Arts & Entertainment

Nutley 2017 St. Patrick’s Day Parade Dignitary Bios

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NIAA Vice President Karen O’Connor and President Thomas McEnery flank the 2017 honorees, from left Michael Budinick, Morgan Sim, Colleen Nielsen, Shane McClafferty and Frank Dauksis. Credits: Deborah Ann Tripoldi/photographer
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The 2017 Grand Marshal Frank Dauksis delivers his speech. Looking on is NIAA Vice President Karen O'Connor and Firefighter of Year Michael Budinick. Credits: Deborah Ann Tripoldi/photographer
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The 2017 Deputy Grand Marshal Shane McClafferty speaks during the 39th Annual Grand Marshal Dinner at Nanina’s In The Park. Behind him is NIAA President Thomas J. McEnery. Credits: Deborah Ann Tripoldi/photographer
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Member of the Year Colleen Nielson, second from right, gathers with her children Justine and Daniel Roche and Patrick Roche during the 39th Annual Grand Marshal Dinner at Nanina’s In The Park. Credits: Deborah Ann Tripoldi/photographer
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Parade Queen Morgan Sim, second from right, joins her family at the cocktail. With her from left is her father Scott Sim, 2009 grand marshal, her mother Maria and her brother Brendan. Credits: Deborah Ann Tripoldi/photographer
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NUTLEY, NJ - The 2017 39th Annual Nutley Irish American Alliance St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held Saturday, March 4 on Franklin Avenue. Step off is at 1 p.m.

An Investiture Mass will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday March 4 at St. Mary's Church, 17 Monsignor Owens Place, Nutley. The parade line up will be at noon at Holy Family Church’s parking lot, 28 Brookline Ave.

The Parade route will be from Harrison Street and heads west to Franklin Avenue. It will continue north to Chestnut Street. The reviewing stand will be in front of John Walker Middle School. A post parade party will be held at 3 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus, 150 Chestnut St.

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This year’s parade dignitaries are Grand Marshal Frank Dauksis, Deputy Grand Marshal Shane McClafferty, Member of the Year Colleen Nielsen, Parade Queen Morgan Sim and Firefighter of the Year Michael Budinick.

Grand Marshal

Frank Dauksis, of Belleville, is the second generation owner of Michael’s Roscommon House in Belleville.  His mom, Pamela and late father, Michael started the business 35 years ago in 1982.  The legacy of the classic Irish Pub has lived on through Dauksis for the past 10 years since he took over as full time owner and general manager. 

Dauksis is involved in many charities and organizations throughout the community, most notably his Michael's Roscommon House Foundation, in honor of his late father Michael.  The foundation was created 15 years ago and nearly $100,000 in scholarships has been donated to local students.  Also, more recently after his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, Frank and his wife Sheila created their Breast Cancer 5K Walk & Foundation.  The money raised goes to local families with cancer struggling to pay bills. Today, Dauksis is happy to say that his wife is now a Breast Cancer Survivor.  He is also a proud supporter of many sports programs including the Belleville Little League, Belleville High School Football, Wrestling and Basketball, as well as various recreation programs throughout the town. 

As a fourth generation Irish American, his paternal great grandparents emigrated to the United States of America in the early 1900’s from County Roscommon.  He is named after his paternal grandfather, who along with his grandmother Geraldine owned bars in Newark and Irvington from the later 1940s until the Newark riots in 1967.

Dauksis married his wife Sheila in 2014 and they have one son, Leonardo Michael.

Dauksis would like to congratulate his fellow dignitaries.  He would also like to send his sincere gratitude to the NIAA officers and board of trustees for this tremendous nomination of 2017 Grand Marshal. 

Deputy Grand Marshal

Shane Michael McClafferty would like to thank the Nutley Irish American Alliance and NIAA President Thomas J. McEnery for the great honor of being selected as deputy grand marshal of the 2017 Nutley St. Patrick’s Day Parade. He wishes to congratulate the other parade dignitaries. McClafferty is honored to be included alongside these accomplished individuals.

