SBPA Elects New Officers; 4 Scholarships Offered to Somerville Students

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Longtime downtown merchant Lorraine Sarra has been elected president of the Somerville Business & Professional Association.

Sarra, now retired, sold her women’s lingerie store, Beneath It All, in 2014. Formerly located on West Main Street, the store is now on Division Street under new ownership.

Elected vice president was last year’s SBPA president James O’Gorman, Financial Resources, Route 22; secretary, John Harrity of the Somerville School of Music; and treasurer, Wendy Ewen, manager of the Provident Bank branch at 62 W. Main St.

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Elected to the Board of Directors are Jan Lush, Big Little Railroad Shop; Ann Marie Woodward, Fulton Bank; Mike Ivers, Hansel & Griddle restaurant; Paul Sanford retired from Sanford Jewelers; Val Gibson, Seniors Arts & Crafters, and Jessica Dale, JC Maintenance & Cleaning Co.

Sarra has been a member of the SBPA since she opened her store in 1994 and served as treasurer of the organization for 10 years. Her late husband Bill Sarra was executive director of the SBPA for several years before retiring in 2006.

“The SBPA membership has always supported the town,” Sarra said. “We plan to put into place an aggressive membership campaign which will strengthen our resources and help the SBPA do even more for the merchants and community,” she added.

The SBPA is a private, non-profit voluntary membership organization comprised of business owners representatives, professionals, individuals and community groups whose primary  goal is to make Somerville a better place for  the public and its members to conduct business.

The association’s activities heighten the awareness of the public regarding the variety of shopping, dining and business ­opportunities available in Somerville.

The SBPA announced at its reorganization meeting that it would sponsor a total of four $1,000 scholarships in 2016, each of which will be awarded to a graduating senior at both Immaculata High School and Somerville High School during graduation ceremonies in June. There will be two music scholarships, one at each school, and two athletic scholarships, one at each school.

Applications will be available at each school in March, according to Sarra. Each application must be accompanied by an essay written by the student highlighting their accomplishments as an athlete or musician/vocalist.

The business organization will also host a craft fair on Main Street Sunday, April 24 managed by Sissy Gialanella of JC Promotions. The event will be juried and will have 150 exhibitors.

The fair will feature artisans, craftsmen and photographers displaying and selling a mix of quality contemporary crafts as well as fine art.

There will be original handmade works such as oil and acrylic paintings, watercolors, sculpture, photography, pottery, jewelry, decorative fiber works, metal works, paper, stone, garden works and more.

This festival will be open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Interested vendors can download applications on the website:

The SBPA will also host its annual Spring Street Fair on 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, June 5th along Main Street, managed by Darryll Walker Street Fairs LLC of Westfield.

Interested vendors may contact STREET FAIRS LLC. 231 North Avenue West, #101.Westfield, NJ 07090; phone: 908-654-1400 or e-mail:

For additional information, visit the SBPA website –

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