Giving Back

Press Releases

Community Access Unlimited Honors Community Partners at 2017 Awards Celebration

ecdc59b1d21bfbf5f0aa_CAU_Awards_2017_1.jpg
Ryan Cohen of GrandStand Sports accepts the Community Services and Partnership Award from Alyssa Mistretta, fundraising coordinator at Community Access Unlimited.
9e5eaa137eea4eca4c69_CAU_Awards_2017_2.jpg
Reverend Michael Saporito, pastor at St. Helen’s, accepts the Excellence in the Community Award from Myrta Rosa, board member of Community Access Unlimited, and Sid Blanchard, CAU executive director.
ecdc59b1d21bfbf5f0aa_CAU_Awards_2017_1.jpg

Community Access Unlimited (CAU) honored seven community partners last week at its 2017 Awards Night Celebration, held at its Elizabeth headquarters. The honorees represented the wide variety of professionals and organizations the agency partners with to fulfill its mission of enabling people with disabilities and at-risk youth to live independently within the community.

Community Access Unlimited (CAU) is a statewide nonprofit providing support programs and services to adults with disabilities as well as youth served under the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to enable them to live independently in the community, providing supports in areas including housing, vocational skills and life-skills training, education, advocacy and recreation.

Ryan Cohen, vice president of Grand Stand Sports Memorabilia, was honored with the Community Services and Partnership Award for an individual. Grand Stand Sports partners with CAU to sell memorabilia items at the agency's signature events to raise funds for its programs and services. The company has assisted nearly 1,000 nonprofits in fundraising efforts.

Sign Up for E-News

"CAU is amazing," he said. "They help the people who need it the most and I admire them for that. They don't give up on anybody."

The Parish Community of St. Helen's in Westfield was honored with the Excellence in the Community Award. St. Helen's has been very active in the Union County Interfaith Coordinating Council (UCICC), an interfaith council that promotes inclusion of all people within the community, without regard to race, religion or disability, and promotes nonprofit and government community services to member congregations. St. Helen's is also the parish of several CAU members.

"As a community we value service very much," said Rev. Michael Saporito, pastor at St. Helen's. "When Sid Blanchard (CAU executive director) came to us and talked about what CAU does, it seemed like a perfect partnership. For us as Catholic Christians, we take the example of Christ himself, who reached out to those living on the margins to show they have value and belong like everyone else. When we say we welcome all people, we mean it."

The Institute of Music for Children was honored with the Community Service and Partnership Award for an organization. Each year the institute teaches children from age 3 and older and adults music and performing arts, including several CAU members.

"The arts are important for all people but especially people with disabilities so they can learn to express themselves and feel comfortable that their voice matters," said Alysia Souder, the institute's executive director. "Also, it's really important for children without disabilities to interact with children with disabilities because it opens their minds to thinking they're all the same."

Also honored were:

  • Whitsons Culinary Group with the Employment in the Community Award. The company employs three CAU members, who work for Whitsons in Irvington High School as food service workers, as well as other people with disabilities.
  • Arthur “Skip” Winter with the Community Integration Award. A member of the First Presbyterian Church of Cranford, Winter is a member of the steering committee of the UCICC.
  • Shakirah Peterson with the Outstanding Community Advocate Award for someone working with people with disabilities. Peterson works with CAU members with disabilities.
  • Alicia Frye with the Outstanding Community Advocate Award for someone working with at-risk youth. Frye works with CAU youth members.

"These award recipients help CAU fulfill our mission of enabling people with disabilities and at-risk youth to live independently within the community," said Sid Blanchard, CAU executive director. "Their partnerships with us are invaluable."

CAU's awards celebration each year draws a number of county officeholders and dignitaries, including Union County Sheriff Joe Cryan.

“What brought me here tonight is what brings me every year, the incredible work all of the committed staff at CAU do to improve the lives of those more challenged in this world," Cryan said. "Their dedication, hard work and commitment to better lives is why I want to support the awards celebration and anything to do with CAU. “

CAU also recognized six members for significant accomplishments during the year and three staff members for their dedication and excellence. In addition, CAU honored 72 members with disabilities who have been employed between one and 32 years.

The agency also awarded three Union County high school students with scholarships from the Ann Baron Scholarship Fund, named for former Union County manager Ann Baron.

About Community Access Unlimited

Community Access Unlimited (CAU), celebrating its 38th year in 2017, supports people with special needs in achieving real lives in the community. CAU provides support and gives voice to adults and youth who traditionally have little support and no voice in society. CAU helps people with housing, life skills, employment, money management, socialization and civic activities. CAU also supports opportunities for advocacy through training in assertiveness, decision-making and civil right. CAU currently serves more than 6,000 individuals and families, with the number served growing each year. For more information about CAU and its services, contact us by phone at 908.354.3040, online at www.caunj.org or by mail at 80 West Grand Street, Elizabeth, NJ 07202.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

Buy a Vet ... Program Helps Formerly Homeless Veterans

May 21, 2018

UNION COUNTY, NJ — It started with a collection to help fund a Memorial Day barbecue at the Valley Brook Village veterans facility in Lyons, NJ. When the bucket collection raised $7,000 at John's Meat Market in downtown Scotch Plains, they decided to keep it going and had barbecues all summer. The program has grown ever since.

Steve Hackenberg, a Scotch Plains native, ...

Important Information from the Westfield Board of Health

May 21, 2018

To the Editor:

The Westfield Board of Health held a meeting on May 7, 2018.  

