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Tribute to Sam Levy

by Russell Swanson, Exec. Dir., VDID, Main Street Vineland

It is with heavy hearts that we acknowledge the passing of Samuel (Sam) M. Levy, the longest serving volunteer of the Vineland Downtown Improvement District/Main Street Vineland. Sam has been involved with this organization, in a very big way, since its beginning back in the early 1990s. He has served under every board president and executive director as both a volunteer, and in later years as a recording secretary and as public liaison ambassador.

He was, by all accounts, a walking historian of Vineland. His ability to recall names, dates, places and other trivia is something that we will sorely miss—not to mention his never-ending puns. There wasn’t a meeting or an event, or interaction with Sam that didn’t involve a pun that was always perfectly timed. He kept us all on our toes and laughing all the time.

His heart was huge. Giving was all he knew—giving of himself, his time and his talents. The world is a better place because of Sam’s presence in it. He had a strong faith and a strong commitment to helping others, not just with our non-profit, but with many others, such as the Jewish Federation of Cumberland, Gloucester & Salem County, Bay Atlantic Symphony, NAMI and more.

Toward that end, it gives me great pleasure to announce that the VDID/Main Street Vineland has chosen to honor Sam this year at our annual “A Taste of Vineland & Volunteer Recognition” event on October 26 at Greenview Inn. For years, Sam’s name was mentioned as a deserving recipient of our volunteer recognition award, but Sam would always refuse to allow us to bestow that upon him—he was far too humble for that.

So, we decided, in keeping with the humor of Sam, we would “post-humorously” honor Sam with a lifetime achievement award for volunteer service to the VDID/Main Street organization. There will be more published about this event in future articles.

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Our “A Taste of Vineland & Volunteer Recognition” event is set for Wednesday, October 26 from 6 to 9 p.m., at the Greenview Inn at Eastlyn Golf Course. 4049 Italia Avenue, Vineland. Many of Vineland’s finest restaurants will be offering samples of signature dishes—main courses, appetizers, and desserts. A silent auction and much more is also planned. We’ll be recognizing those of our Main Street Vineland volunteers and partners who have contributed to the work of our organization. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available and ad space will be available in the event program book. Tickets are $40 and available at or by calling the Main Street Vineland office.

For more on Main Street Vineland, call our office at 856-794-8653, visit—or check us out on Facebook. You can also e-mail me at

On the Ave