WEST ORANGE, NJ – On Thursday, May 8, the West Orange Scholarship Fund will host a cocktail reception to honor Mayor Robert Parisi for 20 years of public service to the township of West Orange. The event will be held at the Rock Spring Country Club, 90 Rock Spring Road, West Orange, from 6:30 to 9 p.m., and will benefit the Parisi Family Scholarship and the West Orange Education Alumni Fund.

Rob and his wife, Sheila Roth Parisi, along with their children Kelly and Robert, are all lifelong West Orange residents. Mayor Parisi’s family has long been involved in township sports including West Orange PAL and service organizations like UNICO. Sheila and her family have been part of the West Orange St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee since its inception sixty three years ago.

The West Orange Scholarship Fund was founded in 1923 with $1,100 in assets and awarded their first $500 scholarship in 1925. Scholarships are awarded to graduating West Orange seniors attending colleges and universities for post-secondary education for  academic achievement, financial need and community service. In 2013 the Fund awarded scholarships to over 60 students totaling over $42,000. 

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The Fund is run by over 40 community volunteers who bear their own expenses so that 100% of funds raised go to current or future scholarships. With college and/or post-secondary education so expensive, every dollar awarded helps to make a difference in the future education of West Orange students.

Said Mayor Parisi, “I am thrilled to be honored by the West Orange Scholarship Fund. Their work is one of the best kept secrets in town. The Trustees are volunteers and have contributed greatly to the public schools, working year-long to raise money for deserving students. They are yet another example of why West Orange is a great place to raise a family”.

James Quinn, Treasurer of the West Orange Scholarship Fund, had a lot to say about Mayor Rob Parisi. “First and foremost,” Quinn began, “Rob Parisi was selected for his 20 years of extraordinary service to the Township of West Orange. In public school education alone, then-Councilman Parisi led the negotiations to obtain the ground for and around Liberty Middle school at no cost to the taxpayer. The school would not have been built except for Rob's efforts”.

Parisi also spearheaded several sports initiatives at West Orange High School. Notes Rich Rizzolo, President of the West Orange Scholarship Fund, “Rob Parisi also lead the effort to raise over $100,000 contributed by West Orange and Mountain High School alumni to help pay for the Joe Suriano Track and Field Complex at WOHS. Rob and his wife Sheila have been actively involved in each school that their two children have attended, making those schools a better place for all children to learn and grow”.

The West Orange Scholarship Fund plans to announce at the May 8 event that as of June, 2014 they will have exceeded $1 million in scholarship awards distributed since its inception in 1923.

For more information on tickets, go to the: West Orange Scholarship Fund event, or contact Jim Quinn at 973-731-3732.