The event’s keynote speaker is New Jersey Lieutenant Governor and East Orange resident Sheila Oliver 

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ  – The 200 Club of Essex County, founded to assist the families of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty and the oldest such organization of its kind, will hold its 53rd Anniversary Valor Awards luncheon on Thursday, May 9th at Nanina’s In The Park, located at 540 Mill St, Belleville, New Jersey.  The event begins at 11:30 a.m.

Established in 1966, The 200 Club of Essex County has raised nearly $2 million to support the spouses of fallen officers and to fund scholarships for their children through membership dues and the annual luncheon.

Sign Up for E-News

The 200 Club of Essex County, comprised of regional business and civic leaders, has spawned 18 similar organizations throughout New Jersey.  Lori Hennon - Bell, vice president and chief security officer for Prudential Financial and The 200 Club president said, “This special organization is dedicated to the principle of caring for those who care for us.  Each year, our support from business and community leaders has dramatically increased.”

“The job of a police officer or firefighter is tougher today than ever before,” stated Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura, a member of The 200 Club’s board of trustees.  “Law enforcement and firefighting are extremely hazardous professions which are performed at tremendous personal risk.  The work of The 200 Club of Essex County is greatly appreciated by the entire public safety community and their families.”

According to Hennon - Bell, 10 local law enforcement officers and 10 local firefighters will be recognized for bravery, dedication to duty, courageous vigilance and selflessness with individual Valor Awards and Meritorious Service Awards during the luncheon.  Nominations for The 200 Club’s Valor Award are made by the chiefs of Essex County’s municipal fire and police departments and the commanding officers of federal, state and regional

public safety agencies.  Valor Award recipients are selected by The 200 Club’s Executive Committee.

This year’s individual Valor Award recipients are:

Irvington police Detective Bilal Johnson, Detective Tehran Young and Officer Paul Noel for the arrest of an armed robbery suspect who had threatened to fire his weapon at the officers; 

Newark police Officers Dexter Bright and William Essien who disrupted an armed robbery in progress and for the arrest of the suspect and his accomplice;

Maplewood police Sergeant James DeFazio and Patrolman Robert Smith who entered a raging residential fire several times to rescue a blind adult male and an unconscious elderly female;

Essex County Sheriff’s Detectives Abdullah Holmes and Ricardo Rickards; 

Newark Detective Emanuel Pereira for the arrest of a male suspect who was armed with multiple weapons;

Orange Fire Captain Adonis Hannah and Firefighters James Antoine and Kyree Silas for the rescue during a residential of male victim hanging from 3rd floor window ledge and another male victim trapped on the roof; 

Irvington Fire Captain Fernando DeLima and Lt. Carmine Martignetti rescued two members of their department who became disoriented when ran out of breathable air and suffered from intensive heat and heavy smoke conditions during a residential fire;

Newark Fire Firefighter Valter Pires who rescued a severely distressed male who jumped from the Jackson Street Bridge and into the Passaic River; 

Newark Firefighters Clarence Sims and Moises DeJesus who rescued a large, unconscious, elderly woman from a 3rd floor residential fire; and, 

Newark Fire Captain John Trainello and Firefighter Reynard Gasavage III who rescued a male and female victims and two kittens from a residential fire.

Individual tickets for the 52nd Anniversary 200 Club Valor Awards luncheon are available at $75 each.  For more information and to purchase tickets contact 973-694-4982.