HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. -- Today, Sunday, July 15, 2018, Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) honored some of his Sussex and Warren County Hometown Heroes and met individually with tables of constituents at his 26th “Cup of Joe with Josh” Town Hall in Hackettstown.
At the River Star Diner, Gottheimer honored Lou Caruso of Green Township and Captain Peggy Hissim of Oxford Township, two of his 2018 Fifth District Hometown Heroes who weren’t able to attend his ceremony in Hackensack earlier this month. After thanking each Hometown Hero and presenting each Hero and their families with Congressional Certificates of Recognition, Gottheimer went table-by-table talking with residents about what’s on their minds. Gottheimer has held these “Cup of Joe with Josh” events regularly across North Jersey to hear directly from the people he serves.
Lou Caruso has been a staple in Green Township for more than 40 years. He’s been an active member of the Allamuchy-Green First Aid Squad for 42 years, including serving as Captain for 23 years. Lou also served as a member of the Green Township Committee from 1977 until 1991, including as Mayor from 1979 until 1990. During his tenure, Lou was instrumental in establishing a scholarship for the local school district--a scholarship which now bears his name--and started Student Government Day, in which the Township teaches students about different aspects of local government. Even after retiring, Lou has continued his service to Green Township, and today still works 15 hours a week as the town municipal building’s maintenance manager.
Captain Peggy Hissim serves as Oxford Township’s Emergency Squad Captain, where she cares for not only residents of Oxford Township, but also people in the surrounding towns and townships in Warren County. Peggy’s father, the late Harvey Hissim, was a Korean War veteran, former police chief, and founding and lifelong member of the Oxford Township Emergency Squad. Inspired by his legacy, Peggy now works as an EMS, supports the Oxford Police and Fire Department, teaches CPR classes, and makes house calls for seniors, all on her own time.
Other 2018 Fifth District Hometown Heroes from Sussex and Warren counties include Walter Caraballo of Blairstown, Gabby Cox of Franklin, Asst. Fire Chief David Berkenbush of Allamuchy, Lynne Kramer of Allamuchy, Jane Damstra of Vernon, Pat Lynch of Newton, and Dianna Morrison of Newton.
“At today’s Cup of Joe with Josh Town Hall, I not only had the opportunity to speak with Fifth District residents, but also to honor two of those residents--Oxford Township’s Captain Peggy Hissim and Green Township’s Lou Caruso--for their decades of relentless service to our community and our country. Thank you to Oxford Township Mayor Robert Nyland, Green Township Mayor Daniel Conkling, and members of the Green Township Council--including Committee Members Peg Phillips and Ginnie Raffay--for nominating Peggy and Lou as Hometown Heroes and helping ensure they get some of the long-overdue recognition they deserve,”said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “Thank you also to River Star Diner owner John Bayram and his staff for hosting us today, and to the neighbors, first responders, and families that joined me today to discuss cutting taxes, improving our infrastructure, and ensuring our first responders have the resources they need. I will take that feedback with me back to Washington and continue to work across the aisle to get things done for the Fifth District.”
“I just want to say thank you for everybody coming. I’m humbled here, I don’t feel like I should get this award. I do what I do because I like it, and hopefully, in another couple of weeks, I’ll still be able to continue doing my work. We’ll see. For those that nominated me, thank you. Congressman Gottheimer, thank you,” said Green Township’s Lou Caruso.
“Thank god for people like you, Lou,” said Green Township Mayor Daniel Conkling.
“I just love doing it. I work nights so I can be around during the day to help our community and anybody who needs help. I take after my dad,” said Oxford Township’s Captain Peggy Hissim.
“I have known Peggy for many years, and she has always had her community first in her heart and deeds, that is why as Mayor of Oxford Township I am proud to submit her name for this honor. If we had more people in our state that give back to their communities as Peggy does, we would be very lucky,” said Oxford Township Mayor Nyland when nominating Peggy for a Hometown Hero award.