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Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016


KINDNESS IN CLIFTON The More You Give The More You Get Back Story by Michael C. Gabriele & Ariana Puzzo

Joe Hanrahan of Infatuation Hair Salon on Market St. does quiet acts of kindness. When someone is too sick, frail or elderly to make it to his salon, he goes and visits their home, providing some grooming and conversation. He is among the many of our friends and neighbors doing good deeds. These folks above, seen in the Morris Canal Park in August, travel some eleven hours from Greenville, SC to share some kindness. This is their fourth trip to Clifton, working with Patrick Crann (left), facilities coordinator at Clifton Recreation, to pitch in at greening our parks. Team leader JD Martin (right) explains the group’s initiatives with a simple answer: “God has blessed us and we just want to give back and be a model for others.”

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The red umbrellas that Fran Warren keeps in her car hold a special place in her heart. More than just useful implements in the event of stormy weather, the umbrellas also symbolize Warren’s spirit when it comes to extending acts of kindness to friends and strangers, as well as her willingness to recognize the needs of those less fortunate. Warren, along with Kim Oeffler, serve as co-chairs of Clifton’s Random Acts of Kindness, committee. The goal is to help spread kindness to others in our community—often by simple gestures and thoughtful, compassionate good deeds. The committee is part of the effort to mark the City of Clifton’s centennial, a milestone that will be celebrated in 2017. Warren and Oeffler are pictured, along with the red umbrellas, on the cover of this edition of the magazine.

Collecting Anonymous Notes The Kindness committee, in a direct effort to promote the kindness message, is placing cardboard boxes (also on this issue’s cover) at various locations around town, such as houses of worship, Daughters of Miriam, Main Library, City Hall and the Clifton Arts Center. The boxes encourage citizens to insert personal notes, sharing anonymous stories of everyday kindness. The distribution of boxes began in August and is will continue through Sept. 30. While the committee hopes to publish the compassionate remembrances during the upcoming Thanksgiving season, Warren and Oeffler, who take great pride in being involved in this effort, nonetheless remain humble when speaking about their volunteer spirit.

Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016


In addition to her work on the Kindness committee, the soft-spoken Warren is the president of the Garden Club, and she is a member of the Friends of the Library, and also serves on Clifton’s Beautification, Special Events, and Main Centennial committees. A lifelong city resident, she attended St. Brendan’s Church and Kindness Committee members include, standing from left Renee Ashmead, School and graduated from Pope Pius Anna Maria Menconi, Pat Zalesny, Joann Gursky and Kim Oeffler. Seated are High School in Passaic. She recalls Norma Smith and Fran Warren. the words of her grandmother, “the that every morning, when she walks her dog past the more you give, the more you get back.” Warren is home of an elderly couple in her neighborhood, she always prepared to hand out a red umbrella. picks up the daily newspaper—thrown on the sidewalk Oeffler volunteers at St. Stephen’s Magyar Catholic in front of their home—and places it at their doorstep. Church in Passaic, participates in the Clifton’s Relay One morning she was surprised when this couple for Life fundraiser and is a member of the city’s Parade, had their front door open. “We’ve been waiting to meet Dinner, Special Events, and Fundraising committees. you,” they said to her. “We’re not feeling well these “We want to encourage good deeds and good will. days, so you have no idea how much we appreciate Give someone the right-of-way in traffic. If someone what you do for us every morning.” has had surgery and is recuperating, make them dinner,” Oeffler said, offering suggestions for quiet and Charity and Mercy simple acts of kindness. According to the Hindu faith, living and practicing a Spread kindness by calling someone and giving spiritually awakened life leads one to feel compassion them an emotional lift. “Sometimes just listening to for others. For a faithful follower of Hindu, to feel someone can help them feel better.” empathy when learning of the suffering of others is People already have begun to donate their Random essential. This compassion will lead one to acts of kindActs of Kindness stories. Organizers shared one anonyness or mercy. mous note left in a box at City Hall. A woman wrote Acts of charity are made to those who are in greatest need. The Hindu concept of mercy also is extended to animals, and because of this many Hindus are vegetarians. Expressions of kindness and mercy take place every week in Clifton at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, a place of worship and community gatherings located on Bloomfield Ave. BAPS (Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha) is a global spiritual and civic network within the Swaminarayan branch of Hinduism, and a mandir is a 6 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016


