Business & Finance

Press Releases

Community Access Unlimited honors community partners at 2017 Awards Celebration

ecdc59b1d21bfbf5f0aa_CAU_Awards_2017_1.jpg
Ryan Cohen of GrandStand Sports accepts the Community Services and Partnership Award from Alyssa Mistretta, fundraising coordinator at Community Access Unlimited.
9e5eaa137eea4eca4c69_CAU_Awards_2017_2.jpg
Reverend Michael Saporito, pastor at St. Helen’s, accepts the Excellence in the Community Award from Myrta Rosa, board member of Community Access Unlimited, and Sid Blanchard, CAU executive director.
ecdc59b1d21bfbf5f0aa_CAU_Awards_2017_1.jpg

Community Access Unlimited (CAU) honored seven community partners last week at its 2017 Awards Night Celebration, held at its Elizabeth headquarters. The honorees represented the wide variety of professionals and organizations the agency partners with to fulfill its mission of enabling people with disabilities and at-risk youth to live independently within the community.

 

Community Access Unlimited (CAU) is a statewide nonprofit providing support programs and services to adults with disabilities as well as youth served under the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to enable them to live independently in the community, providing supports in areas including housing, vocational skills and life-skills training, education, advocacy and recreation.

 

Ryan Cohen, vice president of Grand Stand Sports Memorabilia, was honored with the Community Services and Partnership Award for an individual. Grand Stand Sports partners with CAU to sell memorabilia items at the agency's signature events to raise funds for its programs and services. The company has assisted nearly 1,000 nonprofits in fundraising efforts.

Sign Up for E-News

 

"CAU is amazing," he said. "They help the people who need it the most and I admire them for that. They don't give up on anybody."

 

The Parish Community of St. Helen's in Westfield was honored with the Excellence in the Community Award. St. Helen's has been very active in the Union County Interfaith Coordinating Council (UCICC), an interfaith council that promotes inclusion of all people within the community, without regard to race, religion or disability, and promotes nonprofit and government community services to member congregations. St. Helen's is also the parish of several CAU members.

 

"As a community we value service very much," said Rev. Michael Saporito, pastor at St. Helen's. "When Sid Blanchard (CAU executive director) came to us and talked about what CAU does, it seemed like a perfect partnership. For us as Catholic Christians, we take the example of Christ himself, who reached out to those living on the margins to show they have value and belong like everyone else. When we say we welcome all people, we mean it."

 

The Institute of Music for Children was honored with the Community Service and Partnership Award for an organization. Each year the institute teaches children from age 3 and older and adults music and performing arts, including several CAU members.

 

"The arts are important for all people but especially people with disabilities so they can learn to express themselves and feel comfortable that their voice matters," said Alysia Souder, the institute's executive director. "Also, it's really important for children without disabilities to interact with children with disabilities because it opens their minds to thinking they're all the same."

 

Also honored were:

  • Whitsons Culinary Group with the Employment in the Community Award. The company employs three CAU members, who work for Whitsons in Irvington High School as food service workers, as well as other people with disabilities.
  • Arthur “Skip” Winter with the Community Integration Award. A member of the First Presbyterian Church of Cranford, Winter is a member of the steering committee of the UCICC.
  • Shakirah Peterson with the Outstanding Community Advocate Award for someone working with people with disabilities. Peterson works with CAU members with disabilities.
  • Alicia Frye with the Outstanding Community Advocate Award for someone working with at-risk youth. Frye works with CAU youth members.

 

 

"These award recipients help CAU fulfill our mission of enabling people with disabilities and at-risk youth to live independently within the community," said Sid Blanchard, CAU executive director. "Their partnerships with us are invaluable."

 

CAU's awards celebration each year draws a number of county officeholders and dignitaries, including Union County Sheriff Joe Cryan.

 

“What brought me here tonight is what brings me every year, the incredible work all of the committed staff at CAU do to improve the lives of those more challenged in this world," Cryan said. "Their dedication, hard work and commitment to better lives is why I want to support the awards celebration and anything to do with CAU. “

 

CAU also recognized six members for significant accomplishments during the year and three staff members for their dedication and excellence. In addition, CAU honored 72 members with disabilities who have been employed between one and 32 years.

 

The agency also awarded three Union County high school students with scholarships from the Ann Baron Scholarship Fund, named for former Union County manager Ann Baron.

 

About Community Access Unlimited

Community Access Unlimited (CAU), celebrating its 38th year in 2017, supports people with special needs in achieving real lives in the community. CAU provides support and gives voice to adults and youth who traditionally have little support and no voice in society. CAU helps people with housing, life skills, employment, money management, socialization and civic activities. CAU also supports opportunities for advocacy through training in assertiveness, decision-making and civil right. CAU currently serves more than 6,000 individuals and families, with the number served growing each year. For more information about CAU and its services, contact us by phone at 908.354.3040, online at www.caunj.org or by mail at 80 West Grand Street, Elizabeth, NJ 07202.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Plainfield

You Meet the Most Amazing People on the Trail

The weather cooperated this weekend, so I went for more than one hike. After all, there are only just over fifty days before my walk to Maine commences, so why not.

This Saturday, some friends dragged me away from housecleaning (thank you!) for a quick jaunt through Watchung Reservation.  While we were there, we ran into two individuals from Westfield; the cosplayers introduced themselves ...