The Board discussed bicycle safety. As the weather improves and more people get outside we encourage all bicycle riders to wear properly fitted helmets. All riders under the age of 17 are required to wear a helmet under state law. Bicycle safety information for children can be found at ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_09c0665ea9d03afcd34d_spb-4923_newsletter_may_22

Tue, May 22, 6:30 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Sugar Land Skeeters ...

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink Sports

Carousel_image_7b3032a93cc9b2430bb5_best_79fa8c672d731919f994_tap_building

Tue, May 22, 7:00 PM

Westfield Municipal Building, Westfield

Westfield Town Council Meeting

Government

Carousel_image_f8ced2bf05d8e7fbfbdd_2f020cb2f7df6c7c8da2_2a177e824adf6b74d203_3874c177a8150ea3a5d3_7a73b19e9d8232deefd8_af4060c99ecde13684c4_a939881d8eb75600f278_bccba5837a354ffbc745_img_4511

Tue, May 22, 7:30 PM

Westfield

Westfield Board of Education Meeting

Education

Westfield Police Blotter: Counterfeit $100 Bills, Man Arrested in Car Burglary & More

May 16, 2018

May 8, 2018 2:23 p.m.

A business in the 200 block of East Broad Street reported receiving payment for services with a counterfeit $100 bill. The suspect made a small purchase with the counterfeit bill and received change, depriving the business of $94.24 change and $5.26 purchase. Suspect described as a black male 25-40 years of age, with facial hair wearing a black Nike wind breaker jacket ...

Video: Point View's Petrides Weighs In on Big Box Stocks

May 21, 2018

Point View Wealth Management's Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, John Petrides, live at the NYSE discussing stocks of big box retailers:

ptview.com/medias/tv-radio

 

For more than 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been working with families in Summit and beyond, providing customized portfolio management services and comprehensive financial ...

Ask Maria: How can I help my son? 

Q: My son's best friend's mom just passed away. I am concerned for my son and don't know what to do for him. He is distraught. How can I help my son? 

Response:

Grief is a normal and natural reaction to the death of a loved one. No two people grieve the same, even in the family. I am certain that your son’s friend and mom are like family to your son. Losing his ...

17 Homes Sold week of May 6 to May 13 2018 in Cranford, Westfield, Mountainiside, Fanwood and Scotch Plains

Seventeen homes sold week of May 6 to May 13, 2018, in Cranford, Scotch Plains, Westfield,  Mountainside and Fanwood:*

 

               ...

Dog Missing from Fanwood Home

UPDATE: Reunited with owner!

ORIGINAL POST: Lexi was seen north side of Fanwood Thursday. She's 25 lbs., tall and looks like a fox.

Lexi is friendly and was wearing a collar with a tag. Call 732-259-5570 if you spot her.

IRS Grants Relief for Taxpayers Affected by Reduction of Maximum Deductible HSA Contributions

The IRS recently announced relief for taxpayers with family coverage under a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) who contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA).

 

For 2018, taxpayers with family coverage under an HDHP may treat $6,900 as the maximum deductible HSA contribution.

 

The annual amount had been reduced to $6,850 for 2018 under the Tax Cuts and Jobs ...

TAPinto Featured Franchisee: Steve Lenox of TAPinto Paterson

This week's feature will focus on TAPinto Paterson's franchisee, Steve Lenox. Find out how the current owner of a public affairs firm went from a former State Director for Senator Frank Lautenberg to a proud TAPinto franchisee for New Jersey's third largest city.

 

Q. When did you join TAPinto.net?

I joined TAPinto.net in September, ...

Eight Westfield Student Vocalists Accepted into 2018-2019 All-State Choruses

Eight student vocalists from Westfield High School have been accepted into the 2018-2019 All-State Choruses.

Performing with the 2018 All-State Mixed Chorus in November will be Charlotte Geary, Zachary Lemberg, Joseph Maldonado, Vincent Mora, Nicole Player, and Matthew Siroty. The Mixed Chorus will perform at the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) Convention in November and at the New ...

‘Chambers USA 2018’ Recognizes John Schmidt Among List of America’s Leading Lawyers for Business

Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper is pleased to announce that John H. Schmidt has once again been recognized by “Chambers USA” in their annual list of leading lawyers for business. Chambers and Partners, which produces “Chambers USA,” is a client referral organization that researches and subjectively ranks attorneys and law firm practice groups nationwide ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

Capitalist or Communist?

Karl Marx may have been the pioneer, but many other Jews were also involved in the struggle for communism, particularly in the early days of the Russian revolution. Personally, I don’t think that we have any apologies to make for this phenomenon. Having suffered unbearably under successive oppressive regimes, many of those political activists genuinely thought communism would be better ...

Stocks Can Rise in a Rising Interest Rate Environment

Investors remain concerned about the potential impact of higher interest rates on stocks. In their most recently released minutes, the Federal Reserve Open Markets Committee indicated the US economy is on solid footing and the economic conditions warrant continued gradual increasing of interest rates. This set off a sale in the stock and bond markets as investors began pricing in a fourth ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!

 

Obituaries

Donn A. Snyder, 88, died at home on May 8 in Southern Shores, NC, where he was a resident for ...
Read more

New Jersey State Motor Vehicle Commission Returns to South Plainfield

May 21, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – A new state Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) opened its doors in South Plainfield on Monday, just one week shy of a year since the borough’s former agency closed its doors. The office, located at 5000 Hadley Road, will provide in-person services to residents of the borough and the surrounding communities six days a week. 

“I would like ...