SOUTH BRUNSWICK: Three honored for generosity

by Sean Ruppert, Staff Writer
   Three South Brunswick residents were recognized for their generous and community oriented activities this month with the 17th Annual Barry Indik Memorial Award.
   Bill and Peggy Richardson, of Monmouth Junction, and Peter Sisco, of Kendall Park, were all honored with the award at a ceremony at Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse on Route 27 in Kingston on Nov. 1. Established in 1992, the award is given by the Citizens for Independent Living, an advocacy group for adults with developmental disabilities. It is named in honor of the late Dr. Indik, who was a founding member of CIL.
   The Indik award is presented to people who have given back to the betterment of South Brunswick.
   Mr. Sisco, a hardwood floor contractor, was given the award for his tireless efforts to make life easier for people around his neighborhood. Two of those neighbors being the late Dr. Indik’s widow, Harriet, and her second husband, Bernard Hershenov.
   ”My husband and Pete have been neighbors for many years,” Ms. Hershenov said. “He fixes things without you even having to ask. He doesn’t just do for Bernie, he does it for everyone in the neighborhood.”
   Mr. Sisco is known to shovel snow off neighbors’ driveways before they even wake up in the morning, and work in people’s yards when they cannot do so themselves. He pays special attention to the senior citizens living in the neighborhood, including Mr. Hershenov, 81.
   ”When Pete first moved into the area I was a little more mobile, but he was a big help when I had some nerve injury problems,” Mr. Hershenov said. “He would bring the papers up, and even cut down a tree that needed to come down. I would ask him when I needed help, but usually I didn’t even have to. He would see a problem and just go to town fixing it.”
   Younger people in the neighborhood have also been the recipients of Mr. Sisco’s generosity. Over the years he has created games and activities for them to enjoy. One winter, he even constructed an elaborate and curvy snow flume for children to sled down.
   For his part, Mr. Sisco said he is a little embarrassed by the attention he has gotten from winning the Indik award.
   ”I did this stuff, but I didn’t think there would ever be anything attached to it,” Mr. Sisco said. “I said to my wife that there is a lot better people in this world than me, but it is nice and I do appreciate it.”
   Mr. and Ms. Richardson have spent years working with the adults at CIL. When someone there has a birthday and no other family, the couple will have them to their home for dinner and cake.
   Mr. Richardson, a huge fan of Rutgers University athletics, will take groups from CIL to see basketball games. Ms. Richardson has taught some of the adults how to bake holiday cookies, which were donated to the township’s food pantry.
   In addition, the two have led volleyball games and exercise walks. Mr. Richardson sits on the CIL board. They also organize lunches for older community adults and their church, Kingston Presbyterian.
   Jean Gibson, president of CIL, said that the Richardsons’ work is what CIL is all about.
   ”One of our missions is to incorporate people into the community so that they are comfortable, and the community is comfortable as well,” Ms. Gibson said. “They are always ready to assist in a time of need, and they have helped incorporate CIL members into the community.”
   Ms. Richardson said it was gratifying to be recognized among all the hardworking people who volunteer at CIL.
   ”We feel like so many people do so many things that are important,” Ms. Richardson said. “But we are happy to be recognized.”
   Mr. Richardson had similar sentiments.
   ”That part we play is really just a small part of the effort of all the people,” he said. “It is a little embarrassing to be singled out when so many people could get the award, but we do appreciate the recognition.”