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NJRPA Fay S Mathewson Award 2022 Goes to Jim Daggon

Apr 12, 2022 04:12PM ● By Joe Nicastro

Photo left to right: David Guida, chairperson of the NJRPA Awards Committee. Recipient Jim Daggon, Romayne Eaker-Kelly, Past President of NJRPA, Lenny Celluro Jr,, current President of NJRPA

When Jim Daggon, husband of longtime Recreation Director Jill Daggon from Mt Olive Township in 2008, attended the NJRPA conference, he soon was VOLUNTOLD from said wife to help unload boxes behind the conference registration desk. A task that only a few people regularly gather to help the Saturday of the conference. Who knew Jim soon had all the answers to all things technology? This and that happened, and soon Jim was the answer to our technology issues. Printer this, the computer that we soon never feared cause Jim was on it! Jim found sales on a laptops and printers and over the years, Jim found ways to save the Association 100’s of dollars and keep the office running. He embarked on an adventure with NJRPA he never knew existed!!! The NJRPA Tech Adventure! With the Association’s old and antiquated equipment Jim helped us survive many more conferences keeping those those old and antiquated laptops and computers alive. He even had parts sitting home in a box that now I think Jill was thrilled found another home!

Almost immediately, Jim became our conference tech for our speakers and all of our session rooms; he added a few volunteers and, in Jim’s fashion, mentored them, gave them the tools to help make our conference a great success each year. Jim is a positive person with a great sense of humor and more patience than a saint. Tonight, we honor Jim with the Fay S Mathewson Award for the countless hours spent with Kathleen working on computers, for always answering the phone, for responding quickly, and yes, for the many times he traveled to the Princeton office to see what he could do. For several years of volunteering at our annual conference, consulting over the phone whenever we needed recommendations to replace or not replace our equipment.

Every year his work coordinating with our speakers and tech set up session rooms and being ready for the “Jim, the printer won’t Print” at the registration desk cry!!! 


Though Jim is not a recreation warrior by degree, he has undoubtedly volunteered the time to become a warrior by extension and a friend of recreation. During Jim’s retirement, I have faith he will continue to volunteer at our conference. This year he has added our conference committee zoom planning meetings to the list of NJRPA tasks. He continues to be a loyal volunteer and dedicated to our Association and our “Farside joke teller.”