McClafferty is one of four children born and raised in Achill Island located in County Mayo, Ireland. His father was born in Glasgow, Scotland and his mother was born in Manchester, England. They emigrated to where his paternal grandmother was from in Achill Island in the late 1970s and raised their family. 

After receiving a degree in education, McClafferty taught in an all Irish speaking school near his family home in Mayo.  During this time, he spent several summers in the United States. He played Gaelic Football in Philadelphia for Donegal where the team made the American Finals.  After moving to the New Jersey area, he continued to play in the Bronx for Mayo and later for Rockland.

McClafferty moved to New Jersey in 2003. He was a member of the Carpenter Union local 608 and the Electrician Union local 102.  He trained at Bergen County Fire Academy and served as a volunteer fireman in Bloomfield for over two years. 

In August of 2011, McClafferty entered the New Jersey State Police Academy and graduated 6.5 months later.  He is a New Jersey State Trooper currently assigned to the Totowa barracks. 

In addition to being an active member of the NIAA for the past 10 years, Shane has chaired and served on several fundraising committees and taken on a variety of roles within the organization. 

He is also a member of the Irish American Club in Kearny, where he served on the board of Trustees for many years.  He was honored by the club in 2008 by being named as the Irishman of the Year for the parade.  In addition, McClafferty continues to volunteer his time in Nutley recreational programs.  He coached numerous soccer and T-Ball teams over the last few years.

McClafferty resides in Nutley with his three children, Kayleigh, 10, Kara, 9 and Shane, 7, who attend Radcliffe Elementary School and are all members of St. Mary’s Parish.  His children are also very active in the NIAA and frequently take trips “home” to visit their relatives.

Member of the Year

Colleen Nielsen spent her early childhood in Kearny before moving to Belleville. She grew up with her parents, George and Anne (Nancy) Nielsen, and her three siblings, Debbie Jacullo, Sherie Constantino and Tim Nielsen.

Nielsen’s Irish heritage is from her mother’s side of the family. Her parents were both born and raised in Newark. Her mother was raised “Down Neck” in a neighborhood surrounded by all of her Irish cousins and friends. Colleen’s maternal grandparents Charles (Boots) and Johanna Glynn’s families were from different parts of Ireland and both eventually settled in Newark. Grandmother Johanna’s parents, Patrick and Catherine Clair, arrived in the late 1800s from Ennistymon, County Clare. Grandfather Charles Glynn’s family immigrated here around 1840. Colleen had believed that they were from County Roscommon, but after doing a little research she has now uncovered that they hail from County Mayo.

Although Nielsen’s father wasn’t Irish by birth; he enjoyed celebrating her mother’s heritage.  He also learned to abide by every Irish superstition and knew not to question her mother about them either.  Every year their family all looked forward to St. Patrick’s Day and her father’s corned beef and cabbage.

A resident of Nutley for the past 30 years, Nielsen is employed by the Township of Nutley in the Code Enforcement Department.

She has two sons, Daniel Roche and his wife Justine and Patrick Roche. While her sons were in school, Nielsen volunteered at various events with the Washington School Mothers’ Club and Nutley Music Boosters. She was also an active parent with the Nutley High School Soccer, Wrestling and Track Booster clubs.

She has been a member of Nutley Irish for the past four years, during which time she has volunteered for numerous events and committees, most recently as chairperson of the Super 50/50 Raffle.

Nielsen would like to express her heartfelt thanks to the officers and trustees of the Nutley Irish American Association and President Thomas J. McEnery for the great honor of being selected as the 2017 Member of the Year. She would also like to extend her sincere congratulations to the other dignitaries.

She is looking forward to marching down Franklin Avenue on March 4 and is excited to share this memorable season with her fellow dignitaries, Nutley Irish members, friends and, most of all, Tom and her family.

