WESTFIELD, NJ — John J. Dugan Jr., the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Union County’s Irishman of the Year, and Joe Nolan, grand marshal of this year’s Union County St. Patrick’s Day Parade, were honored at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.
Ushered in and out of the council chambers by bagpipes, the Westfield residents each received a proclamation read by Mayor Andy Skibitsky.
Nolan, known for his traffic and sports reporting on the radio, was raised in Westfield. He joked that the last time he was in that room was when he was in traffic court during high school.
“I’ll treasure this forever,” Nolan said in seriousness.
Dugan, a former Westfield Police officer, current president of the Westfield Police Athletic League, creator of the Westfield PAL flag football program and youth sports coach, was honored for his volunteerism and accomplishments.
“Dugan’s record of helping others is not limited to the town of Westfield,” Mayor Skibitsky said. “For example, through the Westfield PAL he has helped other youth organizations in communities such as Newark, Irvington and Elizabeth. Each year he oversees the Westfield PAL food and clothing drive for the benefit of St. Joseph’s social service center in Elizabeth and he organizes a women’s charity flag football event to benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.”
Dugan thanked the mayor and town council for the honor.
“It really does mean a lot,” he said. “The work that we do do in town could not be done without the support of the mayor and town council, [Town Administrator] Jim Gildea, so I do want to thank you for that. It’s not something we could do alone.”