ROXBURY, NJ – Praised for his community efforts, Roxbury Rotary Club member Steve Alford today received the annual Kindness for Christopher Award at a ceremony in Manhattan.
The award is named in remembrance of 10-year-old Christopher D’Amico Jr., of Mount Arlington, who died in a 2015 boating accident on Lake Hopatcong. It honors a person “consistently representing kindness by teaching and living he core values of respect, love and family to his team and his community.”
Alford was presented the award in Times Square at this year’s Chuck Mound Bigtime Media Sports and Entertainment Awards ceremony, said D’Amico’s father, Chris D’Amico. He founded the non-profit Kindness for Christopher organization as a way to prompt people to spread kindness in memory of his lost son.
Started three years ago at the urging of Mound, the Kindness for Christopher award is given at Mound's annual sports award event to somebody in the Roxbury community. it is presented on the same day Mound, a sports trainer, honors New Jersey’s four top high school football teams at the Times Square event.
The award usually goes to somebody involved in Roxbury sports, said D’Amico, whose son was a player with the Roxbury Junior Gaels. “But Steve Alford has gone above and beyond for multiple families and for the Interact Club in Roxbury High School,” D’Amico said. “He was the logical choice this year” despite the fact that he's not a sports coach in town.
D'Amico noted Alford was, in large part, responsible for this year's Color Fun Run in Horseshoe Lake Park, which benefited Kindness for Christopher, and he pointed out that the event was just one of many similar activities in Roxbury shepherded by Alford. "It was for all of the selfless acts he does, how he inspires children to be kind and to make a difference in the world, his tireless effort," D'Amico said. "The man is a ball of energy. I don’t know where he gets that from."
Alford said he was “very honored to be tied, for the rest of my life, to that kid,” referring to Christopher.
D’Amico said the three prior awards went to Junior Gaels varsity coach Bubba Maldonado, former Junior Gaels Director Paul Labell and Roxbury Red Dogs baseball coach Joe Murphy.