Haddonfield resident Susan Baltake has been chosen as the Haddonfield 2023 Citizen of the Year, announced Haddonfield Lions Club member and Committee Chair Jack Tarditi.
The Citizen of the Year Committee is a group of Haddonfield community members from various backgrounds. "We are excited about this year's event. Susan Baltake is very deserving of this honor. And this is the first year in the event's history that we announce the award winner in advance instead of at the event," said Tarditi.
Susan has been active in several Haddonfield organizations and was a member and Past Chair of the Zoning Board of Adjustment and is currently the Mayor's designee on the Planning Board. She was Co-Founder and Past Board Chair of the Farmers Market, and is very active on the Haddonfield Outdoor Sculpture Trust (HOST) board and led the financing for HATCH (Haddonfield Acts To Create Hadrosaurus). She is also a member of the Rotary Club of Haddonfield.
Susan's professional experience includes serving as Executive Director of state finance agencies and organizations, Marketing Director for real estate companies, Vice President of a marketing/branding/PR agency, and a political campaign manager.
According to Haddonfield resident Joseph Murray, who nominated her, Susan is a quiet person who delivers what she promises and can be relied on for any task she undertakes. She has helped HOST move into the limelight and helped make it a draw for visitors to Haddonfield and a joy for our residents.
"I am honored," said Baltake. "It's wonderful to live in a town where there are so many opportunities to volunteer and make a difference."
The award will be presented at the Annual Mayor's Breakfast, hosted by the Haddonfield Area Lions Club, which will be held on Saturday, January 21 at 9:00 AM, at the First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 20 Kings Highway East in Haddonfield. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for ages 12 and under, and can be purchased at the door on the day of the event or in advance on the Lions Club website.
Mayor Colleen Bianco Bezich and her fellow commissioners will give the State of the Borough Address. The William G. Hansen Youth of the Year Awards will also be presented during the event. The award was named after William Hansen, a Haddonfield Area Lion and dedicated community volunteer for decades. He helped people up until his death in 2020 at the age of 102. His grandson, Kevin Burns, serves as Chair of the Youth of the Year Committee.
The Youth of the Year for 2023 is HMHS student Charlie Webb. The Club will also recognize two other outstanding nominees, Audrey Seiger and Allison Baxter.
The Haddonfield Area Lions Club is a service organization that supports community events and activities and assists those in need, particularly those with sight-related issues, locally and globally. Lions Clubs International is the largest service organization in the world.