Woodbridge Kicks-Off “Tooling Around The Township” Program

WOODBRIDGE – Last week, Woodbridge Mayor John E. McCormac launched “Tooling Around The Township 2008” – the annual community-based program that organizes teams of volunteers, local trades’ persons and business sponsors to fix-up, repair and help maintain homes for senior and disabled township residents.

“I’m excited to announce that ‘Tooling Around the Township 2008’ is on target for April 26 and that it will be bigger and better than ever,” said McCormac. “I can think of no other project that brings together municipal government agencies, the corporate, business and trade community, and resident volunteers in a way that truly benefits senior and disabled residents. Therefore, I am today issuing the call to action – volunteer to be part of a team to fix-up a home for a senior or disabled resident.”

McCormac announced a new incentive program for local contractors and tradesmen who volunteer their services to “Tooling Around the Township 2008” – priority consideration for contract and construction work on major development projects underway in Woodbridge Township.

“The concept is to provide an incentive to local contractors who give back to the community, with an opportunity to secure contracts with developers who are involved in construction projects throughout the township,” McCormac said.

According to Donna Brightman, director of the Woodbridge Housing Authority, “Tooling Around The Township” got underway in Woodbridge Township in 2000. One of the first homes to be repaired was that of Woodbridge resident Anna Benyei – a remarkable senior resident who has become a de facto spokesperson for the home repair program. Last year, more than 750 ‘Tooling Around the Township’ volunteers completed repairs on 22 homes throughout the township.

Since 2000, more than 120 Woodbridge Township senior and handicapped residents and families have benefited from home repairs through the efforts of ‘Tooling Around The Township.’ Additionally, community volunteers have built 20 wheelchair ramps and made handicap modifications at more than 20 residences.

McCormac announced that the priority project for “Tooling Around The Township ~ 2008” is to install a handicapped ramp at the Fords residence of 9 year-old Genaro Lansang. (Genaro has been diagnosed with lissencephaly, a severe brain disease that inhibits brain development.) Woodbridge Middle School teacher Elizabeth Rollo reported that Genaro’s rented home did not have a handicapped ramp; as a result it was extremely difficult for Genaro to navigate the entrance stairs in his wheelchair.

McCormac and township officials said that the program could not be successful without the sponsorship of local businesses and corporations. Corporate and business sponsors include: Alcoa, Carpenters Local 119, The Club at Woodbridge, Federal Express (FedEx), J.J. Bitting’s, NASD, Woodbridge Center Mall, Bradco, Cavallero Contracting, DL Printing, Hess, Middlesex Water Company, The Siemens Corporation, Cardell, Columbia Savings Bank, Dunigan Plumbing, Home Depot, Motiva, Unity Bank, Walmart, Yardville Bank, Bonefish Grill, The Colonia Corner Newspaper, The Woodbridge Housing Authority, and the Woodbridge Board of Education.

Applications to nominate a home for repair or maintenance are now being accepted. Forms to nominate a home for repair, to sponsor a work team, or to volunteer are available by contacting the Housing Authority Hotline at 732-634-2750 x105 or by logging-on to the township web page at: www.twp.woodbridge.nj.us.

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