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Chester County Press

Connective Festival organizers, Sherrow, and Stay receive Citizen Recognition Awards in Oxford

06/21/2019 01:09PM ● By Steven Hoffman

A dedicated community volunteer, a post office employee who is particularly helpful and cheerful, and a hardworking committee that organized the first Connective Art & Music Festival were this year’s recipients of the Citizen Recognition Awards in Oxford Borough.

Oxford mayor Lorraine Durnan Bell presented the awards to Clarissa Sherrow, Karen Stay, and the volunteer committee for the 2018 Connective Art & Music Festival last week. The Citizen Recognition Awards were established in 2006 as a way to recognize the individuals, businesses, and organizations that have made contributions to the Borough of Oxford and its citizens.

Bell commended Sherrow for her wide range of volunteer activities in the community. Sherrow helps out the Oxford Police Department by working to reunite lost or stolen animals with their rightful owners. She is a co-sponsor for the Oxford Chapter of Meals for Shields and a longtime volunteer at the annual Relay for Life event in Oxford. She is also a volunteer for SILO, the Connective Art & Music Festival, and the Veterans’ Day Breakfast that is held each year for military veterans in the area.

“Clarissa has worked tirelessly to help those in need,” Bell said. “She has done so much as a volunteer for the town. Clarissa is one of a kind, and I commend her service to the citizens and businesses in Oxford.”

Bell also commended Stay for her work in improving the quality of life for residents in Oxford. Stay is an employee at the Oxford Post Office. Bell said that she goes above and beyond to serve customers of the post office. The mayor added that Stay’s “caring smile and helpful ways” make a big difference for her customers.

“Karen is an asset to our local post office and our town,” Bell said.

The first-ever Connective Art & Music Festival put some of Oxford’s best attributes on full display last August, highlighting not only the local arts and music community, but also the many shops, restaurants, and organizations that make Oxford such a special place to live and work. It took dozens of volunteers to make the event a success, but a core group that served on a festival committee handled much of the planning for the inaugural festival.

“Taking on the endeavor of organizing an event unlike anything that our town has ever seen or done is in itself commendable,” Bell said.

“The months and thousands of hours that this committee put into thinking through every possible scenario is overwhelming, but you did it,” Bell told the members of the volunteer Connective Festival Committee who had gathered for the award presentation.

Oxford Mainstreet, Inc. and the Oxford Arts Alliance took the lead in planning and organizing the festival, but a wide cross section of the community was involved as volunteers. Those serving on the volunteer committee for the festival included the following: Bethany Atkinson; Mary Lou Baily; Mary-Laura Buchner-Hulse; Scott Brown; Caitlin Daugherty; Tony Derrico; Jane Edgington; Johnny Johnston; Allie King; Betty Kramer; Dan Meixell; Crystal Messaros; Bruce Mowday; Melissa Pacella; Cara Patti; Judy Petersen; Neeley Spotts; Brian Wenzka; and Erica Winne.

Bell told the festival volunteers, “The Connective Festival was a great success because of all the work that went into the planning and organizing. Your commitment to this challenge is appreciated. I commend your service to the citizens and businesses in Oxford.”

To contact Staff Writer Steven Hoffman, email

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