Two local residents – James Grover of Fanwood and Laura Swidersky of Scotch Plains – will be honored on Thursday at Homefirst's "An Evening of Thanks," the first annual Union County Family Service awards at the Galloping Hill Golf Club in Kenilworth.
The event will recognize and honor individuals from different communities in Union County who serve families in need in extraordinary ways in their civic and private lives.
A press release about the event details Grover and Swidersky's service:
- "The scope of James Grover's volunteer interests is wide-ranging, but to him, all of his volunteer efforts are important. His work with senior citizens includes driving those in need to doctor appointments, visiting shut-ins and the initiation of the successful 'Being Connected' program that helps keep shut-ins who miss participating in weekly religious services connected to their church community by providing recorded church services. In addition to acting as the local coordinator for the CROP Hunger Walk, Grover helps raise significant funds for the anti-hunger organization, and also took the initiative to involve those who are unable to participate due to disability. Grover arranged “Rocker Walk,” where disabled participants show their support by rocking during the event. An active member in the local Lion’s Club, this civic-minded volunteer also has taken on two unique unpaid jobs: updating the community message board, an invaluable service to the community, as well as doing camera work and programming for TV 35. Grover can often be seen behind the camera at council meetings and countless other community events. Many families in the Borough of Fanwood, where Grover has been a resident for over 40 years, have been touched by his giving nature. Grover has performed countless acts of kindness to his neighbors, and believes that it is very important to help other people and stay involved through community volunteerism."
- "Laura Swidersky is very active in her hometown and supports her community in many different ways. She serves as president of the Scotch Plains Fanwood Alumni Association, which promotes and encourages scholarship and leadership and offers annual scholarships to local college bound students. Additionally, Swidersky serves on the Ways and Means Committee of the College Club of Fanwood-Scotch Plains. The organization is devoted to providing financial assistance for college to young women in the community. For the academic year 2012-13, scholarships totaling $35,000.00 were awarded to 12 local students. As the chairperson on the Senior Advisory Board, Swidersky is instrumental in the planning and supervision of several annual bus trips/entertainment activities for the Scotch Plains Golden Agers. The trips range from picturesque, relaxing luncheons by the shore to shows at the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank. In addition to planning the functions, Swidersky keeps seniors updated on available in-town programs."
Twelve outstanding citizens from throughout Union County have been selected to receive the 2013 Union County Family Service award. The honorees were nominated by the mayor of their municipality and chosen through a competitive process by an independent selection committee based on five criteria: 1) commitment to families; 2) support for families in need; 3) service to Union County families; 4) impact; and 5) longevity of service.
NJ State Assemblyman Jon Bramnick will serve as master of ceremonies for the event. Union County Freeholder Alexander Mirabella is the honorary event chair, joined by an event committee of 20 community volunteers.
“Our honorees are an inspiration to me and to my colleagues at Homefirst and to everyone who cares about families in need," said Ellen McGovern, Homefirst’s Executive Director. "They work quietly and faithfully to support and strengthen families facing adversity and we are very excited to salute them at 'An Evening of Thanks' on October 24."
Established in 1986 in Plainfield, Homefirst delivers innovative comprehensive solutions to homelessness, based on national models of excellence. Their goal is to ensure every family in Union County has access to safe, decent, affordable housing- thereby strengthening families and building stronger more resilient communities.
For more information or to RSVP please contact Ellen McGovern, Executive Director at Homefirst, at email@example.com or at 908-753-4001 x13.