BRIDGEWATER NJ - The Patriots Path Council of the Boy Scouts of America honored TAP into founder and publisher Mike Shapiro on Wednesday at its 2016 Toast to Scouting Awards Dinner at the Raritan Valley Country Club.  Shapiro was one of five recipients.

The Patriots Path Council, which serves Central and Northern New Jersey, presents the award to those who exemplify in their daily life the ideals fo the Boys Scouts.  Shapiro founded TAPinto, which has become a network of over 50 independently owned and operated online local newspapers.  He is a member and Past President of the Rotary Club of Berkeley Heights.  He serves as President of the Suburban Chamber of Commerce, and currently serves on the of the New Providence Business & Professional Association, the Madison Chamber of Commerce and the New Jersey Jewish News. 

Former Assembywoman Donna Simon chaired the dinner and served as the Master of Ceremonies.

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"The first time I met Michael, I was enthusiastically supportive  because he spoke about a easily accessible online source that focused on homegrown township news and community involvement," said Simon.  "In a unfortunate climate where much of the media leads the audience with misinformation, Michael is a refreshing leader who is teaming with other franchisees to restore the credibility that has been lacking in the industry for far too long. Michael Shapiro's award was well deserved and I was very proud to nominate him."

Shapiro attended the dinner with his wife Lauryn, and was surrounded by friends and supporters from TAP into and from the Rotary Club of Berkeley Heights.

"I would like to thank the Patriots Path Council for the Toast to Scouting Award, and Donna Simon for nominating me," said Shapiro.  "I most especially thank my wife Lauryn and my friends who attended the dinner tonight to support the Boy Scouts."

The Toast to Scouting Awards Dinner is a fundraiser for the Patriots Path Council.  According to Donna Simon, the evening was a success.  "There was great support for the council," said Simon.  "The room was full."  Several local dignitaries attended the event:  Assemblyman and gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli, Somerset County Sheriff Frank Provenzano and Union County Sheriff Joseph Cryan.

The council also presented Toast to Scouting Award to Dameo Trucking, Leslie Gabel of Hunterdon Prevention Resources, Raritan Valley Community College President Michael McDonough and Donald J. Parker, the President and CEO of Carrier Clinic.