WEST ORANGE, NJ - Residents and community members were recognized at the Oct. 7 Township Council Meeting for their ongoing contributions to West Orange.

Pastor Douglas Adams, who recently completed his term as the Chairperson of the West Orange Human Relations Commission, received a Citation for his efforts as his wife Lisa, Director of the Mayor's Program for Individual's with Disabilities, stood by his side.

"It was my honor to serve," said Adams. In speaking of his goals for the WOHRC, he expressed the importance of dialogue and conversation. "I hope I was able to accomplish a little of that," he noted.

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"West Orange has an amazing immune system," he continued, saying how in the past few years the township has weathered storms, hurricanes, and economic challenges.

"We seem to thrive and progress in spite of it," he said, "and I credit the leadership of the town in large part."

"West Orange is still a place where people want to come," he concluded.

Todd Cohen, a teacher at Liberty Middle School, lost his father to pancreatic cancer in 2002. For the sixth year in a row the township proclaimed November as "Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month," as Cohen came to the podium with West Orange resident Sally Hertzberg, who also lost a sister to pancreatic cancer.

By 2020, pancreatic cancer is expected to be the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. One in 72 people will be diagnosed; the survival rate is only six per cent, but the disease only receives two per cent in federal funding.

"We've raised $115,000 for research through the Purple Strides Walk in Parsippany," said Cohen. 

The 2014 Purple Strides Walk will be held on November 9 in Parsippany at the Mack-Cali Business Campus, Lot 6, located at 6 Century Drive. For more information on the walk and on pancreatic cancer visit the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network website at: http://www.pancan.org.

Lastly, Councilman Victor Cirilo, who left his home country of El Salvador as a child and moved to New Jersey, recognized September 15-October 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month.

Cirilo shared his background and lauded local West Orange residents of hispanic descent. He encouraged the community to look into the contributions made by the Hispanic population in the United States.