LIVINGSTON, NJ — In order to help residents who have recently moved or plan on moving to Livingston learn about the many businesses, organizations, schools and activities the town has to offer, the Livingston Health Department hosted its annual Welcome to Livingston Picnic during the week at the Livingston Senior and Community Center.

As Livingston High School Key Club members served pizza and refreshments courtesy of Livingston Pizza, Calabria’s, Anthony Franco’s, Master Pizza, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza and ShopRite, new residents had the opportunity to mingle with members of various local organizations such as the Livingston Police and Fire Departments, the Livingston Board of Education, the Livingston Township Council, the Livingston Public Library, Senior, Youth & Leisure Services (SYLS), the West Essex YMCA, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 2856, clergy members and many more. Members of the Livingston Symphony Orchestra also entertained guests throughout the event.

“At the annual Welcome to Livingston Picnic, we really get to meet the new residents who have recently moved to Livingston,” said Mayor Ed Meinhardt. “We get to greet them, talk with them personally and welcome them. The idea is to expose them to all the volunteer groups that were there, all the different services that we offer and all the different organizations that are open for them to join and become part of our community.”

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Meinhardt and interim Superintendent of Schools Jim O’Neill each made remarks during the event welcoming all new residents to the township and expressing the hope that they will live in town for “many, many years to come.”

Liliana Branquinho, program supervisor for Livingston’s SYLS, said she has attended the event for the last seven years with SYLS and always looks forward to meeting some new faces.

“This is a great opportunity for new families who just moved into town and may not know a lot of the things that are going on or the services that we offer," she said. "I think that’s the main goal of the event.”

In her third year helping to organize the annual event as the Human Services Coordinator of the Livingston Health Department, Kacie Schmidt said she felt the turnout was successful despite the stormy weather.

“I think it’s such a nice event that is offered just for the new residents,” said Schmidt. “A lot of the feedback that I had from people who were RSVPing as new residents was that they were excited for the organizations, but to also have the chance to meet other new residents. I thought was nice that were excited to be able to meet someone in the same position that they are.”

On behalf of the health department, Schmidt thanked all of the local organizations, businesses and restaurants that participated in this year’s event.

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