Giving Back

Kiwanis Committee Honors Youth Citizen of the Year

(From left) Kiwanis President, Craig Dufford, Helen Flores, Co-Chair of the Kiwanis Youth Citizen of the Year Committee, Emily Nevola, Meghan Nevola, Ken Nevola, Kiwanis member, and Bridgette Nevola celebrate Emily's Youth Citizen of the Year Award. Credits: Jackie Schatell

LIVINGSTON, NJ – At a recent meeting, the Livingston Kiwanis Committee discussed upcoming events and honored Kiwanis-chosen Youth Citizen of the Year, Emily Nevola.

Co-Chair of the Kiwanis Youth Citizen of the Year Committee, Helen Flores, awarded Nevola with a plaque and a check to a charity or organization of her choosing, for all of her hard work.

Flores said, “It is an honor and a pleasure to honor a young person in such a positive way because we often hear negative things about young people, rather than positive, and awarding a scholarship in the memory of Rudy Cicchino, who gave three decades to Kiwanis and was always so involved in community projects, is wonderful.”

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“Emily is exemplary of what Kiwanis stands for. She is a Girl Scout, an Altar Server at St. Philomena’s, does Meals on Wheels, volunteers for LACD, holds a leadership role in the Key Club and the list goes on and on—and everywhere you turn, there she is,” added Flores.

“Emily is very involved with Kiwanis, is very active in the community and is an exemplary member of the youth in Livingston,” said Kiwanis President, Craig Dufford.

“I am very grateful to the Kiwanis Club for this award,” said Nevola.

“It means a lot to me, especially because I will be donating the [scholarship] check to the Livingston Advisory Committee for Disabilities, an organization that means so much to me and is one that I like what it stands for,” said Nevola, who has worked on this Township Committee for two years, and will continue do so next year. “I have been involved with LACD for many years and I love what they do—they integrate children with special needs into the community and make them feel confident and special, which is so important because every child should feel that way regardless of their brain chemistry.”

She added, “What they do really helps. I stand for anti-bullying, as I have been bullied in the past, and LACD helps reduce the amount of bullying these children face.”

Nevola, who will be secretary of the LHS Key Club for the second time, during her upcoming senior year, has also been a Girl Scout since elementary school. She has earned her Bronze and Silver Awards, and is currently working toward her Gold Award--the highest award for the organization. She will be organizing a project for Troop 920 called, “Share Your Sports,” where people can donate new or used sports equipment, which will then be cleaned up and refurbished and donated to a YMCA in an outreach community, and to the Livingston Shining Stars. While she has served on many organizations through scouting and Kiwanis, she is also a member of the LHS PB&J Club that works to feed the hungry. Emily is also a member of Peer Leaders, an anti-drug/ anti-drinking club in the high school, which tries to educate high school students about the dangers of drugs and drinking and suggest ways to resist peer pressure.

“A lot of what I do is service or music related,” said Nevola, who is a member of two select choirs at LHS—Chamber Singers and Notations, is in the LHS Marching Band, where she has been the Guard Captain for two years, and has been an active participant in the Livingston music and chorus programs for the past nine years.

Beaming, dad, Ken Nevola said, “We are very proud of the work she has done for the community.”

“I am just so proud that we have this youth to honor that is so involved.  If all of the youth were like Emily it would be such a different world,” said Christina Slater, Chair of the Kiwanis Youth Citizen of the Year Committee.

At the meeting, Kiwanis members also discussed a list of their upcoming events which include:

  • On June 29th, at 5 p.m., Kiwanis is hosting a barbeque dinner at St. Philomena’s Church, for homeless guests who are being sponsored for the week by the Interfaith Hospitality Network.

“The Interfaith Hospitality Network hosts families who are temporarily without homes, shelter or food and helps them get reestablished,” explained Kiwanis member, Jerry Adelsohn.

“Various organizations like Kiwanis help out by providing food or even by helping children with their homework and by offering motivation,” he added.

  • On July 4th, they are hosting the Annual Swim Carnival at Livingston’s Haines Memorial Park Pool. The event begins at 9 a.m.

“This year, Emily will be volunteering at the event, while her sister, Meghan, will be running a craft table with her Girl Scout Troop #593,” said Dufford.

  • On August 13th, they are hosting the 22nd Annual Kiwanis Golf Classic, at Knoll West Country Club in Parsippany. The event will benefit Livingston’s Fire Department and First Aid Squad. Lunch and Registration will begin at 11 a.m. and there will be a Shotgun Start at 1 p.m.  There will also be a one-hour open bar and dinner following golf, as well as lots of prizes and contests.

“Typically, the Classic raises $5.000, so that $2,500 goes to both the Fire Department and the First Aid Squad,” said Kiwanis Treasurer, Robert Bucich.

  • Many of the Kiwanians will be also attending the District Kiwanis Convention, which is being held from August 23-25, in Somerset. NJ. Kiwanis member, and Livingston’s Mayor, Rufino Fernandez is expected to be elected District Treasurer, while member, Paul Olshen, is expected to be elected Lieutenant Governor.

About The Livingston Kiwanis Committee

The Livingston Kiwanis Committee, which was chartered on March 12, 1930, is made up of a group of community volunteers, “Kiwanians”, who work to help children and the community via charitable events and fundraising efforts. Nationally, Kiwanis clubs and members undertake nearly 150,000 service projects each year, contributing more than $107 million and 6.2 million volunteer service hours.

The Livingston Kiwanis Club is responsible for past and present contributions to numerous organizations and activities including the following ones provided to The Alternative Press by Mayor, Rufino Fernandez:

  • Sponsor the Livingston High School Key Club and West Orange High School Key Club benefiting thousands of Livingston and West Orange High School students, the annual Livingston 4th of July Swim Karnival, children to attend Kiwanis Youth Leadership training and Key Leader training, and a morning of free rides, food and games for disabled children and their families at the annual Kiwanis Karnival
  • Donate to various local organizations including the West Essex YMCA, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts Council of Essex County, Special Olympics, Children’s Miracle Network Telethon, The Alzheimer's Association, Essex County Court Appointed Advocate program, Essex County Court Appointed Advocate program, Livingston Public Library’s Children’s Department, Foster and Adoptive Family Services, holiday presents to children at St. Michael’s Hospital, and the Interfaith Hospitality Network for the Homeless
  • Started the subscription drive for community swimming pool
  • Constructed two hard surface tennis courts at Memorial Park, the jogging and walking track at Memorial Park, and the scoreboard at Livingston High School Community Field
  • Support the Child ID program in conjunction with the Livingston Police Department, the Livingston Little League, and Lacrosse and Football programs
  • Provide a Livingston High School college scholarship program and assistance to the Summit Speech School for their fundraising activities
  • Participated in Livingston Celebration 2000, weekly wine & cheese cart for families of cancer patients at St. Barnabas; and currently participate in the Livingston Township fire prevention program, annual Blue-Red softball game for children with disabilities, and Meals on Wheels program in Livingston delivering meals on the holidays
  • Raised funds for the Gazebo in Memorial Park in Livingston, the purchase of Transportation vans for the community, and Autism research
  • Purchased Defibrillation units for First Aid Squad & Police Department, a bicycle for the Livingston Police Department, a Mobile vision In-Car video for the Livingston Police Department, an emergency oxygen unit for Livingston Town Hall, Multiple Livingston First Aid Squad vans, and a cow “Little Chief” for an orphanage in Tuva, Russia to provide fresh milk for the children and Fire Hydrant markers for Livingston Fire Hydrants
  • Hosted Santa for children at St. Barnabas
  • Moved furniture for displaced Hurricane Katrina victims

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