8 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016


sacred place of worship. Eighteen years ago the Swaminarayan community purchased the Clifton building, formerly a warehouse and printing plant, extensively renovated and opened the mandir in 2000. Murkesh Mehta, BAPS outreach coordinator, noted that members of the mandir provide a grand meal every Sunday evening where all are welcome to partake—in effect, opening their hearts to the entire, diverse Clifton community. Annually members of the mandir organize fundraising events that benefit many national and local organizations. Mehta said the Clifton Hindu Top, earlier this year, BAPS Charities Walk Green 2016 raised funds for The community recently raised money Nature Conservancy, part of a campaign to plant one billion trees by 2025. to purchase bullet-proof vests for Also pictured is the family of Shashikant and Pinal Patel of Clifton, three generations of congregants at the mandir on Bloomfield Ave. the city’s police department, and frequently donate to Passaic County food banks. ments, many people need the proper business attire in In addition, the mandir will host a health fair on order to go on job interviews. Sept. 18, where all are invited for free screenings and “When people are properly dressed, it boosts their checkups. The Hindu group also hosts blood drives confidence and self-esteem,” she said. “Most of the throughout the year for the Red Cross. people who get the donations come back to us and say ‘thank you.’” Donations that Boost Self-Esteem The most encouraging aspect of this effort, accordNot all acts of kindness are random; many are puring to Murphy, is the generosity she observes from the poseful. Clifton Councilwoman Lauren Murphy, as the people who donate the clothing, many of whom reside executive director of the Passaic County One Stop, in Clifton. “There are people out there that really love based in Paterson, provides kindness in the form of to help other people,” she said. “Many times, when clothing and shoes for people in need. people make donations, we can see that the clothes Murphy explained that, in addition to everyday garalready have been cleaned and pressed. And I 10 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016


clean a lot of the clothes myself.” Murphy has been the director of One Stop for four years. The group previously was known as the Private Industry Council, and works under the auspices of the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders. In addition to clothing donations gathered by Murphy, the One Stop organization is part of a system of several government agencies that provides a wide range of support, counseling services and job-training resources. Clifton Firefighters are helping to collect and fill backbacks for back to Murphy said much of One Stop’s school. From left: Firefighter Sean O’Rourke, Lt. Eric Marshalleck, growth in recent years is the result of Firefighters Antonio Figueroa, Jon Nourse and Joe Bennett. word-of-mouth community interacless men sufficient warning to move. We tried to help tion. One Stop is at 200 Memorial Dr., Paterson. Call them. This was their home.” 973-742-9226, ext. 7200 for more information. Murphy, the Democratic leader for Clifton, has been In her role as a member of the Clifton City Council, involved in county and state political circles for many Murphy knows that acts of kindness sometimes can years. She was elected to the city council in November involve navigating tragic, difficult situations that tran2014 and began her term in January 2015. scend politics. Last May, Murphy found herself in the middle of a tense negotiation to remove a group of Backpack Filled Supplies and Kindness homeless men from beneath the Route 21 highway She can’t exactly put her finger on it, but an optimistic Kim Castellano is confident that a critical mass of kindness has been building in Clifton in recent years, shown by the generous support for the Back2School “There’s something going on out outreach program to help disadvantaged students and there,” said Kim Castellano. “Clifton their families. The program seeks donors to provide backpacks and gets it. People in this city are coming much-needed school supplies for at-risk elementary together to help the children.” school children. The timeline and milestones for the Back2School project, and Castellano’s involvement in it, go back six overpass at Ackerman Avenue in Botany Village. years. Castellano, in 2010, started Power of One The heart-wrenching scene involved confronting Christian Coaching and Outreach Ministries Inc., a individuals living amid squalor while caring for their 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, offering support servpet cats. Eventually the area was cleared by the city, but ices and counseling to families in need. Murphy tried to offer some measure of kindness and In 2011, she began working as a volunteer at School dignity by bringing in counselors from a nearby home12 to facilitate the backpack charity for students. less shelter to speak with the men, assisting them to Teachers and administrators identify those less-forturelocate. Murphy helped to arrange to have their pet nate families who need the support. cats brought to the Clifton Animal Shelter. In many cases, these families are considered to be “We tried to be humane,” she said, recalling the among the “working poor,” with parents forced episode. “We did what we could do. We gave the home-