Parade Queen

Morgan Mairead Sim, 22, born in Mountainside Hospital, Glen Ridge. She is a 2009 graduate of St. Thomas the Apostle School in Bloomfield, and a 2013 graduate of Immaculate Conception High School in Lodi. Currently she is a senior at the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown and intends to graduate in May of 2017 with a degree in history. Her goal is to teach genocide studies – particularly the Holocaust and Famine - to educate the future generations and hopefully end these travesties.

On campus Sim works for the admissions, athletics and media services departments. She previously worked for six years at Michael’s Roscommon House. For the past four summers, she was employed with The Grand at Diamond Beach in Wildwood Crest as a kid’s counselor and pool/beach attendant. Currently, Morgan also works at the Grasshopper Off the Green in Morristown.

The Sim Family trace their roots back to the Westport area of County Mayo and also County Down, through Healy, McClean and Quinn lineage. The McClean family settled in Paterson in the 1880s, whereas the Healy’s and Quinn’s immigrated to Newark in the 1860s and 1870s. The Quinn’s came by way of Liverpool, known then as the second capitol of Ireland.

A former Irish dancer, Sim danced for the DeNogla School of Irish Dance. She is very proud that her great-grandfather, grandfather, father and brother have been members of the Essex County Police and Fire Emerald Society. Her father, Scott (the 2009 Grand Marshal) is presently the Pipe Major of the Essex County Emerald Society Pipes and Drums and her brother, Brendan, is a bass drummer. “The sound of bagpipes is the most inspiring music and something she will never tire of hearing,” she said. Morgan has also travelled to Ireland twice, in 2005 and again in 2007.

For 14 years, Sim served as a volunteer for “Project Children.” This organization allowed children from Northern Ireland to visit America for four to six weeks in the summer, to break away from the troubles in the North. She assisted at Newark and JFK airports for the group’s arrivals and departures, and also at organized events during their stay. The Sim family also hosted nine children during these years.  She also has volunteered for the Knights of Columbus Tank Pull to raise money for wounded servicemen and women, Habitat for Humanity in Morris County, and many more. Morgan played basketball, soccer and softball her whole life, including at The College of Saint Elizabeth. She has been president of the class of 2017 at CSE since freshman year and has also served as president of the Elizabethan Education Association on campus and a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee.

She is beyond excited and honored to be the 2017 parade queen, especially for following in her father’s footsteps of being a dignitary. She wants to thank the Nutley Irish for this amazing opportunity and her parents for always supporting her in every aspect throughout her years. She wishes the best for her fellow dignitaries and cannot wait for parade day.   

Firefighter of the Year

Michael Budinick was born and raised in the Marion section of Jersey City to Martin and Joann (nee McCarthy). He can trace his Irish heritage back to County Cork, through his great, great grandmother on his mother’s side.  Budinick is the oldest of three children.  He graduated from Hudson Catholic High School in 1990 and from Jersey City State College (New Jersey City University) in 1994 with a bachelors in science degree in fire safety-criminal justice. While living in Jersey City, he volunteered for Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish for 15 years assisting with its annual family festival.  He also coached CYO basketball and was an umpire for little league and high school baseball. 

In 1997, Budinick was sworn in as a firefighter with the Jersey City Fire Department.  He is a member of the Jersey City Firefighter’s Emerald Society and served for nine years as an executive board member for the Firefighters Union.  In December 2015, Budinick was promoted to the rank of fire captain.  He is currently serving as a captain representative for the Fire Officers Union. 

He married Sherri Hensrud in 2004 and moved to Nutley in 2005. She is a physical therapist for the Nutley Board of Education.  They have a son, Ryan, 11.  He is an active member of the community and a member of the Nutley Irish for the past nine years.  He has also volunteered his time as a Nutley Parks and Recreation soccer and flag football coach as well as a coach for the Nutley East Little League for the past five years.

Budinick would like to thank the officers and trustees of the Nutley Irish for his selection and is extremely honored to serve as Nutley Irish Firefighter of the Year for the 2017 parade.  He would also like to congratulate his fellow 2017 parade dignitaries and feels both honored and blessed to be sharing this experience with them.

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