Arts & Entertainment

Letters to the Editor

Thank You from 2018 West Orange Parade Grand Marshal Donald Shauger

f8cd3de6aae33e928319_waving3.jpg
Donald R. Shauger, Sr., 2018 West Orange St. Patrick's Day Parade Grand Marshal, waving to the crowd at the West Orange Parade on March 18, 2018 Credits: Alexandra Gakos
e6589b9fdf6fdd6184a5_brownbearquigleys.jpg
2018 West Orange St. Patrick's Day Parade Grand Marshal Donald R. Shauger, Sr. Credits: Alexandra Gakos
ab1da4fd2bee3457fa4b_Shauger_family.jpg
Shauger family Credits: Alexandra Gakos
b486cab9acf9088a4615_withdeputies.jpg
2018 West Orange St. Patrick's Day Parade Honorees: Deputy Grand Marshal Sean McGinley; Grand Marshal Donald R. Shauger, Sr.; Deputy Grand Marshal Robert Lynch; and Deputy Grand Marshal Brad Squires Credits: Alexandra Gakos
f8e4e008d85f1fe116c8_grouplawn.jpg
Parade Committee and Honorees Credits: Alexandra Gakos
8f575d7a2865fb51bae0_TSGparade.jpg
2018 West Orange St. Patrick's Day Parade Grand Marshal Donald R. Shauger, Sr. with a group of employees of The Shauger Group at the parade Credits: Alexandra Gakos
e87564b41755510a8e03_waving.jpg
Donald R. Shauger, Sr., 2018 West Orange St. Patrick's Day Parade Grand Marshal, and his wife, Lisa Shauger, waving to the crowd at the West Orange Parade on March 18, 2018 Credits: Alexandra Gakos
f5f458de82553be69562_solo.jpg
2018 West Orange St. Patrick's Day Parade Grand Marshal Donald R. Shauger, Sr. Credits: Alexandra Gakos
f8cd3de6aae33e928319_waving3.jpg

Dear family, friends, colleagues, members of the West Orange community, and all those who gathered to celebrate this year's West Orange Parade,

Not a day goes by when I am not grateful to have been raised in the incredible, warm, and welcoming community of West Orange. Not only was I raised by an amazing mother, I was raised by the community of West Orange—a community that helped my family through our struggles and was there for us every step of the way. I will never forget what this community has done for my family, so it has been nothing short of an honor for me to be able to give back to a community that has given so much to me.

When my mother was stretched thin from working long hours, raising five kids on her own, and caring for my sister, who was terminally ill, the community of West Orange stepped up to help my family. There are many moments of kindness that stand out in my mind—moments when friends and strangers truly showed us what community, friendship, love, and West Orange are all about. The incredible thing about West Orange is that everyone always looks out for one another: they stick by your side, in both good times and bad. I am always proud to say I wasn’t just raised in West Orange, I was raised by West Orange.

Sign Up for E-News

From the bottom of my heart, I am thankful to the West Orange community for embracing me throughout my entire life—and to the parade committee for humbling me with the honor of serving as 2018 Grand Marshal.

For the past 67 years, people from far and wide have flocked to West Orange to celebrate our town’s special St. Patrick’s Day tradition. Each year, the parade committee never fails to organize an amazing, unforgettable event—one that brings together friends to bond, reminisce, and share in their love of this special tradition.

The continued success of the parade is a testament to the dedication of the parade committee. The parade is an esteemed tradition—and one that wouldn’t be possible without the committee’s time, effort, and heartfelt devotion each year. Thank you to the parade committee for all they do to make this day a memorable one.

For all of you who joined us for the parade, I hope you enjoyed a wonderful day with your loved ones, while remembering those who were no longer here to celebrate the day with us. I know my mother and sister were with me in spirit at the parade, standing by my side and sharing in that special moment.

Some of my most vivid childhood memories center around the tradition of the West Orange St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Proud of my Irish heritage, I have always eagerly looked forward to St. Patrick's Day each year. We all have unforgettable memories from the parade—listening to the marching bands, watching the fire trucks, dressing head to toe in green, or marching down Main Street—but the community bonding on this day is what stands out most in my mind. The West Orange Parade has always been more than just a parade: it’s a symbol of friendship and unity. It brings people together in a celebration of faith, community, and Irish traditions, while both reuniting old friends and starting new friendships. The parade reminds us of what makes West Orange so special and lets us bond over our shared love of this town.