12 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016


Kicks for Kids — a kick-a-thon scheduled for Oct. 29 in Chelsea Park to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital — not only raises money for a good cause, but teaches kids (and adults) how to pay it forward, according to Jim Medghir. “Hopefully, every one involved increases their understanding of how important it is to help those less fortunate. I did this kind of thing when I was a kid and it made a huge impression on me and my peers.”

to work two jobs in order to make ends meet, which results in children staying home alone for many hours. This year Castellano has high hopes that the Back2School outreach will achieve an expanded level of growth and momentum. The outreach effort extends a hand of kindness to children, in effect “building a bridge” to help them overcome financial challenges and succeed in school. “We want to identify these children before they fail,” she pointed out.

14 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

Volunteers met earlier this year and Castellano established a number of Back2School drop-off donation locations throughout Clifton. Castellano admitted that she often struggles to hold back the tears when she hands out backpacks and sees the smiling faces of the appreciative children. “There’s something going on out there,” she said, attempting to explain the growing level of kindness being expressed in the community. “I can feel it.

Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016


Clifton ‘gets it.’ People in this city are coming together to help the children. It’s amazing.” The Back2School program now extends to elementary schools beyond School 12. Even though the spirit of comKim Castellano of Power of One Outreach and Junior Girl Scout Troop #95322 of passion is high, and Castellano Clifton; Sierra Fisbeck, Maria Calvi, Casey Wellins and Isabella Andruch, with this year expects to gather up over 60 bags of kid friendly groceries. By helping prepare and equally distributing to 300 backpacks, demand still the food items during this past school year, they will be earning a Girl Scout Badge. exceeds supply. Businesses or that needed support from the community and school residents looking to donate to the Back2School prosystem. She distinctly recalls that, as a third grader, she gram and/or the School 12 food pantry should call received assistance from compassionate teachers and Castellano at 201-328-2326, or email kim@powerovolunteers. foneccom.org. Castellano graduated from Elmwood Park Memorial So what’s in it for Castellano? High School in 1986, and, as a teenager, became Why does she devote her energy and time to provide kindness for Clifton children in need? involved in charitable church activities, youth groups, “Because I was once one of those kids,” she conand community outreach programs. She moved to fessed. Castellano, 50, grew up in the Bergen County Clifton 11 years ago. town of Elmwood Park during the 1970s and 1980s. Her daughter Kelly—a 2010 graduate of Clifton She was one of seven children in a struggling family High School and a 2014 graduate of Montclair

16 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

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Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016


State University—is a partner in the Power of One organization. Referring to her formative years in Elmwood Park and the kindness she experienced, she said, “I’ll always remember. People helped me. I want to give back and help others.” Kicks for Kids Jim Meghdir remembers how as a kid, he participated in fundraising events to help other, less fortunate, children. It taught him compassionate and awakened in him appreciation for how good he had it. He hopes to awaken similar emotions with Oct. 29 event to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Being organized in conjunction with the Clifton Martial Arts Academy, the kick-a-thon begins at noon on Saturday at Chelsea Park. The goal is for all participants to complete 500 kicks in one hour. According to Meghdir, collecting donations involves talking to friends, family, teachers and other local businesses and getting them to pledge a certain amount of money on a per-kick basis. “For example, one penny per kick would equal five dollars, two cents per kick would be ten dollars, $10, a

St. Peter’s Haven, a healthy food pantry, serves as a beacon of kindness for 800 people per month. “People in Clifton do understand that there is a need out there,” said Lynn Bocchini. “Every month we see people coming together as a community.”

nickel per kick would amount to $25, and so on. It doesn’t matter if you raise $1 or $500. It is one of those things we do that make us martial artists on and off the mat,” he continued. “Even if you cannot be there at the actual kicking session, you can still collect donations and do the 500 kicks on your own time. Each year we have done this, the money raised has increased.” Last year, $2,800 was raised for St. Jude’s. That’s a lot of kicks. To participate in the Oct. 29 kick-a-thon, call the Clifton Marital Arts Academy: 973-779-0200.


