WEST ORANGE, NJ - Money raised for ovarian cancer research was a highlight of Tuesday's brief Town Council Meeting.
Megan Brill, executive director for West Orange's Downtown Alliance, announced that they raised more than $78,000 for cancer support at the Mayor's 5k run in Sept. The money was presented to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition at the meeting.
Debra Battista, a New Jersey Chapter Representative at the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, was in attendance to accept the money on behalf of the organization.
"Our mission is to fight tirelessly to find a cure for ovarian cancer, and to improve the quality of life for survivors," she said, adding that the three goal words for the organization are "prevent," "cure," and "survivors."
Battista thanked Brill and the DTA for their support.
During council liaisons, Council President Jerry Guarino said that West Orange Pedestrian Safety Advisory Board met recently and are incorporating street concepts designed by Rutgers to incorporate into their plans to make West Orange streets safer for pedestrians.
West Orange resident Clare Silvestri was in attendance on behalf of the Girl Scouts to announce that they would be collecting coats for the needy for the 11th straight year from now until Dec. 5. Coats can be of any size or style. For more information on how to help, Silvestri can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Native American resident of West Orange requested there be more effort put into recognizing Native Americans’ rich history and cultural background by having a Native American day and week. She pointed out that Native Americans are rarely celebrated, and that their plight is often muted.
The resident, an adoptee, said she was able to get into contact with her blood relatives and to meet them on their reservation. According to the resident, 30 percent of an already small population of Native Americans are living in substandard conditions on reservations and suffering from unemployment, alcoholism, and more.
"This is not the past," she said. "This is USA today."
Others in support of taking the initiative to acknowledge Native Americans pointed out that West Orange is the perfect town to do it due to its diverse makeup.
"I feel it’s time for West Orange, with its admirable diverse community, to honor the past by recognizing and raising awareness to the Native Americans," one man said.
The council was universally in support of their request, with Councilman Krakoviak saying he saw no reason why their requests couldn't be honored.
All resolution were passed during their readings, with Resolution E being pulled and voted against by Krakoviak. Councilman Victor Cirilo was absent from the meeting.
In other news, the Mountain Top League's West Orange United U12 Girls Fury team was recognized with certificates for their excellent play during the season.
The next Town Council Meeting is scheduled for Dec. 15 at 6:30 p.m.