Giving Back

TAPinto Franklin Township Meet the Leaders Series: Percy V. Sanders Jr.

16cffe5aefb34f4988ff_unnamed-1.jpg
16cffe5aefb34f4988ff_unnamed-1.jpg

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - This month TAPinto Franklin Township will be running a series called "Meet The Leaders.” The objective is to provide our readers an opportunity to hear from Franklin Township’s leaders in government, public safety, education, houses of worship and other areas, regarding Franklin Township’s present and future outlook.  

Each participant was asked to share a little information about their background and personal life. Each “leader” was presented the same core questions that will be published unedited. 

TAPinto Franklin Township’s ninth leader interviewed was Percy V. Sanders Jr. a community activist who has lived in Franklin Township for 40 years. Sanders is dedicated to helping the youth of Franklin Township through his work with the Week of the People event, and Somerset Community Action Program (S.C.A.P.). He is also involved with the Khigh Rondel Stephens Scholarship Fund and serves as a member of Franklin Township's Advisory Recreation Council.

Sign Up for E-News

"I look forward to continuing my work, supporting Franklin Township families," Sanders said. "I take pleasure in helping children lead better lives, and encouraging all our young people to fullfil their boundless potential"

Question: What initiative did you start in 2016, that you are most proud of? 

Answer: The Week of the People Back to School event, where we featured a bouncy castle, water slide, pony rides, soccer, football & basketball games and gave away free book bags filled with school supplies for the children, courtesy of the Franklin Township PBA, Hamilton Street Business District, Robert Wood Johnson and Bristol Myers Squibb, along with many other businesses and organization in the community. We also hosted the "Honorary renaming of Matilda Avenue to Waltin "Turk" Young Avenue. 

Other partnerships included the Hamilton Street Business District's first annual Trunk or Treat at John Plaza on Hamilton Street and the Life Options Counseling Services', first annual, "LOCS OF LOVE Toys for Christmas", to learn more please visit the Week of the People website at www.WeekofthePeople.org.  

Question: What will be your main objective for 2017?

Answer: Continue to create activities to complete the Week of the People's week long celebrations, to showcase the diversity of our community and to continue our efforts to partner with as many community organizations and businesses as we can, keeping with our theme, "Community in Unity."


Question: Are you involved with any youth groups for the community that you would like to share? 

Answer: I am on the Franklin Youth Prevention & Empowerment Program (FYPEP) committee and the Week of the People organization. We encourage our youth to help with the planning of our events. Assist in organizing Divas and Gents entertainment for the Back to School event that takes place the end of August 2017. 

Question: What do you feel will be Franklin Township’s biggest challenge in 2017?

Answer: Unemployment, more public transportation, rising property taxes, more affordable housing, continuing to partner with community organizations (summer activities for our youth) and unifying community & law enforcement relationships (bike patrol). 

Question: What do you do in your spare time? 

Answer:  Play chess, fantasy sports, listen to/create music and spend time with family.      

Question: Five words that describe Franklin Township are?

Answer: Diverse, community, home, bold and great potential. 

Sanders is a product of Franklin Township's school district, and his love of sports made him a well-known athlete in the community, he went undefeated in high school as a wrestler.

He later took up boxing and even fought in the Golden Gloves where he accumulated several medals. In the early 70’s, Percy, unbeknownst to his family, began training and conditioning his body to try-out for a spot representing the US in the Olympics. 

"This was the most exciting time in my life, Sanders said. "I was doing something I loved." 

In 1975, at the age of 23, tragedy struck and Sanders' career path hit a crossroad after a car accident left him a quadriplegic. Doctors told his family that he survived the crash due to the great physical conditioning of his body. Still, he would be paralyzed from the waist down.

Percy could no longer wrestle, kick or play football, or continue training for the Olympics as a boxer—activities he had loved to do before the accident.

"I had to adapt to a whole new way of life and was only able to get through the difficult times' thanks to the love and support of my family, friends, and community," Sanders said. "I would also like to give special thanks to Mr. Ted Taylor and Ms. Mamie Moore—neighborhood icons who served as mentors."

Please visit: www.WeekofthePeople.org for updates

Did you like this story? 

Sign Up for E-News

Give us your feedback at mlyons@tapinto.net.

If you did like it, please share with your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter, and don't forget to "Like" our FaceBook Page!

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Franklin Township

Environmental Victory – Transco Withdraws NESE Pipeline Application to DEP

June 21, 2018

In a small victory for the environment, Transco withdraws DEP’s application for their compressor station in Franklin Twp. on June 14, 2018 for approval under the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act rules & Flood Hazard Area Control Act rules. Transco also withdrew DEP’s application for their pipeline on the Old Bridge Raritan bay for approval under Coastal Wetlands ...

Suspect in Union Carjacking Takes Own Life in Hillside

June 23, 2018

UNION, NJ – A Baltimore man ended up taking his own life in the Hillside Police Department after he was arrested for a suspected attempted carjacking in Union Friday afternoon.

The Maryland man, Jermaine Covington, 41, was arrested and used an officer’s service weapon to take his life, acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan announced Saturday.

Covington left the scene ...

'Luggage Factory' Could Be Hunterdon's First Pot Shop

RARITAN TWP., NJ – A question about opening a marijuana dispensary on Route 202-31 has prompted officials here to consider whether they want such businesses in the township.