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Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016


Food for Thought St. Peter’s Haven, a healthy food pantry and family transition shelter, serves as a beacon of kindness for 800 people per month. It’s a compassionate mission that has been in place here in Clifton for 30 years. Led by Rev. Peter DeFranco, executive director, and Lynn Bocchini, manager, the organization provides nutritional groceries and fresh produce for those in need. It also functions as a community hub for wellness workshops, clothing donations and a variety of support services, including guidance on how to obtain government services—and much of the work is done by volunteers. Tragically, food insecurity is widespread throughout the Garden State. A report published earlier this year, Feeding America (“Map the Meal Gap”), which used research gathered in 2014, found that more than 1 million New Jersey residents—nearly 12 percent of the state’s population—are “food insecure.” The term is defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to describe families and individuals who “lack access to enough food to live healthy lives.” The study found that in Passaic County alone more than 58,000 people who live here are considered to be food insecure. Less-fortunate area residents come to St. Peter’s Haven once a month to receive donations to supplement their diet. “We’re a healthy food pantry,” Bocchini explained. “We encourage our recipients to have a balanced, nutritious diet. There are many people in need here in Clifton. With so many people looking for support, we reach out and provide acts of compassion.” Many times this means going beyond the distribution of food and clothing.

“Sometimes people just need someone to talk to, to listen to their stories. We have military veterans who tell us about their concerns and experiences.” Bocchini applauded the Clifton community for its “overwhelming response” in supporting St. Peter’s Haven and sustaining its work to help those who are struggling. “People in Clifton do understand that there is a need that’s out there,” she said. “Every month we see people coming together as a community.” She observed that adults who donate to the pantry encourage their children to learn about developing compassion for others. “Their kids might be sitting next to a student in school whose family uses the pantry.” Originally established in 1986 as a family shelter by St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, today St. Peter’s Haven, at 380 Clifton Ave., is as a separate non-profit organization. Bocchini said there are many businesses, religious congregations and civic organizations throughout that aid the group. She said volunteers are always welcome. Call 973-546-3406 or visit saintpetershaven.org. Now It’s Your Turn Whether a red umbrella, or a toss of a newspaper, kicks for St. Jude, or freshly pressed suits, these acts of generosity and kindness are what make Clifton great. Warner and Oeffler know that there are hundreds more stories among us. Look for the gray Random Acts of Kindness with the Clifton Centennial logo scattered around the city and share your fondest memories of kindness. Perhaps your ideas may spark another person’s imagination and motivate them to make our hometown and the world a kindler and gentler place to live.

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Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016


DECADES OF Since 1938, the Woman’s Club of Allwood

From the first time that a small group of women gathered at the home of Mrs. Theodore Travis to the present day 78 years later, the Woman’s Club of Allwood has been closely associated with the Allwood Branch library. In 1938, six years after the Woman’s Club of Allwood was founded, Mrs. James E. Woodall and the late Mrs. Henry M. Haberle, Sr., conceived the idea of a branch library staffed by club volunteers. With the approval of Mrs. Theodore Travis, who was then president of the Club, books donated by local residents, were catalogued and indexed. Twelve hundred books were placed in circulation in the Allwood Community Church basement at the dedication on May 19, 1938. A city librarian instructed the Woman’s Club members in library procedure. In 1940 the library was moved to the chicken coop that had previously served as the first firehouse of the Allwood Volunteer Fire Company Hose No. 2. However, the “Coop”, as it was called, was only about 14 square 22 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

