Columbia HS Student Wins Place of Honor at Maplewood Wawa Ribbon Cutting

by The Village Green
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It’s pretty clear that there are few fans as loyal and enthusiastic as lovers of Wawa. Since locals learned that Maplewood’s Springfield Avenue will soon be home to the convenience store’s first location in Essex County, the anticipation has been intense.

One resident and Columbia High School senior, Vivian Charlap, was so fervent about her excitement for Wawa that after reading a Village Green article about the opening she started a petition asking Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca if she could be a part of the official ribbon cutting — taking place Friday, December 16 at 10 a.m. at 1511 Springfield Avenue.

“As an active member of the MAPSO community, I feel that it is my duty to cut the ribbon on the opening day. Vic DeLuca please understand the need for a lively youthful figure to open up the new and lively Wawa,” wrote Charlap.

DeLuca connected the teen with higher-ups at Wawa, and now Charlap’s wishes are coming true: she will help hold the ribbon during the ceremony, be part of the grand opening photo, and meet the Mayor and members of the Wawa team.

“Growing up, my friends from Philadelphia would rave about their local
Wawas,” Charlap said. “…the thing that I came to love the most was the variety of options they had in snacks and beverages. The hot food aspect to Wawa is one of unprecedented measure. I was always greeted with a smile and it felt very welcoming.”

Charlap, who runs an embroidery club, is a visual and mixed media artist and performs as a local rapper under the name Teen Queen, said she is “over the moon” about the honor.

Here are excerpts from the letter, from a company public relations official:

Dear Vivi,

From all of us at Wawa, thank you for your incredible passion and excitement about our new store opening in Maplewood!…A number of us caught wind of your request to be a part of the ribbon-cutting ceremony, since you are so passionate about our new Wawa and even started a petition to become a part of the grand opening ceremony, we would be honored to have you with us to be a part of the celebration!

At our ribbon-cutting ceremony, we typically have some of the people who have played the most important roles in making the new store happen. At the Maplewood grand opening, that includes members of the Wawa leadership team, Maplewood Mayor Victor DeLuca, and our hometown heroes, our local fire and police who serve Maplewood.

“This is one of my greatest achievements. I feel proud to be representing the youth of our two towns,” said Charlap.

Don’t miss the ribbon cutting ceremony, which is open to the public.

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