Thursday, February 18, 2010

What is the Carver of the Year Award?

When Roger Schroeder, a past president of the LIWCA, lost his best friend Joe Cella in 1993, he felt strongly that Joe’s contributions to the carving world should be remembered. The following year, Roger established the Joe Cella Carver of the Year Award, presented annually. Since then, 16 members of the LIWCA have received the award in the form of a plaque. It reads:

The Joe Cella Carver of the Year Award is presented to __________, member of the Long Island Woodcarvers Association. __________ has exemplified the ideals and principles that Joe exemplified: giving of him(her)self, expressing good will, and exerting the extra effort to promote those qualities in the carving community.

The recipients, all dedicated carvers who offered much of themselves to the carving community, are the following:

Ellery Barnaby 1994
Greg Krockta 1995
Nat Friedson 1996
Joel Hull 1997
Cindi Neil 1998
Roger Nancoz 1999
Roger Schroeder 2000
Harold Cannon 2001
Carl Johnson 2002
Phil LaGreco 2003
Mike Quigley 2004
Ed Sesack 2005
Frank Barry 2006
Birt Birkelund 2007
Phil Gonsowski 2008
Skip Goodwin 2009

Roger continues to reminisce about Joe, whom he met at a LIWCA meeting in 1978. Joe was an industrial arts teacher who never hesitated to share his knowledge of wood, tools and techniques. Joe went on to become president of the club from 1980 to 1982. In that last year of his presidency, he retired from teaching and moved to Key Largo, Florida. There he carved full time to support himself, creating a strong following among locals and visitors alike.

Voting for the Joe Cella Carver of the Year Award is held at the April meeting. Guidelines for voting are given, but no names are on the ballot. The award is presented at the June meeting. Start thinking about who you want to vote for...