MANALAPAN — A total of $27,500 in proceeds from the 2015 Manalapan Mayor’s Gala were presented to area organizations by members of the Township Committee during a recent meeting.
The Samaritan Center, Manalapan, which provides food assistance to individuals and families in Manalapan, Marlboro, Englishtown and Millstone Township, received a check for $10,000. The all-volunteer organization has been in operation since the 1980s.
Tony Morelli, a former mayor of Manalapan, accepted a check on behalf of the Samaritan Center during the Dec. 9 meeting of the Township Committee. He said, “there are a substantial number of people in town who qualify (for assistance) under federal standards.”
Morelli placed that number at about 17 percent of the population and said that the Samaritan Center provides meals to about 1,000 people on a monthly basis. There is no paid staff at the agency, only volunteers who work at the food pantry’s location behind the Manalapan Senior Center.
Also accepting the check on behalf of the Samaritan Center were Martha Amato, executive director, and Bill Duncan, vice president of the center’s board.
Jim and Joanne Brennan accepted a $10,000 donation on behalf of the Brennan Stands Alone Foundation. The foundation is named for their son, Brian, who lost both legs and sustained other significant injuries while serving with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan in May 2008.
Brennan has recovered from his injuries and continues to serve in the Army, according to his mother. The foundation supports the family members of wounded soldiers so they do not have to leave the side of their injured warriors.
“We are trying our best to reach as many people as possible. Manalapan really reached out to us,” Joanne Brennan said.
Other donations from the Mayor’s Gala were made to the Manalapan Community Emergency Response Team; the Manalapan Englishtown Community Alliance for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Abuse; the Manalapan Arts Council; the Manalapan Police Explorers; and the Manalapan Veterans Committee.
Mayor Jack McNaboe said the goal is to support these local organizations with funds that are raised privately, rather than with taxpayer dollars.
The Dec. 9 meeting marked the final Wednesday night action meeting for Committeeman Ryan Green, whose term will end on Dec. 31. Green has served on the governing body for six years.
Green thanked Manalapan’s employees, professionals and volunteers for their efforts on behalf of the community. He thanked voters and said it has been “a tremendous privilege to serve two terms.”
Green thanked his wife, Judith, for her support and said that he is looking forward to spending more time with his daughter, Rebecca, 2.
Committeewoman Susan Cohen told Green, “We did not always agree (on issues), but you gave your honest opinion,” and McNaboe said, “We have had disagreements and we have also agreed on many items. I wish you the best.”