Woodbridge “Tooling Around The Township” Program Marks 10th Year

WOODBRIDGE—Mayor John E. McCormac launched “Tooling Around The Township – 2009,” 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 – 2009’ is on target for Saturday, April 25 and that it will be bigger and better than ever,” McCormac said last Wednesday.  “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 more than the annual Tooling Around the Township program.  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.”

According to McCormac and Donna Brightman, director of 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 21 homes throughout the township. 

Since 2000, more than 140 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 25 wheelchair ramps and made handicap modifications at more than 20 residences.

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: Carpenters Local 119, The Club at Woodbridge, Federal Express (FedEx), J.J. Bitting’s, the Tri-Lift Corporation, 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.

 Community volunteer groups include: Boy Scout Troop 53, the Woodbridge Fire Department, the Woodbridge High School ‘Hero’s & Kool Kids Volunteers, Ed McSherry and Woodbridge Township Municipal workers, the Colonia High School Senior Class,  the John F. Kennedy High School National Honor Society students, local attorney James Nolan, the members of the American Irish Association, Councilwoman Patricia Osborne and the members of the Mayor’s Youth Council, and the members of the Mayor’s Advisory Board.

 On behalf of the entire Municipal Council, Councilwoman Brenda Yori Velasco noted that “Tooling Around The Township – 2009” relies on community support to repair homes for elderly residents and homeowners with disabilities throughout Woodbridge Township.  “On April 25, we expect hundreds of volunteers and sponsors to fan out across the township with hammers, paint brushes and gardening equipment to repair and spruce-up dozens of homes,” Velasco said.

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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