By Sally Deering
On Thurs, Nov. 21, Saint Dominic Academy (SDA) will honor Jersey City Cultural Affairs Director Maryanne Kelleher, Class of ’90, with the Dominican Pillar Award, the highest honor given to “outstanding individuals whose personal and professional lives reflect the values of Saint Dominic.” The 15th Annual SDA Leadership Awards Gala will be held at Nanina’s in the Park in Belleville and the money raised will to go to SDAs scholarship fund.
“It is a special thing to be honored by the community that I serve,” Kelleher says, “but to have SDA reach out to me to say, ‘You’ve done well, kid,’ twenty-three years after graduation is a whole other experience all-together. This is very touching and a personal honor which I will cherish for years to come.”
Jersey City’s Director of Cultural Affairs since 1996, Kelleher has worked for several administrations including Mayors Bret Schundler, Glenn Cunningham, L. Harvey Smith, Jerramiah T. Healy, and the newly-elected Mayor Steven M. Fulop. Her primary mission as a public servant, she says, is to remain keenly aware of the needs within the creative, ethnic and preservation communities and advocate on their behalf to realize their goals. She encourages Jersey City artists — dancers, actors, writers – to contact her office if they need help with their projects.