For the past eight years, the Union County Freeholder Board has highlighted Black History Month with the annual Chester Holmes Humanitarian Award in recognition of service to the community.

The 2020 award went to Rahway Councilman David Brown, who has focused on assisting working families, youth and those less-advantaged during a lifetime of service.

“Councilman Brown’s outstanding contributions to both his hometown of Rahway, and to Union County exemplify the true meaning and essence of the Chester Holmes Humanitarian Award,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella, during an award ceremony last Saturday at the Main Stage of the Union County Performing Arts Center.

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The award ceremony preceded a special performance of Raisin: A Musical, as part of Union County’s series of educational and cultural events during Black History Month.

Also attending to present the award to Councilman Brown were Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski, Freeholder Angela R. Garretson, Freeholder Rebecca Williams, Freeholder Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded, Freeholder Christopher Hudak and Freeholder Andrea Staten, who were joined by Rahway Mayor Raymond Giacobbe, Holmes’ daughter Jackie Grey and friend Candice Frye-Teese.

The Humanitarian Award was created by the Freeholder Board in honor of the late former Freeholder Chester Holmes, who was known for his lifelong dedication to community service.

Union County’s Black History Month events continue Thursday evening, February 13, with a first-person narrative presentation on the civil rights activist Rosa Parks at the Trailside Nature.

For more information about the event visit Trailside online at parks-recreation/trailside.