New Brunswick's Second Ward Neighborhood Block Club (SWNBC) announced leadership changes after elections held at the New Brunswick Free Public Library Jan. 30, 2012.  Morris Kafka, president of the club for 18 years, has handed over the gavel to newly-elected president Maria Pellerano.

Other newly-elected leaders of the club include Phyllis Koenig, vice-president; Marge Kerber and Phyllis Koenig, co-secretaries; and Yana Hernandez, Treasurer.

After the election, club members gave a rousing tribute to Mr. Kafka, celebrating his many accomplishments -- most notably his two decades of work building a neighborhood organization that has become an important influence in New Brunswick, improving the quality of life for thousands of New Brunswick residents.

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Founded in 1980, the Second Ward Neighborhood Block Club is the oldest neighborhood club and crime watch in New Brunswick.  Mr. Kafka said of his tenure, “I am very moved by all of the kind words and acknowledgements.  Remember that the founding members of this group were passionately committed and worked tirelessly for a better, safer, cleaner, and more beautiful New Brunswick.  These women and men welcomed me into the group while I was still a teen and taught me a great deal, including the need to balance our work with social and spiritual time.  I could not have done any of this alone. The inspiration these role models provided and the encouragement, generosity and support of the members, friends and city officials are what make our ongoing work possible.  I thank everyone who has worked with us. I have been honored to serve as President these 18 years. I look forward to being part of our future growth under the new leadership.”

Ms. Pellerano, a long-time resident of New Brunswick, said “I look forward to working with the block club over the next few years.  The club has a long history of activism and community improvement.  Our diverse membership works to enhance the quality of life in our neighborhoods and throughout the City.  I believe that working together with community residents, other community organizations, city officials, police officers, and local businesses we can improve the quality of life of all city residents.”

Regular meetings of the Second Ward Block Club are held at 7 p.m. on the last Monday of every month (except May, August & Dec.) at the New Brunswick Free Public Library.  The Club also holds parties and celebrations where people can meet casually and get to know one another.  Everyone is welcome at all club meetings and events.  To learn more, visit our website at www.swnbc.org, contact us at nbswnbc@gmail.comor phone 732-447-5196.