RANDOLPH, NJ - The annual Randolph Recreation Committee Awards Ceremony was held on Tuesday, Dec. 8 to honor many of the dedicated volunteers and coaches who help support the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department.
"The reason we are here tonight is to say ‘Thank you,’ and to recognize you, the volunteers, who make our programs go. Without you nothing would be happening in terms of the sports and recreation programs," said Recreation Committee Chairman Joseph Nazzaro
Nazzaro opened the ceremony by introducing Randolph Mayor Joanne Veech.
"This has been a great year with great successes in our programs. Volunteerism is what makes our quality of life the best here in Randolph. I think we all stepped forward," Veech said.
The mayor did some research and found that 26 1/2 percent of the United States' population volunteers in various ways. A study from 2012 says those 65 million people put in 8 billion hours, which averages 125 to 140 hours a year, or about three hours a week of volunteerism.
"A lot of you are from old school programs. You've been here a long time. There are some new folks here tonight, and I want to encourage you to continue to volunteer because that's what makes us the very best we can be," said Veech.
The most prestigious award of the evening is the Helen Bauer Award. Helen Bauer was a longtime Randolph township clerk and community volunteer. This award is presented to an outstanding candidate who exemplifies volunteerism in Randolph. The Helen Bauer Volunteer of the Year for 2015 was Ned Levine.
Levine has been involved in the Boys Basketball Committee as coach and league coordinator. He has dedicated the last couple years to helping the high school program expand, and has also been on the Babe Ruth Committee.
"He volunteered when his kids were in the program and has continued to volunteer since they graduated. It's really evident to us that he cares about the program and making sure it continues on to another generation of kids beyond his own," said Recreation Director Russ Newman.
Levine has been a two term Recreation Committee member, where has been instrumental in creating two subcommittees: Sports Program Ethics Committee (SPEC) and the Sports Education Committee.
Levine, who has raised two sons in Randolph over the past 28 years, began by saying "Thank you very much for this honor tonight. I am truly touched.”
"Tonight, it is all of you volunteers that I would like to honor. You are the ones that spent countless hours on the fields and in meeting rooms making the business of Randolph Recreation run. You are the ones putting smiles on the faces of the youth of our township and isn't that what it's really all about? My message to you tonight is don't stop. Randolph needs you. Keep volunteering, we need you. To the newer volunteer my message to you is simple. Stay involved and get more involved," said Levine.
The Recreation Committee Chairman's Award was presented to Joseph Faranetta. This award is given to a Recreation Committee member for the effort and time in committee activities and department programs.
TAP into Randolph was honored as one of the recipients of the Commercial / Service Organization award for support given to the Little League Baseball program. This award is presented to the corporate and service organizations that have continued to support the recreation department activities through volunteerism, donations or team sponsorships.
Two other recipients of this award were The Academy Pre-School and Kindergarten, honored for their support of community services, and Fuddruckers, also for their sponsorship and support of the Randolph Little League Baseball program.
The volunteer and coaches awarded Tuesday night all had put in a minimum of five years of service to their particular activity or sport.
"Not only do you have to have an abundance of skill and be proficient at your sport, but you have to be excellent teachers as well. We're not only coaches, we're teachers too. We're teaching the kids to love the game and learn the skills of the sport as well," said Nazzaro.
The awarded volunteers and coaches of the night were as follows:
Program Volunteer: Andrew Cleffi, Michael Wanatick and Rebecca Wanatick
Coaches: Michael Behar, Derrick Clark, Andy Gellert, Elliot Grover
Program Volunteer: Pete Kazella
Coaching: Mike Santoro, Craig Domalewski
Program Volunteer: Laurie Templeton
Program Volunteer: Lynda Jung, Cyndi Fearon, Cara Fabim
Coaching: Frank Dotro, Brian Jung
Program Volunteer: Vince Nolan
oaching: Nick Arcaro, John Ascione, Will Ruscher
Program Volunteer: Tim Brennan, Greg Tomaino
Coaching: Jack Baxter
Program Volunteer: Dave Kemp, Sheila Bell-Helmke, Craig Garretson
Coaching: Davey Soto, Rob Record, Alex Malino, Rick Baron
Program Volunteer: Christine Eames
Coaching: Rahim Huland El
rogram Volunteer: Richard Rogers
Coaching: Michael McNamara, Jason Gaynor
Program Volunteer: Samantha Treston
Coaching: Tom Wysocki, Kirk Baxter
rogram Volunteer: Melinda Wilkins
Coaching: Jen Houston
Program Volunteer: Donna Faranetta, Victor Viscomi
Coaching: Ruben Bello, Charlie Mooney, Nick Romagnoli, Alan Golub,
Charles Meizoso, Mark Tompeck, Steve Cappitelli
Brundage Park Playhouse
Program Volunteer: Marie Rosato