SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – Local trucking and distribution company, Hermann Services, cut the ribbon Wednesday on a trailer wrapped with the image of the late Brady Wells in order to raise awareness for the pediatric cancer foundation started in his honor.
“Eight years ago, we started putting a lot more time and effort in supporting local charities,” Executive Vice President of Hermann Services Jeff Hermann said. “We talked (with the foundation) about outfitting one of our trailers and we immediately jumped on the opportunity.”
Hermann, the fourth generation of the family run business since 1927, said that the company works with many different charities locally and nationally, winning a philanthropic award from the township last year.
It was at that award ceremony that Hermann met Mike and Sherrie Wells who started the Hugs For Brady Foundation after their 18-month-old son, Brady, was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer.
Brady succumbed to the disease in 2010 and the foundation has since raised more than $1 million to research various childhood cancers as well as providing resources and support for children battling the disease.
The trailer, Hermann said, will be traveling on local roads as well as some trips to the northern part of the state with the image of Brady holding his favorite flower on both sides and the web address of the foundation at www.hugsforbrady.org.
“We will have this trailer running in South Brunswick on a daily basis, as well as running up to northern New Jersey where it will get a lot of visibility for the foundation,” Hermann said. “We transport anything from furniture to foods to cosmetics, apparel to merchandise for (national companies).”
He said the company started a philanthropic organization this year called “Hermann Cares” to run its charitable arm, serving the South Brunswick Food Pantry, multiple scleroses charities and others.
Mayor Frank Gambatese was on hand at the Stults Road headquarters and warehouse to cut the ribbon on the truck.
“(Hermann) is one of the better corporate partners in our township,” Gambatese said. “I appreciate all that they do.”
Gambatese said the company gave the township a truck to use to transport supplies to victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, supplying toys for the annual Toys For Tots campaign as well as other instances of giving.
“You can’t ask for a better corporate neighbor,” Gambatese said.
Jeff Hermann’s mother, Terri Hermann, project manager for the company, sits on both the company’s Board of Directors and the Hugs For Brady Foundation board.
“Sherrie (Wells) came to our office asking if we would get involved because we are so involved in South Brunswick as a business,” Terri Hermann said. “I have eight grandchildren and I’m driven to volunteer. It touched my heart more than I can describe.”
After seeing the trailer completed and the ribbon cut by the mayor, with Township Councilman Joe Camarota as well as Mike and Sherrie and their twin boys, Terri Hermann said the feeling was “amazing.”
“Being here with all of my family, having Sherrie and Mike here with their family is just amazing,” she said. “This is a cause that is raising money to do research. There is a program going on at Robert Wood Johnson (University Hospital) that they are very involved with studies to help the children.”
She said that with the money given out so far by the foundation, “not one child has been left without the help of what our researchers can do.”
That research, she said, encompasses all varieties of children’s cancer and “gets down into the cells” to find the root cause of each child’s individual cancer.
“It’s what the research is working on,” she said. “It’s amazing.”