EAST HANOVER, N.J.-It was a typical Saturday in the fall in East Hanover. Hanover Park campus was buzzing; not just with hornet pride, but with love for community. It was the site of “One Day One School” beautification and safety initiative; and just about everywhere you looked someone was helping out someone else with the same end goal.
By 9:30 am trees were coming down, mulch spread and mums planted, while music was blasting, water was being delivered and smiles stretched across the campus. Town and school officials, Police and Fire captains, students, family, friends, and a long list of local businesses gave their time and talent and made Saturday a successful day of service and giving back.
“Since 2006,”One Day One School” has practiced and continues to develop private and public sector partnerships, which we all believe, is becoming more and more necessary, more than ever before,” Thomas Ace Gallagher, organizer offered. “I am extremely proud to be part of the “One Day One School” team for many reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is because this entire group leads by example, and very important work, not just words. The people involved in the planning are also the people working very hard at our events. I am proud of this initiative, but I am just as proud to be apart of this great team, which is getting bigger and better every year,” he added.
The team, Gallagher emphasized is lead and supported by East Hanover Mayor Joseph Pannullo, who arrived on Saturday ready to work. along with East Hanover Chief of Police Chris Cannizzo and Captain Jack Ambrose who made sure everything ran smoothly and safely. Hanover Park Principal Thomas Callanan , Assistant Principal Sergio Silva, and Athletic Director Michael Menditto, also known as the ‘men in black’ helped out all day.
"One Day One School is a wonderful community event. Our Hanover Park family is extremely grateful to Ace Gallagher and all of the volunteers who came out to support this great program. I was personally proud to see so many students and HP staff volunteering their time to help beautify our campus. We are truly a family at Hanover Park and events like this continue to bring us together,” Callanan said.
Hanover Park was very well represented by students and staff. Miss Manuela Silva from the science department led students from Advanced Placed and College Preparatory Biology, the environmental club, peer buddies and some of the soccer team in planting and mulching at the entrance to the school. Over by the softball field, the cheer and softball teams worked on the Ralph Politi garden for whom this day and every 1D1S even is dedicated in memoriam. Carly Marcketta, cheer coach, Katerina Molnar and Giovanna Lomio, dance team coaches also lent a hand. “It is so nice to see the girls volunteer together and make this fun” Marcketta added
Dave Kubach of DK Tree Services took down a huge tree near the gym. He has been a part of 1D1S since the first event. “Ace invited us to the first ever event, there was a need for dangerous trees to be removed,” Kubach said. “A day like this helps the schools out a lot.”
Mike Alwell, of the Hanover Township Education Foundation , another strong support of 1D1S manned the registration table and handed out black T-shirts bearing the 1D1S logo, a hornet and always the words “In memory of Ralph Politi Jr.”
Mr. Ralph Politi his father, wife Ro and daughter Dana, sisters Mary and Debbie and sister-in-law Michelle and Brian Brokaw made the day more meaningful and personal.
More Hanover Park representation included the Erase club, football players, heroes and cool kids, varsity club members, and kids helping kids. Senior Matthew Cardoso, not only donated hours on his birthday, he was recognized by Hanover Park administration as Up-stander of the Week for helping organize student volunteers. The East Hanover Department of Public Works crew could be seen all over campus “Days like today help out the schools a lot,” says Marc Macaluso, manager and a steady support to the 1D1S initiative from the beginning. “ it really helps the budget stay in tact,” he added. Other DPW crew included Mimi Farese, Eric Rivera and Jack Koba. Supporting the crew were, Bryan Heyman and Will Cahill, both seniors at Hanover Park. Maritza Cantillo of Hanover Park plant services was all smiles and very happy to help out.
Superintendent of Schools, Carol Grossi added valuable time and input to the planning of this day and was pleased with the turn out. “ Thanks to Ace for pulling all of this together, the kids are really into giving back. School and community are coming together and really loving this day,” Grossi said. “Taking down the older trees is a considerable savings for the schools, seeing the kids help make their campus safe and beautiful is really a pleasure,” she added.
Robert O’Rourke, of Davey Tree Experts, in Morris Plains, is new to the area though the company has been around for many years, heard about the 1D1S initiative and was more than ready to serve. One of the companies strongest employees, Joe Pomiseil was deep in branch removal more than two stories high.
Fire Chief Carmine Davino and Captain Steven Guarino emphasized the importance of community days like 1D1S keeping students and family involved and mindful of safety on their campus and in their schools.
The list of donors is endless and is not limited to the following; DK Tree Experts, Davey Tree Expert, Eden Landscaping, Greenwood Tree Company, Honor Tree Service, JMC Landscaping, McDonald Landscaping, Condorso’s Nursery, Broadway Elite Limousine, AAA All Seasons Maintenance, Esposito’s Deli, The Godfather Pizzeria, Custom Sound, A Party Pleasing Rental, Ace Gallagher Stump Grinding, The Ralph Politi Jr. Memorial Fund, The East Hanover Police Department, The East Hanover Fire Department, The East Hanover First Aid Squad, The East Hanover Department of Public Works, The Hanover Township Department of Public Works, The Florham Park Department of Public Works, The East Hanover Office of Emergency Management, The Hanover Township Office of Emergency Management, Morris Sign Company, Wegmans, Trees Plus, The Hanover Development Group, The Knights of Columbus; East Hanover Chapter, and Jenna Glinko Photography. Glinko is a student at Hanover Park.
Gallagher thanks East Hanover Mayor Joseph Pannullo, who makes this day happen year after year, and Hanover Park Regional High School Superintendent Carol Grossi for her tireless efforts to this initiative. There are many municipal and school officials who support 1D1S and are greatly appreciated.
It may just be one day, but the impact lasts for many many years.
For more information on 1D1S click here
Photo credits Jenna Glinko Photography