutenant, Deputy Chief, and Chief in 2006. Currently, he is a Captain in the Jersey City Fire Department and a member of the JCFD Emerald Society. As a certified trainer, he has trained many firefighters on Confined Space Rescue and High Angle Rope Rescues. He has been recognized for various types of rescue. Tom lives in Rutherford with his wife Cori and his two sons.
EMT of the Year, Doug Chadwick, has been a member of the Rutherford First Aid Ambulance Corps for sixty years. Doug is the current Vice-Chair of the 24th District of the EMS Council of NJ. He has held a number of positions in the Ambulance Corps including President, Vice-President, Secretary, Captain, Second Lieutenant, and Training Officer of the Squad. After attending The Citadel, Military College of South Carolina and graduating with a degree in electrical engineering, he spent forty-five years as a field engineer and manager with companies in the scientific instrumentation industry. Doug and his wife of forty years live in Rutherford and have one daughter. To read more about Doug Chadwick, click here.
This year the Rutherford Irish American Association has named Jack and Rob Donnelly Members of the Year. Their father’s side of the family came from Roscommon and their mother’s side of the family came from Mayo, Ireland. They were raised in a home with four sisters where they were surrounded by Irish music and culture. Both Jack and Rob have lived in Carlstadt for almost forty years. They were excited to join the RIAA and ran a successful golf outing for the Association in 2019. They are hoping to bring it back in the next few months.
This year’s parade lineup includes a number of local fire and police departments, Pipe bands, RIAA Board, Members, and special Dignitaries, Boy Scouts, Brownies, Rutherford Swim Association, Rutherford Chamber of Commerce, Law Enforcement Officers, Rutherford EMS, and many others.
To learn more about the Rutherford Irish American Association, click here.