Hiram Deats Award

The Hiram Deats Award was initiated in 2000 to recognize those people who exemplify outstanding practices of conservation, agriculture or community service. Hiram Deats (1810-1887), a Franklin resident, was an entrepreneur and manufacturer of farm implements that made significant contributions to 19th century agriculture.

2015 – Awarded to Lora Jones for exceptional community service. In her 25 years of service to Hunterdon County, to Franklin Township, and to local cultural institutions and other nonprofit organizations, Lora has helped preserve countless acres of open space, restore our treasured historical structures, and celebrate our rich history.

2013 – Awarded to Joseph Colalillo of ShopRite of Hunterdon for extraordinarily generous support of Franklin Township’s civic, service, religious, social, and governmental groups.

2011 – Awarded to the Blew Family of Oak Grove Plantation–Ted, Susan, Charity, Eric, Amanda, and Jonathan–for both their land preservation and their community service. Their 160-acre farm was the first family-owned farm preserved in New Jersey. Under their sustainable agricultural practices, the Blews successfully produce and market meats, vegetables, herbs, grains, pastries, bread, and flowers locally and in New York City’s Union Square Green Market. Before his untimely death in 2014, Ted served on the Township’s Land Use Board and Open Space Advisory Committee (OSAC). Susan continues her service on the OSAC, Agricultural Advisory Committee, County Agricultural Development Board and Board of Agriculture; and on the New Jersey Water Supply Authority.

2009 – Awarded to James J. Foran, a Franklin resident for almost 25 years who has served the community tirelessly with a multitude of volunteer activities including leading Boy Scout Troop 108, being a Quakertown Fire Company Life Member, serving multiple terms on the Board of Education and as its president for two terms, coaching the FTS girls basketball team, helping Franklin Theatre Works in multiple ways, teaching health courses at local camps and health clubs, and even dressing as the school mascot or as Santa when needed.

2008 – Awarded to Ella M. Haver for distinguished and lengthy service to both the youth and the seniors in Franklin and for setting exemplary standards of citizenship and community participation. Among other positions, she served the Township as Senior Citizen Coordinator for 27 years and also headed the Jennie M. Haver Scholarship Fund, which, during the year she was honored, had raised a cumulative total of more than $1.2 million and helped send 415 Hunterdon students to college, 15 of those from Franklin.

2007 – Awarded to Maeve Pambianchi for establishing and leading Franklin Theatre Works, a non-profit after-school program that enriches the lives of young students by promoting, encouraging, and increasing their knowledge, appreciation, and practice of all aspects of theatre arts. Also for contributing to the larger community by establishing a theatre program at the Hunterdon County Senior Center and a theatre development program for the Educational Service Commission and co-managing the Shakespeare Festival in Clinton.

2002 – Awarded to Thomas R. Meyer, Jr., one of the Township’s youngest farmers, for his use of good farming practices on the 1,000 acres he leases and farms in Franklin, producing corn, hay, soybeans, and wheat. He is a long-time chair of the Agricultural Advisory Committee.

2000 – Awarded to John A. Peterson, Jr., in recognition of the 1992 preservation and restoration of his 153-acre farm and its 19th century historic buildings and the generous gift of his time and energy in community organizations such as the Open Space Advisory Committee, Agricultural Advisory Committee, and the County Agriculture Development Board, all dedicated to benefit the environment and to further farmland preservation in Franklin.