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North College Park Resident Jackie Kelly to Get 2015 Jack Perry Award

At last week’s Council worksession, the City Council approved the nomination of north College Park resident Jackie Kelly as the recipient of the 2015 Jack Perry Award. The Mayor and City Council established The Jack Perry Award in 2013 to honor former Councilman Jack Perry.

Jackie has served our community for decades, serving in a variety of roles, including as a member of the College Park Airport Authority, a leader in the Boys & Girls Clubs and Recreation Board, a relief secretary at Attick Towers, a columnist for the Municipal Scene, and, most recently, co-founder of the College Park Community Library.

I had the opportunity to work with Jackie on more than one projects, including the Computer training class at the community library and most recently at the Hollywood beautification project. Congratulations Jackie!

The award will be presented on at the next week’s Council meeting.

Here is a piece College Park resident Mary Ann Hartnett wrote about Jackie’s nomination.

I wish to nominate Jacquelin “Jackie” Helen Sefcik Kelly for the 2015 Jack Perry Award. Since 1971, when she became a homeowner in College Park, she has participated to an extraordinary degree in neighborhood, civic and municipal affairs within the City in a manner that has improved public spaces, fostered community cohesion, eradicated blight, informed discussion of public issues, provided leadership, and furthered the best interest of the City as a whole.Jackie is the wife of the late John Michael Kelly, mother of Sean Michael and Denise, and grandmother of Amber and Jessica Kelly. She was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Beltsville, Maryland. Her involvement with the community began as a committee member with the College Park Airport Authority when the committee was charged with determining safe flight patterns over the City. As a supportive parent, Jackie was active in community and school programs.

She was a den mother for Cub Scout Pack 740 at Holy Redeemer Church (Cub, Bear, Wolf and Webelos) for 5 years – 1974-1979. In 1977, she did double duty, and was also a leader of a brownie troop of 22 girls at Holy Redeemer Church. Paint Branch Elementary School also benefited from her generosity with her time and talents. Jackie served as treasurer of the PTA for two terms, and laid the foundation for the first Mayfair and book fair programs. Sports were also on her radar, and she served as treasurer for the College Park Girls Club prior to its merger with the College Park Boys Club, and was a member of the College Park Recreation Board for two terms until 1991. Paint Branch Elementary School was not the only public school in the City to profit from her services. Jackie taught cooking skills to students in afterschool and summer enrichment programs at the Hollywood Elementary school for 9 years.

Seniors at Attick Towers also hold a special place in her heart. From 1975-2009 Jackie served as a relief secretary there, and called bingo for the seniors for 26 years. Jackie became a Certified Habitat Naturalist through the Windstar Institute in 1996. This training has enabled her to work with residents of North College Park and other areas to build and install Blue Bird boxes in North College Park and along the Trolley trail. Also, to encourage getting seniors outdoors and active, Jackie added Blue Bird boxes to the walking trail at Attick Towers. She shared her interest in backyard habitats with the community in a column “Bird Talk”, that she wrote for the original College Park Municipal Scene. 1 070 Jackie has also given of her talents and time to serve as a member of the College Park Committee for a Better Environment and the Tree and Landscape Board. One of her assignments was to serve as liaison between the two committees. Jackie has worked in landscape design at the Cherry Hill Park, a RV campground on Cherry Hill Road, since 1992.

Her work there has won a beautification award from the Committee for a Better Environment for the use of recycled wood chip for mulch. Travelers from all over the world come to the campground, and Jackie’s landscaping and upkeep at the park provides a positive first impression of College Park to thousands of visitors.

In October 2011, along with Joseph Smith, Jackie recognized a need for a lending library in College Park. The congregation of the Church of the Nazarene in North College Park agreed to provide space for this new community venture. The library officially opened February 22, 2012. At the present time, Jackie is the co-director at the library. Thus far, over 200 families have joined this facility that has a grown to have a collection has over 14,000 circulating items.

Never one to ignore someone in need, Jackie is thought of as the go-to -person by her many friends and neighbors. She is well known for circulating community information and alerting locally elected officials to situations that require their attention.

Outside of College Park, she is also known for giving of her time and talents. She has volunteered for ten years at the U. S. Dept. of the Interior, Patuxent Research Refuge, in Laurel, Maryland.

For these, and many other unrecognized accomplishments over a period of 44 years while a resident of College Park, I believe that Jackie Kelly should be the 2015 recipient of the Jack Perry Award. Jacquelin Kelly provides the perfect example of a resident of College Park, who like Jack Perry, has devoted many hours to improving the quality of life for all who once or currently live and work in College Park. Current and future residents should aim to exemplify her service to her community as a way to improve the quality of life for all in College Park.
— Mary Ann Hartnett College Park, Maryland

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