CARTERET — Mayor Daniel J. Reiman was joined by local, county, and state officials, and over 375 supporters of the Children’s Charity on Friday night for the annual charity ball. The event is hosted annually to raise additional funds for children’s scholarships, services, and programs, and to provide a venue in which volunteers and supporters are honored.
On Friday the Mayor announced 10 local scholarships made possible through his charity, and provided recognition and awards in four categories to community and business leaders. Formal presentations were made by Congressman Albio Sires (D-N.J.), State Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Woodbridge), and Assemblyman Craig Coughlin (D-Woodbridge).
John Uhouse was presented with the Volunteer Appreciation Award.
Uhouse was born and raised in Carteret, and previously served as a Carteret Volunteer firefighter and an assistant Boy Scout Leader. He and his wife Debbie have been event coordinators for Carteret Independence Day celebrations at Waterfront Park. He has been especially active with the Children’s Charity Trust Fund, and has volunteered for Carteret’s Ethnic Day, Winter Festival, and Charity Carnival. Uhouse recently retired from the Woodbridge Township Parks Department and has been recognized for his commitment to improving the quality of life for local children.
Andy Janiw of Beacon Planning received the Corporate Leadership Award.
Janiw was born and attended the Carteret Public School System. A graduate of the New Jersey Institute of Technology with degrees in civil engineering, he is the founder and managing partner of Beacon planning and consulting services. Andy has close to 3 decades of leadership in development, redevelopment, and financial planning working for regional and multinational companies as well as municipal county and state governments. He has continued his support of “building a better Carteret” through his involvement in its redevelopment and planning efforts. He has serves with Carteret’s redevelopment team.
Freeholder Ronald G. Rios was presented with the Civic Leadership Award.
Rios was born in Brooklyn NY and raised in Port Reading. He moved to Carteret in 1974 after marrying Michelina Nardiello. Rios worked for Conrail for thirty years and served as a union officer for 25 years with 10 years as union president. He later received his bachelors of arts in occupational safety and health from the national labor college in Maryland. He has served on numerous boards and agencies including planning, zoning, recreation, and veterans affairs to name a few.
Rios previously served as a Carteret councilman from 1981-1983 and then from 2001-2008. He was Borough Council President for six years before being elected to the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Today he serves as its Deputy Director. Rios has been a leader in regional efforts towards private and public sector job growth and has been a staunch advocate of veterans and working families.
Leonard J. Sitar, president & C.E.O. of Carteret Shop Rite, received the Corporate Philanthropy Award
Sitar is a former Carteret resident and a graduate of the University of Tennessee. He began his business career in 1978 when he entered into a partnership with his father, the late John Sitar, and James D’Orsi. That year JLJ associates was formed and they purchased a dilapidated commercial property. The team invested significant funds and time to rebuild and recreate the “Carteret Shopping Center.”
Today Leonard and his sister Theresa Serlucca own the Carteret ShopRite where Leonard serves as the president of the company. He is a member of the board of directors of Wakefern food corporation the largest privately own co-operative in the nation. Sitar also serves on the New Jersey Food Council and is its past chairman. He is a member of the Food Marketing Institute, the National Grocers Association, and the Carteret Urban Enterprise Zone Committee.
Carteret ShopRite is now one of the borough’s largest local employers and property tax payers, and is the single biggest source of UEZ sales tax funds. Sitar has been recognized for his personal and corporate philanthropic support of the Children’s Charity Fund, and nearly every other organization in Carteret, from senior programs to youth athletics, from faith-based to the fraternal organizations.
The Mayor’s Children’s Charity Trust Fund is a non-profit 501(c)3 charitable organization, established in 2003 to provide Carteret’s children with a monetary resource for education, athletics, and health. The Trust Fund was created in recognition that many youngsters are high achievers with great potential, who with needed financial support can better establish their own paths to success.
The charitable organization has raised funding for scholarships, arts and culture, athletic programs, other charities, and a variety of programs and services that benefit local children. Such events have included the Children’s Charity Carnival, Christmas Festival, Charity Ball and Silent Auction, along with many other varying charity events.
“Our charity has done a lot over the past 7 years to raise funds for children’s programs and scholarships,” Reiman added. “None of our achievements would be possible without the selfless commitment of community and business leaders, who go the extra mile to help ensure that our children recognize and reach their full potential”.
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