By Walt Ostromecki
Jon-Maria Marish, current secretary and newsletter editor for the Fairfield (Calif.) Coin Club was honored with an ANA Presidential Award on Dec. 8 during the 26th Annual Joint Christmas Party and Awards Recognition Event hosted by the Fairfield Coin Club and Vallejo Numismatic Society in Vallejo, Calif.
Acting on behalf of ANA President Tom Hallenbeck, Vice President Walt Ostromecki along with ANA Executive Director, Jeff Shevlin (the events emcee and keynote speaker) presented the honor which recognized Marish’s long time --and mostly behind the scenes efforts-- to promote the joy and fun of numismatics to both youth an adults at numerous coin clubs and coin show venues throughout much of Northern California.
Marish began her numismatic collecting interests while serving as a military doctor in the Air Force during the Vietnam War in the late 1960’s. When she retired from active military service, she settled back down in the San Francisco Bay Area and immediately sought out a local coin club where she could reconnect with others in the numismatic hobby.
Upon receiving the ANA Presidential Award Marish remarked, “I am both humbled and totally astounded. I truly had no idea that anyone outside of a few close local numismatic friends, let alone someone on a national level, even knew about me or my exploits within the coin collecting hobby. I am deeply moved. Thank you, Mr. Hallenbeck. I shall endeavor to live up to the meaning behind this high numismatic honor!”
One of her close numismatic friends, Ed Hoffmark, noted: “Joni has a true passion for being of service to others in the local numismatic community, especially budding young numismatists. She is a dedicated hobby worker who prefers to work quietly behind the scenes doing whatever tasks are necessary to help out the five coin clubs she is directly associated with. Her collecting interests are best described as ‘eclectic’, though she has a real hankering for both Buffalo nickels and Australian silver Pandas.”
So, just how serious is Marish’s love, devotion and dedication to the Northern California coin club scene? Well, at the November meeting of the Vallejo Numismatic Society the club was looking for a slate new 2013 officers.
And, according to outgoing President Harry Davis, nominations or volunteers came forth for all the offices except that of secretary. In the background he heard a muffled quip from Joni as she was leaving the room stating that she was already the new secretary for Fairfield.
Upon her return to the meeting, the membership applauded, which startled Joni.
“You elected me secretary didn’t you?” she said, to which Davis commented, “That’s right.”
Joni retorted, “Good. I’m glad I dropped the hint before stepping out.”
Now, that’s dedication plus!