Nicholas Oresko, formerly of Bayonne, is one of the recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor whose photos appear in the new World War II Medal of Honor Forever stamp folio.
Oresko died at age 96 on Oct. 4. On Jan. 23, 1945, near Tettingen, Germany, Oresko, by then a master sergeant, single-handedly defeated a German bunker, was seriously wounded, and then destroyed a second bunker despite his injuries. For his heroic actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor nine months later, on October 30, 1945. The medal was formally presented to him by President Harry Truman during a ceremony at the White House.
Jack Butchko, the political consultant and public relations advisor, who continuously pushed for 20 years for Oresko to be publicly honored in his hometown and county, notes that several members of his family grew up with the local hero. Among those was his uncle, the late Henry Butchko, who served as General Douglas MacArthur's bodyguard in the Pacific during World War II.
Christie awards Strong NJ Business grants to Hudson County businesses
Touting its commitment to the recovery of small businesses in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) announced the recent award of Stronger NJ Business grants to several businesses in Hudson County in support of their recovery.
Simple Sam’s Food and Wine in Jersey City, Mid-City Garage in Bayonne, Custom Steel Contractors, Inc. in South Kearny, and Spanish Pavilion Restaurant in Harrison have all been awarded grants of up to $50,000.
“It’s important to remember that many businesses in northern NJ had just as much damage as those in the shore communities,” said Michele Brown, CEO of the EDA. “Any business that suffered at least $5,000 in damages from Superstorm Sandy should contact the EDA to apply for a grant before the deadline of December 31. The Stronger NJ Loan program is also available, offering very attractive terms for businesses damaged by the storm or any business looking to expand in impacted communities.”
To date, 154 businesses have been approved for grants totaling nearly $7.7 million through the Stronger NJ Business Grant program, which offers grants of up to $50,000 to New Jersey businesses damaged by the storm.
“All of our equipment was destroyed. Fortunately, I was able to make some repairs on my own, but the financial gap created by the storm was pretty overwhelming,” said Daniel Moran, owner, Custom Steel Contractors. “We are grateful for the support the state has provided to help with our recovery and encourage other businesses to apply.”
Governor Christie called on the EDA to administer $460 million of the state’s CDBG Disaster Recovery allocation to support the recovery of impacted businesses. The Stronger NJ Business Grant program is the first of these CDBG-funded business-recovery programs and is utilizing $260 million of the allocation.
On July 1, the EDA unveiled the $100 million Stronger NJ Business Loan program, which offers loans of up to $5 million with no interest or principal payments for up to 24 months to businesses impacted by the storm, as well as businesses looking to expand within storm-impacted communities.
The third Stronger NJ Business program, the $75 million Neighborhood and Community Revitalization Program, offers financial assistance to support 1) development and public improvement projects; 2) main street revitalization; and, 3) Community Development Financial Institutions providing loans to small businesses.
The EDA is hosting a series of grant workshops in storm-impacted areas during which business owners can meet with a business advisor to either complete an existing grant or loan application, or begin a new one.
Grant applications must be received on or by December 31, 2013. For more information on the Stronger NJ Business programs, including the complete list of eligibility criteria and eligible uses of funds visit http://application.njeda.com/strongernjbusiness or call EDA’s Sandy hotline at 1-855-SANDY-BZ (1-855-726-3929).
Volunteers needed at New Jersey Blood Services
New Jersey Blood Services, which supplies blood products and services to 60 hospitals throughout the state, is in need of volunteers at blood drives.
“The blood service volunteer is an integral member of the collection team, whose task it is to assist donors with registration, escorting, and canteen duties, and to watch for post-donation reactions,” said R. Jan Zepka, manager of community relations.
Volunteers should have the ability to relate to the public, be able to perform various jobs as needed, and have the willingness to follow rules.
For additional information, contact Zepka at (732) 616-8741 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hudson County Animal League holding holiday gift event
The league will be hosting a Holiday Gift Extravaganza Tricky Tray on Friday, Dec. 6, at St. Michael’s Community Center, 21 East 23rd St., Bayonne, from 7 to 10 p.m. Doors open at 6:30.
Admission is $12, plus a can or more of cat food, and, if possible, a non-perishable item (or more) for the group’s food bank to benefit the needy during the holiday season.
For tickets or more information, call (201) 332-7612.
Freeholders commend CASA members
The Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders is proud to commend Hudson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for their outstanding efforts to find a safe and permanent home for children in foster care in Hudson County and joins them in recognizing the celebration of National Adoption Day.
Hudson County CASA is a nonprofit organization made up of trained volunteers, with more than 1,000 national programs. It is located in Jersey City, and its network serves the children of the community, providing a voice for those who have been displaced from their home, or remain in foster care.
Hudson County has one of the largest populations of foster children in the State of New Jersey, with more than 700 foster children at any point in time. The support of organizations such as Hudson County CASA gives children the opportunity to find true happiness in the home of a loving family.
For more than 10 years, Hudson County CASA, with the support of highly trained volunteers, has successfully aided in the placement of more than 150 children in permanent homes.
National Adoption Day, which is recognized on Nov. 23, serves as a reminder of the importance of raising awareness for the more than 100,000 children in foster care each year, who are waiting to find their forever family.
“It is with the support of Hudson County CASA and the volunteers who act as a powerful force in youth advocacy, that not only help to keep children out of foster homes, but help to move our community forward,” the Freeholder resolution read. “Chairman Anthony L. Romano and the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders commend Hudson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for their efforts to find safe and permanent homes for children in foster care and join them in recognizing National Adoption Day in Hudson County. This momentous occasion is a reflection of the commitment shown by all advocates to the children of New Jersey, and especially Hudson County.”