Plainfield, NJ — The Rotary Club of the Plainfields has announced that Plainfield resident Victoria Griswold, former owner of the Plainfield Music Store, will receive the 2019 Service Above Self Award at the club’s 20th Annual Wine Tasting Dinner. The event will be held on May 1 at Giovanna’s Restaurant in Plainfield, and is a fundraiser for the club’s scholarship program.
Ms. Griswold is a renowned pianist who rescued the Plainfield Music Store when its former owner retired. She moved the store to 120 North Avenue in Plainfield and built it into the area’s premier location for sheet music. She is a member of the Plainfield Music Club, the Watchung Book Club, the Plainfield Arts Council, and numerous other organizations in support of the arts. Ms. Griswold has played with the Plainfield Symphony and many other musical groups over her career. She was recently a highlighted performer at the Plainfield Music Club’s Black History Month presentation at the Plainfield Public Library.
Club President Roberta Smith cited Ms. Griswold’s dedication to the arts and to her membership and service as a Rotarian as the determining factors in her selection for the award.
“Your spirit of volunteerism is manifested in the many ways that you have served the people in our area in both club and community activities. None of us on the Board can recall any club project that you did not raise your hand and volunteer to serve or chair. Third graders enjoy your presentation of dictionaries every year. Our scholarship program has benefited from your insightful review and selection of candidates every single year. Even after long hours at the Plainfield Music Store, you found time to volunteer for multiple games at Rutgers, staff concessions for our scholarship fundraiser. In the hot sun or cloudy shade, you are always there at our Track and Field Meet and for work at the Giving Garden. These are but a few of the projects that have benefitted from your participation.
“Your knowledge of Plainfield and its groups and organizations has been an invaluable asset to the club. Your participation and/or membership in many area arts organizations is second to none. You are a thoughtful, considerate, well-read woman deserving of recognition.
“We also will present this award in recognition of your service and accomplishments as a musician par excellence. Your dedication to music drove your decision to take ownership of the Plainfield Music Store and save it for music lovers everywhere. Under your ownership, the business expanded its reach with on-line sales and served as a resource for even more musicians throughout the world. You supported this business as a labor of love for music lovers everywhere.
“As we say in our induction of new members, your fellow Rotarians see you as a leader in your field, a person who has many, many times over manifested the qualities of head and heart to interpret, demonstrate, live and impart the message of Rotary as reflected in our motto, “Service Above Self.” These are characteristics of a true leader, and you embody them with distinction.”
Past recipients of the Rotary Service Above Self Award include Janice Allen, former mayor and councilwoman North Plainfield (2010 - inaugural recipient); William Parenti, North Plainfield Chief of Police (2011); Michael Townley, South Plainfield resident and Rotary member (2012); Donna Albanese, Plainfield business owner and leader (2013); Dr. Marilyn Birnbaum, Superintendent of Schools North Plainfield (2014); Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp (2015); North Plainfield Mayor Michael Giordano (2016); Shirley Weaver Thompson of South Plainfield (2017); and then-Freeholder Linda Carter of Plainfield (2018).
Tickets for the Wine Tasting Dinner are $70.00 each and are available on-line at http://tinyurl.com/2019WineDinner. A tax deductible portion of the cost is available because credit card payments go to the Rotary club’s foundation (Rotary PNP, Inc.), a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. Seating is limited and early reservations recommended. Tables will be reserved for parties of eight or more.
For more information about the Rotary Club of the Plainfields, visit the website at www.RotaryPNP.org. The club meets every Wednesday at 12:15 PM at Giovanna’s Restaurant, 1462 South Avenue in Plainfield, except for Social Hours at The Coffee Box at 8:30 a.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. Anyone interested in learning more about Rotary and the club is invited to attend a meeting as a guest of the Club.