New Jersey First Lady Mary Pat Christie announced today that 18 organizations designated as New Jersey Heroes have been awarded a total of $120,000 in grants to enhance their missions with new programs and services.
A non-partisan, non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization founded by Mrs. Christie in 2010, NJ Heroes’ mission is to recognize, celebrate, and promote the Heroes of New Jersey who inspire fellow New Jerseyans to give back to their community. Since its inception, the organization has awarded approximately $320,000 in grants to 24 New Jersey non-profits.
“I am proud our New Jersey Heroes Foundation was able to expand its grant program for 2015 to help these remarkable organizations continue to do good work in their respective communities throughout the Garden State,” said Mrs. Christie. “Our New Jersey Heroes recipients represent such a broad coalition of causes that touch many people in so many ways. With these grants, we’re providing these groups with an opportunity to make an even greater difference by giving them the ability to improve and expand their programs to further reach community members in need.”
Of the 18 groups honored today, 3 are from Monmouth County:
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Posted: April 13th, 2015 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County News, New Jersey | Tags: Abby Daly, Breast Intentions, Bridge of Books Foundation, Erika Rech, Manasquan, Michael Ricci, Middletown, Mike Ruane, New Jersey First Lady Mary Pat Christie, New Jersey Heroes, NJ Heroes, Operation Beachhead, Rumson | 1 Comment »
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: admin | Filed under: Mary Pat Chrisite, Operation Shoebox, Press Release | Tags: First Lady Mary Pat Christie, Lance Cpl. Zachery R. Sanders, NJ Heroes, Operation Shoebox, Press Release | Comments Off on Operation Shoebox Recipient Delivers New Jersey Heroes Banner to First Lady Mary Pat Christie
Trenton, NJ – With 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: Art Gallagher | Filed under: New Jersey | Tags: Alex DePalma, Autism, Brick, Brick Stars Challenger Program, First Lady Mary Pat Christie, Hockey, NJ Heroes | 2 Comments »