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Who Is Long Valley's Person of the Year in 2013?

Patch is bestowing its second annual honor, but we need you to decide who it is.

Patch File Photo.
Patch File Photo.
Washington Township has had quite a year, hasn't it?

We're just weeks away from turning the page on 2013, a year in which we celebrated (in numerous ways) the town's 275th anniversary, saw great accomplishments and, sadly, lost loved neighbors.

So, we're asking you, our readers, to nominate a "Person of the Year" for 2013. In 2012, Patch's inaugural competition for this honor, readers overwhelmingly nominated Glenn Lightner, the 14-year-old boy who publicly battled a rare form of brain cancer until he succumbed to the disease in December. 

We're not limiting nominations to single persons, however. Maybe it's the group of volunteers who helped the town celebrate its 275th anniversary. Maybe it's a business that made a difference in the community too big to ignore. 

Or, maybe you want to honor someone posthumously, such as the beloved Josh Adickes or Jeannie LeFrancis

Consider the nomination period open right now. Post your thoughts in the comments section below. We won't have a vote-off unless it's too close to call, so the total number of nominations for a person, group or business on this thread will be our honoree.

We look forward to your nominations and, as always, thanks for your participation. 

Mark Lipinski December 08, 2013 at 11:26 AM
I am nominating my neighbor, Mary Cowap Eichler (Parker Road), who donated her kidney to me (Pickle Road) in March, 2013. I can think of no better nominee or neighborly act of heroism and bravery without any expectation of reward. She saved my life and has never asked for a thing, made mention of it, sought or received any attention for her personal magnanimous generosity, or for that of her family, who also supported her journey.
Melanie Ann Schaub-Hayes December 08, 2013 at 12:04 PM
I grew up in the same area as Mark Lipinski (comment above) and also wish to nominate Mary Cowap Eichler. The world would not be the same without Mark who himself gives to others each day. Without Mary we would not have Mark. The gift Mary gave to Mark is so much more than just a gift to Mark it was a gift to all who know him. Mary rocks in my opinion!
Shelley Gardner December 08, 2013 at 12:15 PM
I have followed Mark Lipinski and his whole trial with needing a kidney. I have prayed for him many times, and was fearful that his art and inspiration to all of us would come to an end without a good solution. Mary Cowap Eichler may have only sought to donate a kidney, but what she gave to the rest of us was years and years of Mark's inspirations, joy and art advice, and for that, we are extremely grateful. From all of the internet crowd that watches Mark, I step up to nominate Mary Cowap Eichler for "Person of the Year".
Bonnie Green Espenshade December 08, 2013 at 12:23 PM
I have known Mark Lipinski for several years and through him I have met Mary Cowap Eichler. I would like to nominate Mary, she has given Mark a chance to live without expecting anything in return. She is a loving, cheerful and caring person and deserving of this award.
Linda Kratz Foote December 08, 2013 at 12:44 PM
Well, I have to nominate Mary Cowap Eichler for "Person of the Year". She was very brave to donate a kidney for Mark Lipinski when he needed help. Yes, very deserving of this award and much more.
Linda Steller December 08, 2013 at 01:04 PM
I'd also like to nominate Mary Cowap Eichler. There isn't a more selfless act than to donate a body part to another person.
Pat Kriegermeier December 08, 2013 at 02:09 PM
I nominate Mary Cowap Eichler for her kind and selfless kidney donation to Mark Lipinski.
Rebecca K Hampton December 08, 2013 at 05:56 PM
I nominate Mary Cowap Eichler for her courage, kindness, and selfless act of donating a kidney to het neighbor, Mark Lipinski.Without Mary, there would be no Mark. without Mark, who would encourage me to stretch far beyond my perceived limits in my creative endeavors?Thank you, Mary.You are loved!
Janet Mease December 08, 2013 at 07:59 PM
I vote for Mary Cowap Eichler. Her courage and her giving spirit has been a true gift to Mark... but also to MANY people around the world who love him!! Thank you, Mary!
Robert Eichler December 08, 2013 at 08:26 PM
I would like to nominate Mary Cowap Eichler. She never questioned her decision to donate her kidney to Mark. Her selfless act is deserving of this nomination and as the doctors at the hospital stated, she is an angle on earth. I support her nomination. Robert Eichler
Janet-Lee Greer Santeusanio December 08, 2013 at 10:32 PM
Mary Cowap Eichler saved Mark Lipinski's life. Period. Even this nomination isn't enough to adequately thank her for saving my dear friend's life. I wholeheartedly nominate her for "Long Valley's Person of the Year."
Andrew Hodge December 09, 2013 at 12:01 AM
She's my mom, so I'm biased. But I'd gladly nominate my mother, Mary Eichler, as well. What she did to save Mark Lipinski's life was so honorable. I was inspired and so proud to see how far she'd go to take care of her friend and neighbor! I miss her while I'm dancing on tour in White Christmas the musical. I'd love to see her honored this way.
Helena Geraci December 09, 2013 at 08:27 AM
I would like to nominate Mary Eichler! My maiden name was Helena Hoops I used to live at 14 Tall Timbers Dr. I have never met anyone as amazing as Mary my life. I am still blown away by the fact she donated her kidney. Mary does so much for animal shelters, friends and loved ones I really think she is an angel put on this earth to make the world a much better place.
Jeffrey Turner December 09, 2013 at 09:20 AM
Without a doubt, it is Mary Eichler. Her selfless act of donating a kidney changed the course of someone's life.
denise December 09, 2013 at 08:26 PM
Well I think that there are so many good citizens and groups in long valley that Town should be looked at for receiving this. I know all our lives depend on the men and women who volunteer to be ready willing and able to save us and rescue us, Dropping all of their immediate business to be at our side in the first aide squad. If you have ever had to call 911 for an ambulance then you will agree with me that it is just an amazing achievement that these VOLUNTEER individuals have trained for and have sacrificed their time To save the lives of their neighbors and people they don't even know. They may not have ever met you before but they will be at your house in five minutes in the mitts of a disaster or a storm leaving their own family behind to save your life just because they Are completely selfless human beings. If you don't vote this group as being the one then please stop and remember them at Christmas and every day. Please donate to them And send them a card of encouragement and thank you for Their bravery and commitments and for being there for every single one of us in this town,every day!!!
denise December 09, 2013 at 08:30 PM
I vote for the volunteer 1st aid & rescue & firefighters who Unconditionally sacrifice and train to be saviors to us all 365 days a year
Diane Bowron December 12, 2013 at 08:51 AM
I nominate Mary Cowap Eichler for her generosity and selflessness in donating a kidney.
Johnboy Walton December 14, 2013 at 07:56 PM
Anyone whom is willing and able to donate a kidney is a tough person not to vote for as "Person of the Year" so I must say Mary would have to receive my vote and admiration as well. This said though, I would also like to nominate Jeannie Le Francis. Jeannie was as kind and giving person as I have ever known. Her love and caring for animals of all species was beyond belief. She was always willing to take in and care for any animal in need. She also was a strong supporter of the charity, Common Sense for Animals in Broadway, NJ. Long Valley Fire Co.'s "Hot Dog Weekend" fundraiser at Ort Farms will never be the same without Jeannie's homemade relish that she prepared and donated every year. If Jeannie knew of any person or cause where food could be of help, be it "comfort food" when needed or as a fundraiser item, Jeanie's words would always be " I'll make my" fill in the blank. Then rest assured whatever she made was going to wonderful and accompanied by many side dishes she felt were absolutely necessary. On behalf of those of us lucky enough to get to know Jeannie in her way to short time in and around Long Valley, I would like to nominate my dear friend Jeannie Le Francis as Women of the Year. She will always be remembered as one of the most genuine caring and giving people I have known. Jeannie will be forever missed.
Indoor Outdoor December 15, 2013 at 08:57 PM
I, too, nominate Jeannie Le Francis for the many, many years of kindness and concern and genuine care she gave to every person and every animal she ever met. She does not represent a single act of kindness but rather continual generosity toward everyone. This would be such a fitting honor to her.

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