BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ --  Ted Romankow, chairperson of the Memorial Park Renewal Committee, presented Township Administrator John Bussiculo  with a commemorative coin designed for all veterans who attended the Veterans Memorial Park rededication ceremony and volunteers who helped make the renovation of the park happen. Council members and the mayor also received a coin.

Speaking before the Township Council at its meeting on Tuesday, June 28, Romankow used the occasion to remind residents and council members of the role former Mayor Leon Patrick Ciferni had played in the renovation and restoration of the memorial. Ciferni, who died on Saturday, June 18, "was a brilliant lawyer," who suggested to Grover Connell that he think about purchasing the Runnells property, said Romankow. Connell did, in fact make that purchase.

Romankow said he approached Ciferni when he was quite ill and asked if he would help with the restoration of Veterans Memorial Park. "He was the first one who called businessmen and women in town to ask for help. He set the stage for what we have across the street," said Romankow.

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Before handing the commemorative challenge coin to Bussiculo, Romankow reminded everyone that the Memorial Park Renewal Committee also needs money to maintain the park. No township money was used to renovate the park and the hope is that there will be enough donations to the committee that the memorial won't fall into disrepair, he said.

Anyone who wants to donate to the committee, a 501(c)(3), to help with the maintenance fund, may do so by: contacting the: Memorial Park Renewal Committee; 29 Park Ave.; Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922; calling, 908-208-7800, or emailing or visiting the committee website