Middlesex County 200 Club helps further education

Executive Editor

The strength of family was an underlying theme as the 200 Club of Middlesex County awarded scholarships to 117 children of public safety personnel.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey spoke of the importance of supportive families of public safety workers and termed the 200 Club scholarship program “a terrific thing.”

Jay J. Ziznewski, an attorney with Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer and chairman of the 200 Club, said the scholarships went to “impressive young people. … Obviously their parents are doing something right.”

The Aug. 7 ceremony was held at Middlesex County College, Edison, and hosted by College President and 200 Club trustee Joann LaPerla-Morales.

Scholarships were given in several categories, including to those with “exceedingly high academic standards, some with perfect grades,” Ziznewski said.

Ron H. Franz, executive director of the 200 Club and a retired New Jersey State Police captain, said a total of $135,000 in scholarships was given to 117 deserving sons and daughters of police, fire, EMS and HAZMAT employees who live in Middlesex County.

The 2014 scholarship awards bring the total to more than $2.5 million since the program began. The club receives support from business and professional people in the county who support law enforcement, Ziznewski said. Each member gives $200 annually to fund the organization, although “some are much more generous,” he said.

The scholarships went to students from towns throughout Middlesex County, many receiving awards for the second and third year in a row.

Michael G. McLaughlin serves as president of the nonprofit organization that honors law enforcement officers in a valor ceremony each year.

The 200 Club is made up of the leaders of business, industry, labor, public service and other professions whose goal is to provide financial assistance and comfort to families of law enforcement and public safety officials who are killed or disabled in the line of duty. The club’s motto, “We Remember,” is a pledge to support the men and women who put their lives on the line every day.

Major corporate sponsors, who make a $5,000 donation, include Investors Bank, Middlesex County Chiefs of Police Association, Frank Pimpinella, Star-Delta Electric, Provident Bank and PSE&G. Scholarships of $1,500 were awarded in their names.

Corporate/business sponsors, $1,500 donation, are Atlantic Realty, B&L Towing, Bayshore Recycling, BDG Hotels, Brunswick Bank & Trust, Carteret FMBALocal 67, Ray Catena Motor Cars, Edison FD-Local 1197, Falcon Maintenance, IBEW 456, Chuck Kravitz (Memorial for Martin J. Cuddy), Middlesex County Corrections PBA 152, Middlesex Water, James P. Nolan Jr. Esq., Max, Pauline & Marcia Orenberg Memorial, PNC Bank, John Sitar Memorial-ShopRite of Carteret, Senator Norman Tanzman Memorial, T&M Associates, Thrift Investments, Wells Fargo Capital Finance and Woodbridge Fire Department No. 1.