I can hardly believe this tradition I’ve loved since childhood is one I had the privilege of leading. I’d like to thank the parade committee and the entire West Orange community for this truly humbling honor. Congratulations to Deputy Grand Marshals Robert Lynch, Brad Squires, and Sean McGinley on their well-deserved honor and appointment; on behalf of my beloved hometown, I thank them for all they do for the community. It was an honor to stand alongside three individuals who truly embody the spirit of West Orange and what this great community represents.

Thank you to the West Orange Police Department, West Orange Fire Department, and West Orange Department of Public Works for all of their hard work in preparation for the parade and all year round. They had their work cut out for them in the aftermath of the recent storms, but they rose to the challenge and were tireless in their efforts to make sure the town was safe for everyone on parade day. 

Thank you to Lisa Elam and Alexandra Gakos for their hard work to ensure my involvement as Grand Marshal would be a success. Thank you to Lisa for helping make sure I was at every parade-related event when and where I needed to be. Thank you to Alexandra for helping me tell my story so eloquently—so that others could truly understand what West Orange means to me.

Thank you to my three parade aides, whom I chose symbolically to represent three very important facets of my life: religion, family, and friends. I am grateful that Father Jim Ferry, my priest at Our Lady of Lourdes Church; Therese Shauger, my sister-in-law; and Michael D’Aries, my lifelong friend since kindergarten, all were as enthusiastic about their roles in the parade as I was.

Thank you to my wife Lisa, my daughter Marisa, and my son Donnie, who’s also my chief of staff, for their unconditional love and support. I don’t know where I would be without them.

It was one of the greatest honors of my life to receive a call from the parade committee, telling me I had been chosen as Grand Marshal. It’s a moment I will never forget. Marching up Main Street with my family on the day of the parade, I got to relive a lifetime of memories in West Orange—from childhood on—and it was hard to hold back the tears.

It was especially moving to come to the end of the parade and hear the bells ringing at Our Lady of Lourdes Church for the first time in years—bells that Lisa and I just recently had refurbished as a donation to the church. As I stood listening to the bells, in front of the third-floor apartment I grew up in, it all came together and hit me hard. It was as if I were Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life: I felt like the richest person in the world. And I am—because I wasn’t raised in West Orange, I was raised by West Orange. My hometown. 

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for this honor.

God bless,

Donald R. Shauger, Sr., 2018 West Orange St. Patrick’s Day Parade Grand Marshal

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Bloomfield

National Weather Service Issues Heat Advisory Through 6 p.m. Tuesday July 17

July 16, 2018

NEW YORK, NY, - The National Weather Service issued a 'Heat Advisory' this morning for Bergen, Passaic, Essex, Union and Hudson Counties in New Jersey. The heat advisory will remain in effect from noon Monday July 16 until 6 p.m. Tuesday July 17.

Extreme heat can cause illness and death among at- risk population who cannot stay cool. The heat and humidity may cause heat stress during ...

Rockstar Racecar Tour To Stop in Bloomfield

BLOOMFIELD, NJ - Rockstar Racecar, the Bloomfield based punk glam rock band, will take take from performing on the road to make two appearances in the township.

On Friday July 13, Rockstar Racecar will perform at the BRG at 54 Broad St at 5:45 p.m.

On Wednesday Aug 8, they will perform at Bloomfield Center Cruise Nights on Broad St at Bloomfield Ave at 7:30 p.m. 

 

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_f509c18dfe9bf7382799_whole_foods_flyer_west_orange_2018_july_16

Mon, July 16, 1:00 PM

Whole Foods Market - West Orange, West Orange

West Orange Emergency Blood Drive - 1st 30 donors ...

Giving Back Health & Wellness

Tue, July 17, 2:00 PM

Montclair Public Library, Montclair

Rizzo’s Wildlife Discovery

Education Green

Carousel_image_b20a8250917845925251_mini_magick20180715-93558-18g5bx1

Tue, July 17, 5:00 PM

Caldwell University Alumni Theater, Caldwell

Public Invited to Essex County Opioid Use ...

