SPARTA, NJ – Frank Cannistra was honored as Sparta’s 2015 Outstanding Older American at a dinner sponsored by the township manager, William Close and the township council.  On May 7 they gathered at the Senior Center at Knoll Heights for dinner and acolades.  

Cannistra was chosen after being nominated by people and organizations in the community.  He was nominated by Sparta Kiwanis. They recognized him for his service and leadership in the community, much of it through his church Saint Kateri Tekakwitha.  It is a long list of volunteerism including:

  • Chairing the Ministy Fair at Saint Kateri for four years
  • Co-Chairing the 40 Anniversary Celebration of Father Pat’s ordination
  • Monthly volunteer on the Saint Kateri Manna House since 2009
  • Weekly driver of Meals on Wheels since 2009
  • Active in the Coupons for the Community since 2010
  • Cleaning up the database of church membership in 2011.
  • Member of the Sparta Ecumenical Food Bank,
  • Restarted the Children’s Summer Feeding Program in 2012,
  • Has served a Welcomer for 20 years,
  • Cannistra has also been an active member of the Kiwanis Club of Sparta serving on the scholarship committee, Vice President, President Elect, President and is currently serving as Immediate Past President and Chair of Communications/Membership Committee.

The program began with welcoming remarks by Sparta Senior Citizen Coordinator Marianne Dilworth.  After the flag salute, Fr Patrick Rice of St Kateri gave the invocation.  Entertainment was provided by Pope John XXIII High School Players led by Jacquelyn Burt.  Close introduced the council members and members of the Senior Advisory Committee.

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Members of the Senior Advisory Committee are Chairman Fred Schuhmann, Vice Chairman Herb Stanske, Secretary Mary Parker, Eileen Francis, Rose Satterfield, Florence Meyer, Dennis Gibson,

Dorothy Eckweiler, Joan Shaw and Frederika Link.

After the awards were presented the students led the room in singing God Bless America.