Go Take a Walk

Friday, March 30 was Take a Walk in the Park Day, so I did.  I really didn't have an excuse to not do so; the sun was shining, I had the day off, and I had no plans for the rest of the day.  So after a session with Abbe, my trainer at LifeTime Fitness, I made the short trip to Lake Surprise in Watchung Reservation. 

As I made my way around the lake, it was easy to see how ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_9d8e453cf3136a3d0129_rec_2017_hw_helper

Tue, April 24, 4:00 PM

Hannah Atkins Community Center, Plainfield

Homework Helper

Education

Carousel_image_2d97227681417166ce99_block_assoc_meeting

Tue, April 24, 6:30 PM

The Plainfield Senior Citizens Center, Plainfield

Block Association Meeting

Community Calendar Police & Fire

Carousel_image_912a7770bb2a811ee333_budget_eng

Tue, April 24, 7:00 PM

Plainfield High School, Plainfield

Board of Ed Special Budget Meeting

Education

Sharing Strength, Giving Back: Become a Volunteer Advocate for Victims of Sexual Violence

April 23, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that openings are still available in the upcoming training series for Volunteer Advocates for victims of sexual violence. The sessions are scheduled twice weekly beginning on Tuesday, May 1 and continuing until Thursday, June 14.

The training is free. No previous experience in counseling is required. Volunteer Advocates work ...

Politics IS Government in Union County

April 22, 2018

After Bruce Patrson of Garwood was stopped from speaking at the Union County freeholder meeting of March 22 regarding the politics behind refusing to give the party line to a sitting freeholder I thought this brazen suppression of free speech could not go unanswered. A the the April 19 meeting I answered with these comments.

After ten years of following government in Union County I conclude ...

Fallen Officer Identified. ‘A Sad Day for Paterson’ as Police Officer Loses Life in Car Accident

April 23, 2018

UPDATE- Several sources familiar with Sunday’s tragic accident have identified the fallen officer as Tamby Yagan, a 13-year veteran of the Paterson Police Department.

PATERSON, NJ- On what Paterson Superior Officers Association President Mason Maher called “a sad day for Paterson” a city police officer lost his life on Sunday after being involved in a motor vehicle ...

Blood Drive en Plainfield High School el viernes

April 12, 2018

PLAINFIELD, NJ - Un esfuerzo de sangre se llevará a cabo el viernes en Plainfield High School en asociación con la Cruz Roja Americana.

¿Alguna vez se ha preguntado qué le sucede a la pinta de sangre que dona?

Según la Cruz Roja, la donación se almacena en refrigeradores helados hasta que se transporta a un centro de la Cruz Roja y se escanea en una ...

Springtime Advice from Rapps Pharmacy

April 17, 2018

It may not feel like spring, but that spring weather is right around the corner and so is allergy season!  Here is some friendly advice from Rapps Pharmacy, your neighborhood pharmacy:

Combating the Allergy Season

As seasons change and pollen counts rise, more and more people clash with the aggravating symptoms of seasonal allergies. Beginning in February and lasting into early summer, ...

Featured Business: NJ Printing & Embroidery LLC

Featured Business: NJ Printing & Embroidery LLC

Nestled in the heart of Plainfield is NJ Printing & Embroidery, a family-owned business providing digital screen printing and embroidery for custom shirts, caps and other items.

The company also offers custom printed business cards, fliers, banners and storefront vinyls, and can provide expert graphic art design upon request.

Eric ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (Citadel Press, 1970)

 

How does a reviewer do justice to a book called “the great American novel”? I first read Johnny Got His Gun during the Viet Nam war, when young people, nationwide, were protesting fighting in a war that was a senseless waste of life; a war in which the United States had no business participating.

The Truth About My Reading

The Truth About My Reading

I didn't get my Composition and Literature teacher at Montclair State College at all. A crusty old man with a dour disposition, Mr. Smith always seemed angry and rude. He appropriately intimidated freshmen, even me, an English major, who found this common core course beneath my dignity. Frankly, as a graduate of Highland Park High School, and a survivor of Mrs.

The German Girl

The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa (Washington Square Press, 2016)

For each of the twelve million victims murdered during World War II there is a gutwrenching story to be told. I have read hundreds of memoirs, biographies, plays, and novels that recount the stories of the martyrs; some are exceptional, some are fair. The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa, an award-winning journalist, ...

The Skin Collector

The Skin Collector by Jeffery Deaver (Grand Central, 2014)

Jack the Ripper. The Boston Strangler. The Texas Watchtower Killer. The Zodiac Killer. The Angel of Death. The Butcher. BTK. The police and the press have a long history of dubbing serial killers with names that catch the attention of the public, usually having the effect of instilling greater fear and selling more print media so that ...

Queen Mary and the Cruiser

Queen Mary and the Cruiser by David A. Thomas and Patrick Holmes (Naval Institute Press, 1997)

“Had the forenoon watch and after eating went out onto the fo'c'sle. Just arrived at the top of the ladder by the PO's heads when the wave hit me---waist high---and knocked me over. Looking astern---through the bulkhead door which was open, saw the stern of a ship sticking up out of ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)

 

In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...