Yvonne Zuidema, president and chief executive officer of United Way of Passaic County (UWPC) along with over 160 supporters of United Way’s mission, gathered at the 2013 Annual Meeting Celebration! held at Hamilton & Ward Steakhouse in Paterson. Supporters honored and cheered all the people that contribute their time and resources so that UWPC programs can support individuals and families in Passaic County. Dr. Steven M. Rose was awarded the prestigious Community Cornerstone Award. The award, UWPC’s highest honor, is presented each year to an individual who exemplifies a lifetime of service and dedication to the community.

Prior recipients of the Community Cornerstone Award include Joe Duffy (Catholic Charities), Rev. Patricia Bruger (CUMAC/ECHO), Georgette Hauser (Memorial Day Nursery), Maureen Peterson (Children’s Day Nursery & Family Center), Dolores Colucci-Healy (Boys & Girls Club of Clifton), Abraham Davis (Jewish Family and Children’s Services), Ken Wessel (Home Care Options), Peter Thornton (Boys & Girls Club of Paterson), James Seath (The ARC of Bergen/Passaic), and Carey Jenkins (Operation Link-Up).

Dr. Rose has served as president of PCCC since 1996, overseeing unprecedented growth and expansion, which includes the opening of three new campuses for a total of four throughout the County – and an increase in enrollment to over 9,000 current students. Considered the fastest growing college in New Jersey, PCCC was recently included in the prestigious Achieving the Dream national initiative to promote student success in community college education. “Dr. Rose is a relentless advocate for the power of education” said Yvonne Zuidema,. “Dr. Rose’s has been an important catalyst for change for individual students and our community, his commitment to not only education but to the larger Passaic County exemplifies what it means to Live United.”

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Corporate donors provide the financial backbone that allows United Way to create and fund programs that improve education, financial stability and health in Passaic County.  This year, Gonzalez, Saggio & Harlan LLP, Enterprise, UPS, the Boys and Girls Club of Clifton and PSEG where recognized for employee participation in workplace campaigns that financially support local initiatives. Additionally, the Passaic County Department of Human Services was recognized for its support of the NJ 2-1-1 hotline which helps callers find solutions to personal needs by referring to local resources like day care facilities, shelters, affordable housing units, social services, employment training programs, senior services and medical insurance.

United Way of Passaic County is very fortunate and appreciative to have a cadre of over 50 dedicated volunteers that make programming possible. These volunteers were recognized and honored at 2013 Annual Meeting Celebration!. UWPC's Financial Empowerment Zone (FEZ), honored volunteers from AARP, NewarkNow, Americorps, Passaic County Community College, William Paterson University, Paterson High School FBLA Club, Wells Fargo and TDBank. These trained and certified volunteers have helped with filing income taxes, completing FASA applications, providing financial education and community outreach. Also honored were volunteers from the Hunger Free Communities Initiative and the Passaic County Food Policy Council. These volunteers develop and participate in events that address the food access needs of Passaic County residents, support the Nutrition Matters program and deliver food bags and create nutrition education materials for the Hunger Free Seniors project.

Talia Nuesi and Ryan Bell, recipients of the Pavese Scholarship, given to a Passaic County high school senior who exhibits a commitment to community service and plans to pursue a career in public service, were honored at the Event. This scholarship was established 20 years ago, as a memorial to Vincent D. Pavese, a former President of the United Way of Passaic County. Each year, Pavese family members review the applications to determine which student has most closely fulfilled the requirements of the scholarship.

 

ABOUT US: United Way of Passaic County envisions a community where every child is ready to succeed in school, every person can meet their most basic needs and everyone can pursue productive and satisfying lives. The organization is committed to creating lasting change - from our Financial Empowerment Zone to our Hunger-Free Communities work. United Way of Passaic County is uniquely positioned to leverage its own health and human services expertise, a powerful base of donors and volunteers, public advocacy and outcome-driven funding to help identify and solve chronic community wide issues within our region. For more information go to the website, www.unitedwaypassaic.org.