Project Community Pride Holds Annual Breakfast, April 14th

Back row, left to right: Project Community Pride Executive Board Secretary Emily LaJeunesse, Director of Project Community Pride Brigitte Kelly, Project Community Pride family therapists Mike Shugrue and Lara Shaljian

Project Community Pride of Chatham, Florham Park and Madison, a crisis intervention and counseling service for children and their families, will hold their 27th annual awards breakfast at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 14th, at the Fairmount Country Club in Chatham, NJ.

For the past 34 years, Project Community Pride has provided support for families of school-age children who are facing a myriad of issues including alcohol/drugs, bullying, depression, divorce, and more. Currently serving the towns of Madison, Florham Park and Chatham Borough, the Project provides counseling and other support services to families looking for help coping with these issues.

Originally founded in 1976 by the Madison Police Department in response to an increase in problems involving juveniles, Project Community Pride provides first-time juvenile offenders with the support they need to succeed in school and life. This support includes the counseling and other services that are an alternative to other avenues in the juvenile justice system.

Today, the Project still works closely with local police departments in Chatham, Florham Park and Madison, but the focus of the Project is much broader. Today, for any school-aged youth-or their family-in need of counseling or support, the Project works with individuals, families and school-based groups to address some of the toughest challenges facing our children. This support is delivered by a team of highly trained, experienced, licensed professional therapists.

Dr. Anthony V. D'Urso, Psy.D., will be delivering the keynote address at this year's breakfast. Dr. D'Urso is currently a graduate professor of psychology at Montclair State University and the supervising psychologist at the Audrey Hepburn Children's House, the Northern Regional Child Abuse Diagnostic Center at Hackensack University Medical Center. Dr. D'Urso has directed numerous mental health programs for maltreated children, and is credited with supporting the development of multi-disciplinary team functioning in the state of NJ since 1986. Dr. D'Urso currently chairs the New Jersey Child Fatality / Near Fatality Review Board, entrusted with reviewing all child fatalities in NJ and making recommendations with regards to prevention.

Dr. D'Urso's address will focus on the importance of programs like Project Community Pride, and both the specific and intangible value they bring to their local communities every day. Madison Mayor Mary-Anna Holden is looking forward to the breakfast and the remarks by Dr. D'Urso: "Project Community Pride is critical to the well being of the youth in Madison. Whether or not people directly use their services, all of our residents and local business owners benefit from the services and support provided by the Project. Dr. D'Urso is an expert in the area of improving the well being of children and families, and uniquely positioned to discuss the importance of programs like Project Community Pride."

Four awards are given each year at the breakfast. The Harold P. Higgs Volunteer of the Year Award is presented to an individual who has volunteered his or her time to a non-profit group or groups and has made a difference within those communities. The George Burroughs Award is presented to three individuals, one from each of the three participating communities. Each honoree is someone who has shown a great interest in the youths of the community and/or is active in his or her church with the youth and their activities. Of the award recipients, Project Community Pride Board President William Huyler said, "I am proud to recognize these individuals. Without people like them, the Project would not be able to continue to do the important work of helping children and families in our communities. Project Pride is an invaluable service, and the people getting these awards have made invaluable contributions as well."

"Project Community Pride, a 501(C)(3) organization, is funded by the three municipalities and local corporate, business and individual supporters. During these challenging economic times, children and families are experiencing tremendous stress, becoming increasingly vulnerable and are in need of support from their communities like never before," said Jeannie Tsukamoto Council President and liaison to Project Community Pride. "I urge everyone to support this worthy cause by attending the breakfast. Together we can build a stronger and safer community," added Tsukamoto.

For reservations or further information, contact Project Community Pride Director Brigitte Kelly, at 973-593-3034. The breakfast is offered at $50 per person.


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