WEST ORANGE, NJ — Donald Shauger, this year’s Grand Marshal for the 2018 West Orange St. Patrick’s Day Parade coming up on Sunday, was raised in West Orange by a single mother as the youngest of four siblings, one of whom was terminally ill.
As a natural-born leader and visionary, Shauger saw at a very young age that it was his prerogative to help support his family and to give back to the community that supported his family growing up. Through his hard work and dedication, he and his wife, Lisa, also a West Orange native, founded their family-owned and operated contracting company, The Shauger Group, Inc., in 1981.
For more than 30 years, Shauger has committed his leadership, persistence and desire for perfection to helping the The Shauger Group grow. He recognized a need in the industry for high-quality property maintenance services with a personal touch, and The Shauger Group and its subsidiaries have since become one the largest private employers in the City of East Orange.
In West Orange, Shauger has previously served as deputy mayor and chairman of the planning board. He currently serves on the County of Essex Workforce Investment Board and is a member of the University of Scranton Parents Executive council. He is also part of the contraction committee for the non-profit dinner club Park Avenue Club, over-seeing a $5-7 million improvement project.
Additionally, Shauger has served on several other boards, such as the West Orange Recreation Advisory Board, Team Capital Bank (West Orange Branch) Board of Directors, East Orange General Hospital Foundation and the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges.
Shauger is firmly committed to giving back to the community, donating money and time to countless local charities and fundraisers, including Susan G. Komen, United Negro College Fund, East Orange Education Foundation and the Newark Housing Authority Scholarship Fund. The Shauger family also contributes to many West Orange-based charitable organizations and events, including the West Orange Cow Parade, the West Orange Energy Diet, the West Orange PAL and the Cody Fund for Mental Health.
In memory of the Shaugers’ lifelong friend and former West Orange Police Officer Timothy Groves, the family established the Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship (TGMS) within the West Orange Scholarship Committee in 2014. The TGMS benefits students in financial need who commit themselves to various charities and volunteer opportunities, as Groves did.
The Shauger family contributes to the TGMS whenever a West Orange resident with a close relationship to the Shaugers dies, and they also raise money annually for the scholarship through fundraising events.
Shauger and his friend, former NFL punter Steve Weatherford, have also spearheaded many initiatives, including a donation of 1000 smoke detectors to needy families; a luncheon to acknowledge emergency responders who save lives during Hurricane Sandy; Thanksgiving turkey donations to families in need; and Project Prom, an annual project created to help students to overcome adversity.
Through his business, Shauger consistently donates labor, equipment, and resources to various nonprofits like the Apostles’ House, an emergency shelter for homeless and at risk families. The Shauger family spends every Christmas at the Apostles House, bringing presents to the families. The family has also organized two extreme makeovers of the shelter since 2007.
Shauger, who is frequently acknowledged for his contributions to the community, was named 2015 Citizen of the Year by the West Orange Elks Lodge No. 1590 and was inducted into the Colgate Park Hall of Fame on West Orange’s Old Timer’s Day in 2016 for his commitment to bettering the West Orange community and its residents.
With a mother who hailed from Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Shauger is very proud of his Irish heritage. He is also devoted to his Catholic faith, and is deeply tied to both Randolph’s Resurrection Parish, the Shaugers’ former parish before its recent move form Randolph, and West Orange’s Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church, the Shaugers’ current parish.
As Donald and Lisa Shauger both grew up in West Orange, Our Lady of Lourdes was the local neighborhood church during their youth, and it was also later the location of the Shaugers’ 1985 wedding ceremony. The Shaugers have donated considerably to both parishes.
Year-round, the Shauger Group performs miscellaneous landscaping, cleaning, and repair work for the churches. Additionally, The Shauger Group donates the services of site technicians to attend to any minor maintenance concerns that arise at both of the churches.
The Shaugers presented both Our lady of Lourdes and Resurrection Parish with replicas of the world-renowned painting, “Neilson Carlin’s The Holy Family.” Additionally, the Grotto at Our Lady of Lourdes was a gift from the Shauger and Aufiero families in 2003.
Donald and Lisa have two children, Marisa and Donald. Donald said he has always been proud to call West Orange his hometown, stating that he was not raised in West Orange, he was raised by West Orange.
For more information on the West Orange St. Patrick's Day Parade, which was rescheduled for this Sunday, March 18, at 12:15 p.m., click HERE.