MIDDLETOWN, NJ - Middletown’s Township Committee honored and celebrated several local heroes and clubs for their accomplishments and deeds during its June 17th meeting, to the delight of many Middletown residents.

The first of these honors went to Chelsea Maguire, a Middletown resident who works as a personal aide to someone with special needs.   The honor was given by Susan Kiley of the Monmmouth County Board of Freeholders, in recognition of Maguire saving the person in her care, whose name is Allie, from choking by using the Heimlich Maneuver at a restaurant this past April.

As Kiley then presented the honor to Maguire, she talked about how Maguire’s good deed for Allie reflected the spirit of heroism.

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“You never know when you’re going to be called upon to become a hero,” Kiley said. “Chelsea had to become a hero on April 24th.   Chelsea had the presence of mind to do the Heimlich Maneuver…and saved (Allie’s) life…so Chelsea, we are so proud of you, and so grateful.”

Middletown Township Mayor Anthony Perry also presented to additional honors to Maguire, one from the Township Committee, and the other from State Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (both of who are from Legislative District 13, which covers Middletown and several other tows).

“We’re so incredibly fortunate to have someone like you as a resident of our community,” Perry said.

The second honor & recognition went to the Middletown High School North’s Varsity Softball for their Championship win.

“There’s no better day (then) when can celebrate heroism and championship softball,” Perry said, adding that he wished the game was aired live on ESPN.   “Congratulations, this is not just a won for you guys, it’s a win for this great town. You were incredible players.”

The third honor went to that high school’s DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) program, a student organization with high school and college chapters throughout the U.S., as well as Canada, Mexico, China, Germany, and Spain, among other places that helps students with networking and relationship building skills that help its members become more successful in the fields of business, marketing, and other related industries.

“As a former DECA student myself, one of the greatest experiences of my life was participating in (DECA’s) team-building exercises and team-building class,” Mator Perry said. “DECA is an unbelievable program that deserves more attention for what it grants to students.”

After all the honors were given out, the Township Committee meeting took a brief break, followed by Township Committee members making their remarks, starting with Committeeman Rick Hibell, who thanked Maguire for her good deed, as well saying he was glad that Middletown Township will soon be getting 14 new firefighters.

Committeewoman Patricia Snell said she had fun attending a Senior Citizen’s festivity in Croydon Hall and a preschool graduation ceremony.   Snell also said what she enjoyed the most in recent days was attending a ceremony for two Eagle Scouts in recognition of their local service projects on June 14th.

“It really shows what our Middletown youth are doing these days,” Snell said. “Every time I go to one of these ceremonies, I’m truly amazed at the dedication of these kids and what they managed to do by the time they’re 18, when they could be doing a whole lot of things that are probably a lot more fun,”

Next, Committeeman Kevin Settembrino congratulated the DECA students and the High School softball players for their achievements, and also expanded upon Freeholder Kiley’s remarks on Maguire’s heroism.

“Until it happens to you or to someone from your family, you don’t understand how very important it is to have people like that around,” he said.

Afterward, Committeeman and Deputy Mayor Anthony Fiore then said that the High School North’s Varsity softball team’s Championship win was the first such win in the school’s history, as well as asked township residents to honor Mike Mascone a former Middletown Board Education member who passed away recently, and was key to getting the Township and School District to work together and share services.

Then, Mayor Anthony Perry announced that July and August will have one Township Committee meeting only each month, both of which will be on-the-road, with the July meeting being at Ideal Beach’s Tonya Keller Center, and the August meeting being at Lincroft’s Laughlin Towers.

Following the Township Committee remarks, two township residents, both from the Leonardo section, talked about local neighborhood issues.

The first was Emile Wiggin, who talked about how she has had serious water drainage issues at and around her property for at least the past three years, as well as dead trees, damaged vegetation, and other property issues.

“The weeds (in my yard) are taller than I am,” Wiggin said.

Township Engineer Ted Maloney said the fastest way to fix this problem would be to get the contractor in charge of a road project already in the works in the same area to amend its project proposal by adding the needed drainage issue fixes onto it.

Deputy Mayor Fiore then added that he understood Wiggin’s frustration.

“I appreciate your patience,” he said. “I feel the same way you do.”

The Leonardo resident complained about vandalism in some of his area’s local parks, and wondered why there were no surveillance cameras in those areas as of yet, to which Fiore responded that as soon as funding from the Green Acres program is secured, the Township would install cameras in some of the local parks, but was unsure which parks would receive them first.  

Fiore also added that he was personally in favor of such cameras.

“This is something that I have been most vocally critical of, that we haven’t had this in place yet, for years,” he said.