Christie Skipping Rand Paul’s Endorsement Of Lonegan

U.S. Senator Rand Paul is coming to New Jersey on September 13 to endorse Steve Lonegan for Senate in the October 16 Special Election against Cory Booker.

Governor Chris Christie, who had a well publicized rift with Paul over the NSA’s monitoring of domestic communications, was invited to attend the Friday afternoon rally.  Christie and Paul are widely considered GOP contenders for the 2016 presidential nomination.

Christie declined the invitation because he will be away celebrating the First Lady’s 50th birthday.

Posted: September 3rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, Chris Christie, Cory Booker, Rand Paul, Senate Special Election, Steve Lonegan | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments »

United Arab Emirates Donates $4.5 million to Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund

photo by Art Gallagher

photo by Art Gallagher. Click on image for larger view.

Governor Chris Christie and First Lady Mary Pat Christie visited Highlands Elementary School this morning to accept a $4.5 million dollar gift to the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba made the presentation and, along with the Christies, met with students of the school’s Summer Camp Program.

The UAE Embassy gift, made on behalf of the people of the UAE, will help address critical technology needs, such as infrastructure construction to increase internet bandwidth capacity, wiring and hardware for instructional areas, acquisition of mobile computing devices for faculty and students, and additional training for teachers and administrators.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: July 15th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: #STTS, 13th Legislative District, Education, Highlands, Huricane Sandy Relief Fund | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Operation Shoebox Recipient Delivers New Jersey Heroes Banner to First Lady Mary Pat Christie

New Jersey Marine Returns Banner with Photos of Military Members Stationed in Afghanistan

Trenton, NJ – A New Jersey Marine returning from Afghanistan today presented First Lady Mary Pat Christie with the New Jersey Heroes banner she and a group of volunteers originally signed and sent overseas as part of an Operation Shoebox care package in December 2011. Lance Corporal (LCpl) Zachary R. Sanders, of Somerville, returned the placard to Mrs. Christie with a photograph of his fellow soldiers with the banner. 

“Operation Shoebox is such a great cause, and the fact that Zach returned to New Jersey to deliver this banner from the soldiers in Afghanistan really demonstrates how much it means to our military personnel to know they are supported on the home front,” said Mrs. Christie. “We’re so proud of the courage Zach and his team members have displayed in serving our nation and we are thrilled that they have safely returned to their loves ones.”

Lance Corporal Sanders graduated from Somerville High School in 2010. He attended Boot Camp and graduated from Parris Island on November 11, 2010. After marine combat training and military police training, he spent five months at Camp Pendleton, California. He then volunteered to join a police advisor team that was attached to 2nd Battalion 4th Marines. On August 26, 2011, LCpl Sanders was sent to FOB Musa Qala in Helmand Province, Afghanistan to train and mentor the Afghan National Police as well as recruit local police from the surrounding areas. LCpl Sanders returned back to California on March 23, 2012 and will be joining the Law Enforcement Battalion on June 1, 2012.

“I joined the military because the older I got I began to realize all the freedoms we have in America and I knew we didn’t just get them by sitting around,” said LCpl Sanders. “I love my job. I loved working with the police in Afghanistan and teaching them some of our techniques and our knowledge of things. I was working with an outstanding team, PAT1 2nd Bat 4th Marines. There were 16 of us and I thank God everyone on the team made it back safe. It’s great to be back in America.” 

Since 2005, Operation Shoebox New Jersey has shipped more than 50,000 total packages to U.S. military members at posts in the Middle East, including Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan. The contents of all 50,000 boxes were generously donated by individuals and companies large and small in New Jersey. In December 2011, First Lady Mary Pat Christie named Rod Hirsh, founder of Operation Shoebox New Jersey as her ninth New Jersey Hero. 

At the time, Mrs. Christie joined Operation Shoebox volunteers in assembling care packages to be sent to military personnel in the Mideast. Several times a year, Shoebox volunteers ranging from veterans and church groups to corporations and school children give their time to sort donated supplies and then pack boxes to be shipped overseas. Items needed include lip balm, sun block, moist wipes, bars of soap, small bottles of shampoo, non-aerosol deodorant, powdered drink mixes, cereal/snacks, granola bars, individual packets of instant oatmeal, popcorn and hot chocolate, small cans of fruit with pop tops, gum, candy, athletic socks and batteries.

To learn more about Operation Shoebox New Jersey, visit www.opshoeboxnj.org.

New Jersey Heroes is an initiative of First Lady Mary Pat Christie that showcases the positive and unique ways people and organizations are impacting New Jersey and their communities. To nominate a hero, go to http://newjerseyheroes.org and follow the application instructions and submit the person you believe is a true New Jersey Hero.

Posted: May 15th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Mary Pat Chrisite, Operation Shoebox, Press Release | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Operation Shoebox Recipient Delivers New Jersey Heroes Banner to First Lady Mary Pat Christie

First Lady Mary Pat Christie Names Brick Stars Coach Alex DePalma a New Jersey Hero for Empowering Individuals with Developmental Disabilities with Important Life Skills

Trenton, NJWith 25 years coaching experience, Alex DePalma was searching to make a difference in a new arena. So in 2009, he began the Brick Stars Challenger Program to bring together children and adults with developmental disabilities for an hour each Sunday to teach them to play and enjoy the game of ice hockey. To honor the commitment, success and remarkable growth of the Brick Stars Challenger Program, First Lady Mary Pat Christie today joined Alex DePalma on center ice at the Ocean Ice Palace in Brick to name him the fourth New Jersey Hero of 2012.

“Through the game of hockey, Alex has found a creative opportunity to encourage children and adults with Autism and other developmental disabilities to learn valuable life skills that will help these players overcome challenges in becoming more confident and independent individuals,” said Mrs. Christie. “Seeing the joy each skater is experiencing as well as the pride expressed by their parents makes this an incredibly inspiring program. I am proud to name Alex DePalma our New Jersey Hero for the month of April.”

The Brick Stars Challenger Program is for participants between the ages of 5 and 21 who have a developmental disability, such as Autism. The program, which helps players learn fundamental skills, began with just 8 players in 2009. By the end of the first season, it had a total of 25 players, making it the fastest growing special needs program in New Jersey.

“When I received a call that I had been selected as the New Jersey Hero for the month of April by First Lady Mary Pat Christie, I was extremely honored and very proud to represent our Stars Challenger Hockey program,” said Brick Hockey Club ACE & Stars Director Alex DePalma. “The players and parents involved in the Stars program show amazing courage and determination every week, inspiring and enriching the lives of all who volunteer their time to teach these amazing kids how to play hockey. They are truly our heroes.”

The Brick Stars Challenger Program is part of the Brick Hockey Club Organization and is a 501c (3) organization. Coaches are USA Hockey certified and the program is operated by volunteers consisting of local coaches, current and past Hockey Club members as well as local high school players.

New Jersey Heroes is an initiative of First Lady Mary Pat Christie that showcases the positive and unique ways people and organizations are impacting New Jersey and their communities. To nominate a hero, go to http://newjerseyheroes.org and follow the application instructions to submit the person you believe is a true New Jersey Hero.

In addition, Autism Awareness is an advocacy area embraced by Mrs. Christie to bring greater understanding of the developmental disability. Throughout the year, she highlights the innovative work being done by organizations throughout the state to serve people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

 For more information about Brick Stars Challenger Program, visit www.brickhockeyclub.org.

Posted: April 27th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »