BERKELEY HEIGHTS – The Patriot’s Path Council, Boy Scouts of America recently honored local citizens at the Berkeley Heights Good Scout Award Dinner.
Ann Bunyaner, Gay Hollowell, Theodore J. Romankow, and William J.Schulz, Jr. were honored on Thursday, Sept. 24, at The Primavera Regency for their commitment to the Berkeley Heights community. This event is a way of honoring outstanding citizens who serve as exemplary role models for area youth.
These recipients are chosen for their outstanding community services as evidenced by the interest and leadership they have demonstrated within the community of Berkeley Heights. They are citizens who live the ideals of the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives.
Ann Bunyaner is a 19-year resident of Berkeley Heights. She has been involved with Scouting since her oldest son joined Cub Scout Pack 268, 11 years ago. Her involvement increased when she became a Den Leader for her middle son and continued with Pack 268 as Secretary until her youngest son crossed over to Boy Scout Troop 68 to join his brother.
Bunyaner switched over to Troop Committee Secretary and is actively involved with Troop activities. In addition, she has been active in a variety of committees in 3 PTO’s, her neighborhood association, and is a trustee of the Berkeley Heights Education Foundation. She is currently the BHEF recording Secretary and was the co-director of the first-ever community -wide talent show last year
Gay Hollowell was involved in Junior League of Summit where she worked to raise funds and build one of New Jersey’s first playgrounds that included equipment accessible to disabled children. She became the organization’s president, taking the advocacy role of building a second playground to serve a growing population.
When Hollowell’s eldest son entered the Berkeley Heights school system, she became an outspoken advocate for smaller class sizes, safe and accessible playgrounds, and an emphasis on the fundamentals of outstanding reading, writing, and mathematics skills. As president of the Woodruff School PTA, she sought to enhance academics with a hands-on approach to learning. Engaged learning opportunities were expanded through the PTA’s In-Class Professionals program.
Continuing her advocacy efforts for children living with challenges, Hollowell brought the Junior League’s “Kids on the Block” program to the Berkeley Heights schools. Through puppets, children learned that “just because people may learn or look differently, doesn’t mean they are different.” In an effort to help families facing crisis, the Families Care program was also started at Woodruff.
Hollowell also became the President of the BH Area Council of PTAs. Serving on the Board of Education’s facilities planning committee, she worked for passage of a referendum for an addition to Columbia Middle School. Her voice on the committee led to the inclusion of expanded music and gymnasium space along with the creation of an interior courtyard in the building’s design.
At Governor Livingston, she became President of the Highlander Booster Club, expanding its fundraising to meet the growing needs of athletic programs. Serving on the Highlander Foundation, she worked to raise the funds for installation of GL’s new turf field. She concluded her volunteer service at GL by serving at its PTO President, introducing a new program of teacher grants and overseeing the return of the Teen Arts Festival.
Theodore J. Romankow is the Union County prosecutor. Since his appointment as prosecutor, Romankow served as president of the Prosecutor’s Association of New Jersey and chaired the Prosecutor’s Association Juvenile Justice Committee. He has also served in various capacities on the Drug Court Committee, the Child Life Protection Commission and the Coalition for the Prevention of Substance Abuse.
When he took office as prosecutor, Romankow vowed to make drug interdiction and gang prevention and prosecution the centerpieces of his administration. He has overseen 20 major narcotic investigations, which encompassed over 200 court ordered wiretaps, car bugs, and global positioning systems authorized for electronic surveillance resulting in the confiscation of large amounts of illicit drugs packaged for distribution, the seizure of millions of dollars in cash and property, and the arrest of dozens of new convicted drug dealers.
At the direction of Romankow, Union County became one of the first in the state to utilize the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) statute against drug dealers and members of their organizations. Electronic surveillance conducted under the direction of Romankow has led to the arrest and conviction of organized crime figures, gang members and leaders, drug kingpins and even decorated law enforcement officers.
Romankow has facilitated cooperation among all levels of law enforcement including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the New Jersey State Police and countless state, county and municipal police agencies. The Union County Prosecutor’s Office has consistently been a leader in the state in a number of electronic surveillance investigations conducted and has been cited for being aggressive and innovative with its investigative techniques.
William J. Schulz Jr. has been a certified EMT with the Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad for the past 20 years and has served in various positions currently serving as vice-president. He has received several awards from the squad officers for his outstanding contributions. Bill and his wife Mary served as chaperones for the highly acclaimed Governor Livingston Highlander Marching Band for many years of which both children, Kaitlyn and Jeffrey, were members.
Schulz still assists the band in various ways when needed. In 2001 he became the advancement chair for Boy Scout Troop 368 and in 2008 took on the additional duties of Eagle Advisor and is still currently very active in Troop 368 in his various committee positions and helping the boys advance as well as attending camping trips and summer camp. He was presented with a Unit Award of Merit in 2005.
In addition to his troop responsibilities, Schulz has been a member of the Watchung Mountain District Health and Safety committee since 2006. He is also a registered counselor for numerous Scouting merit badges.
Through the Good Scout Award Dinner more than $9,000 was raised to support all aspects of the youth programs provided by the Patriots Path Council, Boy Scouts of America. Scouting in the Patriots’ Path Council now reaches approximately 20,000 youth in five New Jersey counties.
Berkeley Heights has a very active Scouting program. Over 200 youth enjoy Scouting through their participation in one of the five scouting programs available throughout Berkeley Heights. Currently there are three Cub Scout Packs, and two Boy Scout Troops in town.
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