WEST ORANGE, NJ - The West Orange community showed up in force to support Wednesday night's Community House Awards at the Wilshire Grand Hotel.
From Assemblyman John McKeon, keynote speaker, to Mayor Robert Parisi, members of the Town Council, freeholder Len Luciano, the township, sports community, and school community, and more, over 150 packed the event to honor Roger and Gerald Schneider of Schneider Hardware, Business of the Year; Councilman Victor Cirilo, Councilperson of the Year; Detective Lou Mignone, Volunteer of the Year; Dr. Anthony Cavanna, Friend of the Club; and Hayden Moore, Betty Maddalena Educator of the Year.
All recipients shared involvement and support for the Community House. Funds raised from Wednesday's event will help provide scholarships for summer Community House programs.
The evening opened with a welcome from Bryn Whittle, master of ceremonies. The Girls West Orange Community House Steppers then performed, followed by opening remarks by Paul Cito, Community House Director. Pastor Tim Chicola of Crossings Church in Livingston offered the invocation for the evening, after which Nia Sorbino, EMS student, performed "The Greatest Love of All" by Whitney Houston.
After dinner was served, the awards presentation began. Tekeste Gebremichael of the West Orange Chamber of Commerce awarded the Business of the Year award to the Schneiders; Ron Bligh, Athletic Director at WOHS, presented the award to Detective Lou Mignone, Volunteer of the Year. Mignone is a Detective with the WOPD and also the WOHS Girls Soccer coach. He volunteers his time to coach soccer at the Community House.
Ted Kinsella, Community House Board member, presented the award to Dr. Anthony Cavanna, Superintendent of the West Orange School District. The district this year contracted with the Community House for after school program support, and plans to utilize their services for enrichment programs at Edison Middle School as well. Sal Anderton, outgoing council member, introduced Victor Cirilo as Councilperson of the Year.
Finally, Annette Dade, Assistant Principal at WOHS, introduced Hayden Moore, also an Assistant Principal at WOHS, as the Betty Maddelena Educator of the Year.
The evening closed with remarks from Parisi and Luciano.
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