An informal inquiry was made to the township’s Planning and Zoning Department about locating such a business in the former Luggage Factory building, Mayor Mike Mangin said at Tuesday’s Township Committee ...

Edison Police Seek Help Finding Missing 14-Year-Old

EDISON, NJ - A 14-year-old Edison girl who ran away from home on May 3 has yet to be found and police are asking anyone with information about her to come forward.

Edison detectives are leading a statewide search for the girl, Jalaysia Staplar-Evans. They believe she could be staying with friends or acquaintances in Newark or the Essex County area, said Edison Police Lt. Robert ...

Police Issue Alert for Missing New Brunswick Girl (FOUND)

Update: According to New Brunswick Police Department Capt. JT Miller, Tomesell has been located.  

NEW BRUNSWICK - Police today issued a plea for the public’s help in finding a missing 13-year-old girl.

Payton Tomesell, was last seen on Wednesday at 18 Abeel St., authorities said.

The girl suffers from anxiety and depression, and is taking medication, police ...

Bridgewater Police: Avoid Mall for Ongoing Police Investigation

UPDATE: According to a Nixle alert from the Bridgewater Township Police Department at 9 p.m., the investigation at the mall has been completed, and the mall will be resuming normal business operations.

Police emphasized that there is no immediate threat to the public and no injuries were reported.

Keep checking back for more information.

Related article: Bridgewater Mall Shut Down ...

Students Lead ‘Die-In’ at Congressman Lance’s Westfield Office; Summit Boy Arrested

WESTFIELD, NJ — Seventeen-year-old Summit High School student Ben Schachter was taken away in handcuffs Tuesday during a gun safety “die-in” protest led by local high school students at Congressman Leonard Lance's Westfield office. Lance was not present at the office at the time.

Read: Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman Talks Gun Violence, School Safety, ...

Suspect in Union Carjacking Takes Own Life in Hillside

June 23, 2018

UNION, NJ – A Baltimore man ended up taking his own life in the Hillside Police Department after he was arrested for a suspected attempted carjacking in Union Friday afternoon.

The Maryland man, Jermaine Covington, 41, was arrested and used an officer’s service weapon to take his life, acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan announced Saturday.

Covington left the scene ...

'Luggage Factory' Could Be Hunterdon's First Pot Shop

RARITAN TWP., NJ – A question about opening a marijuana dispensary on Route 202-31 has prompted officials here to consider whether they want such businesses in the township.

An informal inquiry was made to the township’s Planning and Zoning Department about locating such a business in the former Luggage Factory building, Mayor Mike Mangin said at Tuesday’s Township Committee ...

Edison Police Seek Help Finding Missing 14-Year-Old

EDISON, NJ - A 14-year-old Edison girl who ran away from home on May 3 has yet to be found and police are asking anyone with information about her to come forward.

Edison detectives are leading a statewide search for the girl, Jalaysia Staplar-Evans. They believe she could be staying with friends or acquaintances in Newark or the Essex County area, said Edison Police Lt. Robert ...

Hillsborough: Rain or Shine the Show Goes on at Sourland Music Festival

June 22, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - The music always plays on at the Sourland Music Festival - rain or shine.

There is a chance of rain in Saturday's forecast, but the show will go on.

Organizers suggest Consider bringing a pop-up, umbrellas and towels with your beach chair and refillable water bottle. Rain did not dampen the spirits of 2017 Sourland Music Fest guests - it provided unplanned ...

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Opening ReStore in Manville

MANVILLE, NJ - Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity is opening a Habitat ReStore in the Marketplace at Manville, next to Walmart on North Main Street in Manville, this fall.

At the store, RVHFH will pick up gently used furniture and goods from Somerset and Hunterdon county residents, and give them a second life at the store's grand opening.

To schedule a time for RVHFH to pick ...

Summer Camp Programs for Children and Teens Announced By Environmental Education Center

BERNARDS TWP., NJ – Each summer, the Environmental Education Center (EEC) in Basking Ridge holds programs that let children and teens explore nature for summer activities that both entertaining and an opportunity to learn about the environment.

The programs are organized and led by the EEC's staff of naturalists.

The EEC is a Somerset County facility located at 190 Lord ...

Hillsborough: Rain or Shine the Show Goes on at Sourland Music Festival

June 22, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - The music always plays on at the Sourland Music Festival - rain or shine.

There is a chance of rain in Saturday's forecast, but the show will go on.

Organizers suggest Consider bringing a pop-up, umbrellas and towels with your beach chair and refillable water bottle. Rain did not dampen the spirits of 2017 Sourland Music Fest guests - it provided unplanned ...

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Opening ReStore in Manville

MANVILLE, NJ - Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity is opening a Habitat ReStore in the Marketplace at Manville, next to Walmart on North Main Street in Manville, this fall.

At the store, RVHFH will pick up gently used furniture and goods from Somerset and Hunterdon county residents, and give them a second life at the store's grand opening.

To schedule a time for RVHFH to pick ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast Episode 17

On this week’s AtlantiCast, it’s National Men’s Health Month, so check out important health tips for you or the men in your life, learn about groundbreaking research into breast cancer treatment that could mean an end to chemotherapy for some patients, meet a local sports hero who’s living his baseball dreams thanks to Goryeb Children’s Hospital and much ...