feet big, hot in the summer, cold in the winter. A pot-bellied stove supplied the only heat. Husbands of Club members helped renovate the “Coop” and chopped firewood for the stove. The library in 1940 had grown to 3,000 books and five large bookcases. Triple effort The next “home” of the library was School No. 9 where an addition to the school provided space for the library. This unique undertaking combined the efforts of the Clifton Board of Education, the library board and the Woman’s Club of Allwood. In this three-fold effort the Clifton Board of Education provided the space, light, heat and maintenance service, the library board provided the books, and the Club provided the staff. Each class in the school was permitted to use the library one day a week attended by a teacher. However, the library outgrew the school addition, and in 1956 a salaried staff took over the library duties.


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The dream realized The founders of the library, the small group of women who first conceived of the idea, had always envisioned a separate building. Finally, this dream was realized when on May 4, 1969, the groundbreaking took place. On May 3, 1970, the Allwood Branch of the Clifton Public Library was dedicated. A gift of $1,000 was donated by the Club at the dedication. A lighted floor globe and turntable for the record room was purchased. The work of the Woman’s Club of Allwood has not stopped in support of the library. Each year the club budgets money to be used for books and equipment. Club members have run two used books sales, the proceeds of which have been used to purchases equipment for the Allwood branch. Club members are involved with Story Time for preschoolers. This program was started in 1971 to introduce youngsters of the community to the world of books. The Allwood Branch Library stands as a monument to the hard work and dedication of the Woman’s Club of Allwood. Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016


By Irene Jarosewich Our nation’s campaign for President 2016 is intense. Americans are feeling battered. To understand what a candidate really stands for takes a lot of work. As soon as both major party conventions ended, here at the magazine we began our political survey. We wanted to know: what does Clifton think? We conducted the survey from August 3-17 by posting on our FB page, email, phone interviews and in person. We limited the survey to the positions of the major party candidates––Republican Donald Trump and Democratic Hillary Clinton. Our focus solely on these candidates provoked comments like the one from Steven Goldberg: “It is time for our country to get rid of the two-party system. If independents were a party, it would be the largest. All the Democratic and Republican Parties continue to do is divide the country and stalemate progress.” We did not directly ask “who do you plan to vote for?” but respondents were free to add their comments. Most commented about Clinton or Trump, but there was one taker for Jill Stein, one for Mickey Mouse, and several people, such as Kevin Varvaro, who replied that they were voting for the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson. “Neither Trump or Clinton align well enough with my views in order to get my vote this year.” Samantha Petritis has “never been as disappointed as now in the choices we have put on the ballot.” A frustrated Republican told us that this election “was a choice between taking poison and shooting yourself,” lamenting the fact that America could offer no better choices for the most important job in the world. More than a dozen voters replied that the election makes them feel forced to choose between the lesser of two evils. 24 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

Mike Hanrahan disapproves of the tone of anger and ugliness in the campaign rhetoric overall. “I hope that both candidates get the campaign back to the issues and move away from personal attacks.” Helen Berkenbush feels “that the person who is president should represent the entire country by their attitude, responsibility and decorum.” Meanwhile, Rev. Michael A. Weber noted, “Regardless of who wins, our country will survive because it is greater than any one person.” A lot of attention is paid to Clinton being elected as the first woman president, yet only one person noted that electing the first woman would be a “big deal.” However, the biggest difference came in the area of social issues. Even those who liked Trump’s economic and foreign policy positions agreed that when it came to managing sensitive social topics, Clinton would be better, giving her a 35-point lead: 54% to Trump’s 19% and the rest unsure and undecided. The most frequent response was people not wanting to take the survey at all. Some responded with a firm no, others said no and then apologized, still others were more vehement, citing “disgust” with the election process. Of those who took the survey, 66 percent did not want us to use their name. They did not want to argue with family members, alienate friends or clients. In total, 214 answered the poll. Since not everyone responded to all the questions, some of the tallies differ. Female respondents came in at 58%, male at 42%. The largest age group to respond, 35% were those in their 50s. Second largest, those in their 60s, 21%. Those in their 40s came in at 15%, those in their 20s at 14%, and those in their 30s at 8%. The remaining 7% were undecided. Most encouraging, more than 90% of respondents stated that they planned to vote.


