ELIZABETH, NJ - Transportation industry professionals will gather in October to network and raise funds for Bernice’s Place, an after-school program that helps children struggling with homelessness.

The sixth annual Transportation, Logistics and Distribution (TLD) Recognition Breakfast on Oct. 4 will also honor local business leaders who are dedicated to ending homelessness in their communities. The event will take place from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Embassy Suites Newark Airport Hotel in Elizabeth.

Richie Suarez, who is president of the International Longshoremen's Association Local 1235, will be honored at the event. This year’s featured speaker will be New York Shipping Association President John Nardi.

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“The transportation industry has always been committed in improving the communities in which they live and work,” said Nardi in a statement. “Homeless[ness] affects all of us, and we should extend a helping hand to those who have fallen on hard times and need our support.”

Bernice’s Place, located at 118 Division St. in Elizabeth, offers local children extracurricular activities and nutritional meals. It’s sponsored by the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless (ECHH), a nonprofit organization that serves the needs of people who are homeless or near homeless.

“At the Coalition, we are seeing an overwhelming increase in the number of homeless people,” said ECHH Executive Director Linda Flores-Tober in a statement. “Although many have jobs, they cannot find affordable housing. The effect this situation has on their children is traumatizing. Bernice’s Place provides a refuge for these young people. We are indebted to the TLD for their generosity.”

The creation of the annual fundraising breakfast has raised thousands of dollars for emergency services to homeless families in Union County, according to a release from the ECHH.

For more information about participating in the event, visit the ECHH website.

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