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_967d6f84545049a66b3f_giacometti_nose

Tue, July 17, 7:00 PM

Montclair Public Library, Montclair

Giacometti

Arts & Entertainment

Wed, July 18, 10:00 AM

Cancer Center Resource Room, Belleville

Living Well with Parkinson’s Disease Support ...

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_7611ce284a8c86d65b64_37d34f9a-c5cd-4fb1-8bf8-b5b7319cb94e

Wed, July 18, 10:00 AM

Paterson Board of Education , Paterson

Teacher Job Fair

Education

Bloomfield Police Department Blotter June 25 to July 1, 2018

July 6, 2018

BLOOMFIELD, NJ - The following police blotter has been issued by Lt. Anthony Sisco of the Bloomfield Police Department.

Shoplifting:

6/26/18- Robert Jimenez Age 37 of Paulsboro, NJ-Officers were dispatched to 60 Orange Street (Home Depot) on report of a shoplifter in custody. Mr. Jiminez was observed attempting to leave the store with unpaid merchandise valued at $417.00. He was ...

Ironbound Residents Plea for Parking at Zoning Board Meeting

July 15, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - The city zoning board of adjustment yesterday approved variances for one of three new residential Ironbound developments despite a group of residents voicing concerns over parking.

The board approved variances for YK Group Development Consulting, based in Newark and Lakewood, to build a four-story 28-residential unit development at 526-532 Mulberry St. with 16 on-site parking ...

Nutley Police Rescue Woman Locked in Burger King Restaurant

NUTLEY, NJ - Officers from the Nutley Police Department responded to a 911 call on Sunday at 5 a.m. from a woman who was locked in the Burger King restaurant off Franklin Ave.

The woman fell asleep in the ladies room sometime prior to closing and woke up only to find all of the employees gone and the doors locked. 

Nutley police responded and entered the building to allow her to leave.

NFL's Malcolm Jenkins Films TV Pilot Scenes in Piscataway Park with Neighborhood Children

July 16, 2018

PISCATAWAY, NJ -- Lights. Camera. Action.

Malcolm Jenkins was back in Piscataway on Thursday as he was filming for a brand-new home renovation television show. The show, which currently doesn’t have a name, will air on CBS Sports this fall. It involves sports stars and a segment takes the players back to places in their hometown.

One of the areas Jenkins stopped by was Hazelwood Park, ...

Downtown Scotch Plains May Eventually Look Like Princeton, According to Redevelopment Committee Feedback

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – Residents who attended the Scotch Plains Downtown Redevelopment Committee (SPDRC) meeting on Wednesday night got a peak into what the future of the township will look like… and it looks a lot like Princeton.

Tom Strowe, the Township’s Project Coordinator for Redevelopment, presented findings of the recent survey on architectural styles. More than 2,100 ...

Belmar: Hub of Fun from Dawn to Dusk on July 18

July 15, 2018

BELMAR, NJ — From sandcastles to classic cars, Belmar will be hosting two marquee events on Wednesday, July 18.

While the 32nd Annual New Jersey Sandcastle Contest will converge upon the beachfront during the day, Belmar Cruise Night will move onto Main Street in the evening. Here’s a look at each destination event.

Sandcastle Contest: Begins at 8 a.m. at 18th Avenue ...

Festival of the Sea at St. Francis in Brant Beach August 8-12

BRANT BEACH - Everyone enjoys the excitement of a summer carnival.  It brings out the child in all of us.  Since 1975, St. Francis of Assisi Parish has been hosting the Festival of the Sea Carnival, annually.   The Festival of the Sea begins Wednesday, August 8, and continues through Sunday, August 12. The carnival will be open nightly (weather permitting) from 6:00 to ...

Entrepreneurs Continue Bloomfield's Centuries' Old Pioneering Tradition

July 5, 2018

To the Editor:

The initial patent for the land that would become Bloomfield Township was granted to the English Puritan colonists of Newark, and the area assigned to Essex County in 1675, and Newark Township in 1693. From the 1690s to about the 1720s, much of the northern and eastern land was sold to descendants of New Netherland colonists who had settled Acquackanonk, and the remainder mostly ...