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While Clinton got the majority here, about 20% replied “Neither” or “Not Sure.”

Pretty evenly split with a full third of the vote going to “Neither.”

Edward MacDonald told us: “This election will be a challenge for every American. Each candidate has qualifications that the other does not.”

Warren Orey echoed a feeling among many Republicans: “I miss President Reagan.”

“ “

According to Maureen Chambers Tedesco, “Our country is in a terrible state right now. I am not sure whose fault it is, or if it is, in fact, anyone’s fault, but I do think we need a serious change in policies. Donald Trump sure is a serious change! We need serious changes in our city’s policies too. New Jersey needs serious changes in policies too. Change all around! Let’s clean house!” At the same time, Assemblyman Tom Giblin told us, “Clifton is well-served by voting for Hillary Clinton. She has the pulse of America, has deep experience to meet many challenges.” This preference was echoed by Kristen Hariton. “I’ve never been more excited to cast my vote in a presidential election for a qualified, battle-tested, experienced leader–– Hillary Clinton.”

26 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

“ “

Another voter noted, “While Hillary may not seem likable, she’s competent, and that’s what matters.”


Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016


A President does not have much influence on the local level people told us––“community relations must be improved on the level of community.” State and local elections are the route to elect people who are more directly responsive to voters.

28 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

Believing Trump’s experience in business makes him better prepared, the Republican candidate got the majority vote here. Alex Chudolij is willing to take “a leap of faith” in Trump, believing that Trump is less beholden to special interests and is more focused on the job at hand, which is to “build a stronger economic, military, and moral base that will strengthen the USA domestically, as well as internationally.”

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Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016


For decades, a leader of the Ukrainian American community in Clifton, attorney Ken Wanio finds Trump’s views of Putin and Russia

“to be reckless and somewhat naïve, especially his lack of understanding about what actually happened in Ukraine two years ago.”

In turn, the Obama Administration’s economic sanctions against Russia, “although appreciated, have not been all that effective.”

30 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

Trump and Clinton were very close on this one, with a large number of “Neither” and “Not Sure.” Voting in her first Presidential election, Ariana Puzzo commented, “Donald Trump’s rhetoric justifies hate and prejudice. The reality that he can say whatever is on his mind, regardless of how morally repugnant, and still maintain––and even increases––his following deeply disturbs me, especially when I consider his dialogue to serve our society’s baser instincts of sexism, racism and xenophobia.”

Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016




As various local war memorials can attest, Passaic County was well represented by many young, brave men who made the ultimate sacrifice. But the unexpected loss of life that occurred on November 8, 1961 shocked the community unlike anything prior. That morning, 26 newly enlisted Army recruits arrived in Newark Airport, ready to depart for boot camp at Ft. Jackson, SC. Imperial Airlines flight 201/8 took off without any issues, and made stops in Pennsylvania and Maryland to pick up additional recruits, bringing the total to 74. About 30 miles Richmond, VA, the two right engines on the Lockheed Constellation failed, and the pilot attempted to make an emergency stop that was aborted due to landing gear issues. Edward R. Shamberger, Patrick R. Purcell, Vernon Griggs, Robert Rinaldi, Harold Skoglund, Willis Van Ess Jr., Robert DeVogel, Henry J. Barna.

32 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

Joseph Kandravy, Donald R. Kaplan, David N. Moore, Richard J. Vanderhoven, Bernard B. Olster, Donald N. Gurtman, Stephen P. Soltesz, Robert J. Marositz. We tried our best to collect bios and photos of all the fallen but some are missing.

