Giving Back

JLS Awards "Luminary Lady" Barbara Romano 2014 Gano Community Service Award

SUMMIT, NJ - The Junior League of Summit (JLS) has presented this year’s Jean Hudson Gano Community Service Award to Barbara Romano of Summit, at its Annual Dinner at Fairmount Country Club. 

This award is given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to the community by either an individual or a nonprofit organization.  Through this award, the JLS honors Jean Hudson Gano, a JLS member, mother of three, and outstanding community volunteer who died of breast cancer in May of 1997 at 41 years of age.

Romano, also known around Summit as the "Luminary Lady," has been the Project Director of the Luminary Fund since 1989.  The Luminary Fund is a community-run fundraiser where individuals purchase luminaries to be lit on Christmas Eve.  It began 32 years ago as a service project for teens but, since Romano took over, she has raised more than $640,000.  The project has grown into a whole community-wide effort that includes over 125 street captains, three area leaders and several youth groups.  

"Mrs. Romano's altruistic volunteer work truly embodies the spirit of the JLS mission.  The Luminary Fund makes participants feel more connected to the community and it promotes voluntarism as a whole," commented President Colleen Markley.  "Individuals like Mrs. Romano make all the difference in a community."

The money raised has been distributed back to local organizations such as the Senior Connections Bus (the Big Wheel), the Summit First Aid Squad, The Valerie Fund, Summit Helping Its People (SHIP), Bridges Outreach Ministries, SAGE Eldercare, and many more.  Last year alone, Romano raised nearly $60,000.


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