UNION, NJ – A Vauxhall man has been named the 2020 Eulace Peaock Unsung Hero Award by the Township of Union.

Paul Hayes Sr. is this year’s recipient of the award which recognizes those who humbly, diligently and passionately seek change and progression within the community without looking for credit or recognition.  Unsung Heroes inspire and impact others without regard of race, color, creed, religion, age, gender, disability, or national origin, according to a township press release.

“Without a doubt, Mr. Hayes exemplifies the qualities of the Unsung Hero Award,” said Mayor Michele Delisfort, “I’m thrilled that every year we are able to recognize a remarkable person who devotes their time and compassion to help our youth and community.”

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Hayes attended Winston Salem State University from 1954 to 1958, where he majored in Social Studies and Elementary Education. In 1972, he attended Newark State College with a major in English, Winston Salem State University with a degree in Elementary Education, and followed with a degree in Industrial Counseling- Graduate Courses at Montclair State College in 1974. From 1958 to 1961, Hayes returned to New Jersey to work with Lewis Spicers Construction Company. In 1961, he became employed by the Essex County Youth House in Newark as a counselor for boys waiting to be scheduled to appear in the Essex County Juvenile Court.  He was also employed as a substitute teacher with the Township of Union Board of Education.

Hayes, married to Hattie Mae Prior Hayes for 62 years, is the father of three children, Paul R. Hayes Jr., Tione V. Hayes (deceased), and Shanna D. Hayes.

Since 2017, the Township of Union has awarded an individual with the Eulace Peacock Unsung Hero Award, who has made a substantive yet unrecognized contribution to the Township of Union; be it through athletics, public service, mentorship or social activism.

The award will be presented to Hayes at the upcoming Black History Month “Harriet Tubman” Film Screening on Saturday, February 29 at 2:00 p.m. Admission is free, but tickets are required due to limited seating. Tickets are available for pick up at the Administration office at Town Hall, 1976 Morris Ave.