EDISON, NJ – Edison Mayor Thomas Lankey, joined by Edison Housing Authority (EHA) Commissioners and the EHA executive director, Deborah Hurley, unveiled a plaque in recognition of former EHA commissioner Frank Mistretta during the dedication of a newly renovated playground at the Edison Housing Authority.
Also on hand for unveiling of the plaque were Mr. Mistretta’s children Frank Mistretta, Debra Vetterl, and Susan Mistretta-Badavas.
Mr. Lankey looked out over the podium, under a rainbow of balloons, and remembered Mr. Mistretta.
“Frank was a great guy,” said Mr. Lankey. “I can’t think of a better way to honor such a man than a playground where children can come to play.”
Mr. Mistretta, who died in January, lived his life dedicated to serving the community. He was an EHA commissioner for 30 years, a United States Army veteran, a major in the Army Reserves, and member of the Democratic Club of Edison.
EHA board chairman, Carlos N. Sanchez, recalled when he met Mr. Mistretta. “The first thing out of his mouth was ‘How are you going to give back to the community?’ Frank gave more than three decades volunteering at the Edison Housing Authority. He always believed in our mission to improve the lives of the residents.”
“This playground took a village, and it started with my predecessor, Madeline Cook,” said Ms. Hurley. “It was my privilege to carry the torch forward, but I couldn’t make it happen without the support of my team, my board, the community, and the mayor and his administration.”
“Children didn’t want to come here because it was old. Now residents can keep an eye on their children instead of them having to go across the street,” said resident Betty Collins.
Perhaps, the words guests really wanted to hear came from a little voice. Fresh off the equipment, Xavier spoke to the attendees, “Thank you for the playground.”