LITTLE FALLS, NJ - On April 8, Little Falls Mayor James Damiano recognized April as National Donate Life Month with a proclamation presentation to the NJ Sharing Network, Little Falls resident Rob Connizzo and former Passaic Valley High School football coach and Athletic Director Nick Sauter.
Earlier this year, Connizzo donated one of his kidneys to his lifelong friend and former neighbor Sauter. The two were in attendance at the township workshop last night along with family members and friends.
Connizzo, 34, has a resume full of heroic feats. When he was a Cub Scout, he was involved in a jet ski accident which left his friend injured. In 1995, Cannizzo would receive a lifesaving award. While attending Passaic Valley High School, he served as a volunteer member of the Little Falls Fire Department.
In 2001 Connizzo would be instrumental in saving his father's life in a diving accident in Dutch Springs Quarry.
The 2003 graduate of Passaic Valley High School, graduated EMT school at the Public Safety Academy in Wayne in 2005. There he received an outstanding Achievement Award from the 200 Club for the highest class score. From there he attened Passaic County Community College where he graduated with an associate's degree in applied science in fire science and criminal justice.
Sauter served as vice principal, teacher, and former football and track coach at Passaic Valley High School.
As an active member of St. Agnes Episcopal Church in Little Falls, he's been a member of the vestry, and was involved with the church's food pantry for many years.
He discovered in 2016 that he was in need of a kidney. Struggling for some time with renal failure, he was on dialysis until the transplant.