Bringing Affordable Housing to New Jersey

It is no secret that the cost of living in New Jersey is among the highest in the nation. Coupled with a severe shortage of affordable housing, many of our residents struggle every day to make ends meet. The state would have to provide at least 155,000 new units of affordable housing by 2025 to meet the need for more housing.

Municipalities have not received guidance on how to create and ...

Thursday Movies Continue to the end of July at the Bloomfield Public Library

July 19, 2018 - BLACK PANTHER This American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name is a financial and critical blockbuster! After the death of his father, T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king. When a powerful enemy suddenly reappears, T'Challa's resilience as king - and as ...

Monday Movies Continue Through The End of July

July 16, 2018 - SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME

Successful businessman Ron Hall (Greg Kinnear) and his wife, Deborah (Renee Zellweger), discover a renewed sense of purpose when they begin to volunteer at a local mission in Fort Worth, Texas. Their lives change forever when they develop an unlikely friendship with Denver Moore (Djimon Hounson), a homeless man who inspires them to save their ...

The Jaffe Briefing - July 16, 2018

STATEWIDE - No one really wants to talk about it. But every time you turn on a household faucet for tap water, its likely messing with a centuries-old system that's possibly leaching lead. And, because of so many World War I-era systems, some parts of the state have an over-abundance of water, while others easily face drought. Of course, upgrading our water ...

Lucia, Lucia by Adriani Trigiani

Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2003)

 

If a summer romance novel is what you are craving to read as you sit by the pool or beach, Adriana Trigiani's Lucia, Lucia is a perfect choice. Set in 1950 New York City, the novel is about a young woman, Lucia Sartori, who is determined to have a career and be able to support herself, an unusual choice for a girl who was ...

The Anatomy of Escape by Mike Blue

The Anatomy of Escape: An Unconventional Adventure by Mike Blue (Available on Amazon)

 

Imagine that you could just say, “Chuck it,” and walk away from the bonds that keep you tied to what Mike Blue, author of The Anatomy of Escape: An Unconventional Adventure, defines as the restrictive Work-Consume-Die cycle. To most of us, becoming what Blue terms “a ...

The Death of Koko the Gorilla

Koko's Kitten, Koko's Story, The Eduction of Koko all by Dr. Francine Patterson

 

Last night when I heard about the death of Koko, the lowland gorilla who was educated to communicate through American Sign Language by Dr. Francine Patterson, I went numb with grief. I have followed the life of Koko, her two gorilla companions, Michael and Ndume, as well as Dr. Patterson for forty ...

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)

 

A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...

Murphy Administration Takes Action to Help Smokers Quit

July 16, 2018

Eliminates Prior Approval for Medicaid Tobacco Cessation Medications; Counseling Options to be Expanded

July 16, 2018

(TRENTON) – The Murphy administration on Monday announced new steps to help New Jersey Medicaid recipients quit using tobacco by making it easier to receive tobacco cessation medications and counseling.

“Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death ...

Take the 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey

How often do you read TAPinto?  Have you downloaded the TAPinto APP?  These are a few of the questions for readers in our 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey.

We want to hear from you!

The survey will take less than five minutes to complete and will help TAPinto better serve you. 

Take the 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey.

Thank you.  We appreciate your support and ...

Starting and Managing Your own Small Business in New Jersey

UNION, NJ - Learn about what it takes to start a business in New Jersey - and what it takes to succeed at SCORE's seminar on July 19.  

The seminar takes place Thursday July 19 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Unity Bank 952 Stuyvesant Ave Union NJ 07083 

Space is limited, attendees are asked to register by July 16. 

This seminar is $35, which includes a copy of our ...

Obituaries

Mar 9, 1978 - Jul 13, 2018
Christopher J. Barra, Sr., lifelong resident of Bloomfield, passed away on July 13, 2018 at the age ...
Read more
Jun 10, 1983 - Jun 17, 2018
Ryan M. Lucas, 35 Proud Marine Veteran and Nutley Firefighter Ryan M. Lucas, a lifelong ...
Read more

The End of Jets Mini-Camp

After a week of crystal clear cerulean skies over 1 Jets Drive, the New York Jets just wrapped up their mandatory full squad mini-camp.

New York Jets Head Coach Todd Bowles held press conferences after practices last Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Jets fans have lots of questions at this time of year on what to expect from their team this fall. The press questions covered a wide ...