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Community Access Unlimited Honors Sidney Blanchard
SCOTCH PLAINS — Sidney Blanchard of Scotch Plains, Executive Director of Community Access Unlimited (CAU), was honored recently by the not-for-profit agency he co-founded 20 years ago.
Nearly 200 national, state and local officials, as well as friends, supporters and beneficiaries of the Elizabeth-based social service agency, which assists people with disabilities, were represented at a dinner held at The Westwood in Garwood.
Mr. Blanchard, a one-time employee of the New Jersey State Department of Human Services, co-founded the agency in May of 1979 on the strength of a $90,000 state grant. He was described at the dinner by Leonard Felzenberg, the head of CAU’s Board of Trustees, as “the heart and soul of our agency.”
Originally known as the Association for Advancement of the Mentally Handicapped (AAMH), the fledgling organization initially operated out of Mr. Blanchard’s Volkswagen Beetle.
At the outset, the agency served two former residents of state institutions for the mentally handicapped. As the drive to de-institutionalize residents of state facilities gained momentum, the AAMH added new members, as its clients came to be called. At the same time, the agency’s staff and facilities increased both in size and scope.
Until 1993, when its name changed to Community Access Unlimited, the organization operated out of a former
school on Prince Street in Elizabeth. That year, the agency relocated its headquarters to a 13,000-square-foot building on West Grand Street in Elizabeth.
As it observes its 20th anniversary, the agency employs 250 people who administer programs for the 1,000 individuals with disabilities whom it now serves. CAU’s mission is to help its members to live as independently as possible.
The organization offers a range of services, including fully independent living arrangements, as well as graduated programs with varying levels of support by agency staff.
Since purchasing its first residential property in 1987, the agency has gone on to own or control 130 residential units in 30 locations. Eight Union County communities now host Community Access-owned facilities.
The agency’s plans call for the addition of at least two new units each year to accommodate the housing needs of individuals moving from state institutions or their family homes.
Among the dignitaries honoring Mr. Blanchard at the dinner were Congressman Bob Franks, who presented an American flag that had been flown over the Capitol; State Senator C. Louis Bassano of Union, and Assemblyman Alan M. Augustine of Scotch Plains.
Assemblyman Augustine delivered a resolution sponsored by every member of the Union County legislative delegation in Trenton.
ATTAINING HIS GOAL…Travis S. Kipping of Fanwood accepts a resolution from Union County Freeholder Chairman Nicholas P. Scutari during a recent meeting of the board, honoring his achievement in becoming an Eagle Scout. Mr. Scutari, a Linden resident, earned the rank of Eagle Scout himself. The honor, attained by only 1 percent of scouts, is the highest offered by the Boy Scouts of America.
Travis Kipping Recognized On Becoming Eagle Scout
FANWOOD — The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders recently honored Travis S. Kipping of Fanwood for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout.
In a resolution sponsored by Freeholder Chairman Nicholas P. Scutari of Linden, who is himself an Eagle Scout, Travis was cited for attaining the highest rank within the Boy Scouts of America, an honor only 1 percent of all scouts manage to achieve.
“It is no simple task, earning the rank of Eagle Scout. A young man must be dedicated and demonstrate outstanding leadership traits, personal fitness, high moral character, and that he has performed a valuable service to his community,” Freeholder Scutari said.
“On behalf of the entire Freeholder Board, I would like to commend Travis
for working hard to become an Eagle Scout,” he added.
Travis’ Eagle Scout project was in the area of community service. He painted all of Fanwood’s fire hydrants to commemorate the borough’s centennial celebration.
A CLASSIC PROMOTION…Darryl Walker, left, Westfield Chamber of Commerce Chairman, is pictured with his Classic 1965 Red Mustang, along with Geralyn Keating, center, from Westfield Tire & Auto, sponsors of the Chamber’s Westfield Classic Car Show on Tuesday, June 22, and Debbie Schmidt, Chamber Executive Director. The show will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Quimby Street.
Chamber to Sponsor Show Featuring Classic Cars
WESTFIELD — The Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce, will hold its first of three Westfield Antique and Classic Car Shows, a free event for the public, on Tuesday, June 22, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., on Quimby Street in Downtown Westfield.
Westfield Tire and Auto Service will sponsor the show and feature their Goodyear display with giveaways and prizes.
Westfield resident Neil Edelsack will help to judge the entries and determine the winning cars. Trophies will be awarded to cars in various categories, including “Funkiest” and “People’s Choice.”
“For me, it’s not just the cars – it’s all the great memories a classic car can
evoke for you. I’ll always remember my dad’s ’54 Buick convertible and cruising in my ‘327’ Chevy Nova. Everybody has their favorite cars and memories that go along with them,” said Mr. Edelsack.
Music will be provided by disc jockey “Stick Shift Eddie,” who will entertain the crowd with his nostalgic assortment of classic tunes.
Additional Classic Car Shows will be held on Tuesday evenings, July 27 and August 24.
Quimby Street will be closed to traffic from 5 to 9 p.m. for the events, and there is limited space for the 70 cars to be displayed.
For more information or to enter a car, please call (908) 654-4100.
WOMEN IN OFFICE — The Union County Chapter of the Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey recently met to hear Dr. Sue Carroll of the Eagleton Institute of Politics, center, speak about the impact of women in public office. Joining her, pictured left to right, are: Linda DiGiovanni of Union; former Union County Freeholder Chairwoman; Carol I. Cohen of Westfield, Union County Counsel and convener of the Caucus Chapter; Melanie Selk of Roselle Park, Councilwoman and convener of the Chapter, and Joanne Rajoppi of Union, Union County Clerk and President of the New Jersey Women’s Political Caucus. Fanwood Democrats
Invite Residents To Meet Candidates
FANWOOD — The Fanwood Democratic Club will mark the beginning of summer by hosting a free community get-together, “Hotdogs in the Park,” in LaGrande Park on Monday, June 21, from 6 to 8 p.m.
The club invites all Fanwood residents to enjoy hotdogs and soda with their neighbors while meeting the Democratic candidates for Mayor and Borough Council in the Tuesday, November 2, general election.
On hand for the event outside the LaGrande Park recreation building will be Council President William E. Populus, Jr., the Democratic mayoral candidate, along with Adele Kenny and Patricia Plante, candidates for Fanwood Borough Council.
“This is a nice opportunity to get out of the house and maybe meet new friends,” said Tom Plante, Club President. “It’s a very casual event and a good way to meet this year’s Democratic candidates face to face in a relaxed setting.”
For more information about the event or the Fanwood Democratic Club, please call Mr. Plante at (908) 8895298, or write to the club at P.O. Box 163, Fanwood, 07023.
Martin Wallberg Post Selects WHS Students
For State Program
WESTFIELD — Martin Wallberg Post No. 3 of Westfield has selected Michael Sanocki and Josh Ray from Westfield High School to participate in the 1999 session of New Jersey American Legion Boys State Program.
The program, open to high school students who have completed their junior year, is conducted at Rider University in Lawrenceville from Sunday through Friday, June 20-25.
The week-long session combines instructional and participatory activities which are designed to give students a more thorough understanding of the way that government bodies work from the local to state levels.
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