Florham Park Mayor Mark Taylor presented two Florham Park 8th graders, Tomás Gato and Lauren Genoese with the annual Fred Stobaeus Award and Lou Boyd Award, respectively, at the Florham Park Baseball Club’s Opening Day, on Saturday, April 20th, in Emmett Park. Each spring, the awards are given to students who are outstanding in sportsmanship, leadership, athletic ability, and academic achievement, and who are positive role models in the community. Councilwoman Carmen Cefolo-Pane, Councilman Charles Malone, Borough Administrator William Huyler, Police Chief Patrick Montuore, and Recreation Director Adam Lieb were also present to congratulate the winners.

Tomás Gato, the Fred Stobaeus Award winner, is an Honor Roll student at Ridgedale Middle School.Gato was nominated for his enthusiasm, respect, intelligence, athletic ability, and leadership. Gato has excelled at soccer and was recognized for being an outstanding teammate. For four years, he has been a participant in the Florham Park Youth Soccer Association’s program, most recently as a center mid-fielder on its travel team. Gato was also a captain for Ridgedale Middle School’s soccer team, having played on the team for three years. He was also a member of the 2012-Maps Classic (Fort Dix) and 2012-Short Sided Soccer U14 Futsal championship-winning teams. In addition to soccer, Gato also plays basketball and golf. Aside from sports, Gato has been a member of the Peer Leadership Program at Ridgedale Middle School since 6th grade. He has also participated in the Consortium General Knowledge at Newark Academy, Consortium Foreign Language Day at Morristown Beard, and the Youth Summit Day at College of Saint Elizabeth. Gato has received the President’s Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence and won 2nd place in the American History Essay Contest sponsored by the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. In the fall, Gato will attend Seton Hall Preparatory School in West Orange.

Lauren Genoese, the Lou Boyd Award winner, is an Honor Roll student at Ridgedale Middle School, where she has been a performer and volunteer for the annual talent show, as well as a member of the basketball and soccer teams. She has also served as captain of the Rockets – a Florham Park Youth Soccer Association travel team, and a referee for its intramural soccer program. With Lauren, the Rockets have won many flight championships, in addition to the Morris County Youth Soccer Association league cup championship in 2012. Over the summer, Genoese has served as a Volunteer Student Leader with the Florham Park Day Camp, and has assisted with the youth tennis clinics. She has also participated in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Genoese was nominated for being an excellent student, athlete, and role model to younger children, and for maintaining a positive attitude and enthusiasm on and off the athletic fields. In the fall, Genoese will attend Hanover Park High School in East Hanover.

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Administered by the Florham Park Recreation Committee, the annual awards are named for Fred Stobaeus and Lou Boyd, whose volunteer efforts were instrumental in building the borough’s recreation programs. Stobaeus was known as “Mr. Recreation” and was chairman of the first Recreation Committee. In 1955, he founded the Little League baseball program in Florham Park. Boyd was also an active promoter of recreation opportunities and was a long-time secretary of the Recreation Committee. In 1966, the Fred Stobaeus Award was established. The Lou Boyd Award followed in 1976. A list of previous winners is permanently displayed on engraved plaques. In determining award winners, the Recreation Committee solicited nominations from every sport league in the borough, as well as from the local schools.

For information, contact the Florham Park Recreation Department at (973) 410-5390, or visit www.florhamparkboro.net/recreation.