Minutes later, the crippled aircraft went down through a dense forest and into a swampy ravine at 9:24 pm est. The terrain was so difficult that it took more than an hour for fire equipment to reach the site, even with the assistance of armored cars from the Virginia National Guard’s 183rd Reconnaissance Squadron. By 2 am, all that remained of the burned out plane was its skeleton. The young men had been in the Army for less than seven hours. All 74 recruits and three crew members died after being trapped in the wreckage. John Zipf, a former Clifton police offer of 32 years, graduated from Clifton High in 1959, and was friends with several of the young men on the flight. “I was very good friends with Pat Purcell, as well as Steve Pados, Robert Rinaldi, and Joseph Kandravy,” he recalled. “Pat graduated in ‘59. We got him a job as a builder in Woodcliff Lakes. We saw him the previous day. We had a little party with all the guys.” “Everybody was getting drafted, which was normal at that time. They went to Paterson, and then to Newark,” Zipf continued. “They left early in the morning, and I got a phone call at 6 am the following morning that the plane had gone down. I can still remember it today, myself, Ray Palmentera, and Albert Olster walking away from the Armory after the memorial. We all said it was something that shouldn’t have happened.” Gary Bekker, a retired Clifton police officer who served on the force for 28 years, recalled the passing of his friend, Willis Van Ess, Jr., of Clifton.

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Hours before their deaths—the recruits on Nov. 8, 1961—at their induction in Paterson.

ly, edi-




“Bill Van Ess, he was big into cars. We all used to hang out at People’s Auto on Main Ave. Bill’s family lived over on Burgh Ave.,” he recalled. “I was in the Army at the time in Germany when the news broke. After Bill died, it just destroyed their family.” “Bill and myself were also good friends with Eddie Doncoes, who lived on Grove St. His mother saved all of the newspapers from the accident,” Bekker continued. “When she passed on, she gave the articles to her sons. Her youngest son, Randy, knew I wasn’t here when it happened, so he gave me all the articles to read up on it. And after I got them, the first thing that came to mind was to contact the Clifton Merchant.” This collection of more than 50 articles captures the surprise, grief, and outrage that consumed Passaic County. A total of 22 northern New Jersey recruits perished in the accident, including15 from Passaic, and six from Clifton. The media quickly and thoroughly covered the incident, and the Civil Aeronautics Board swiftly launched an investigation. Within days, the dubious history of Imperial Airlines was front page news for every publication, and there was a push from the media and politi34 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

cians to address the issues plaguing charter flights. It was the fifth crash for what The New York Mirror dubbed the ‘Death Line’. The first two accidents were non-fatal. In 1950, a crew member was killed in a crash out of Teterboro. On Sept. 1, 1953, 19 Army recruits and two crewmen perished in a crash near Vail, WA, in what was previously the worst incident for the airline to date. The investigation revealed inconsistencies in maintenance, but ultimately the FAA representative said all seemed in order leading up to the crash. Scrutiny also turned to the pilot, who failed testing three times before being licensed. The pilot had inadvertently dumped fuel that caused the crash and killed everyone but himself and the flight engineer. In addition, the passengers were not prepped on emergency procedures. Most survived the crash, and tragically died of carbon monoxide poisoning when they could not open the doors. It was soon revealed that the airline won the government bidding process because it was $18 cheaper per seat. Laws forbid the Army from using its aircraft domestically.

Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016




The Herald-News Nov. 9, 1961 front page. Above, John Zipf, Albert Olster and Ray Palmentera after a memorial service for the recruits.

Ultimately, the government took action on ‘nonsked’ flights, forcing all companies to reapply for certification, leading to the closure of more than 20 businesses. Imperial Airlines lost its license three weeks after the accident. But while the accident left a lasting precedent on aeronautical laws, not all of those who died are honored on local memorials. Finally, 55 years after the tragedy, that is about to change. Forever Remembered in Third Ward Park, Passaic The Passaic City Council had previously considered memorializing the fallen, but nothing ever materialized from those discussions. Now, the American Legion Rosol-Dul Memorial Post 359 of Passaic is leading the cause to properly honor the 15 Passaic boys who died. John Dubya, the Vice Commander of Post 359, explained that the original champion of the project was Dr. John A. Testa, who started a campaign in the Facebook group, Passaic Beyond the Memories. “My sister-in-law, Arlene, called me and told me about the project, and asked that I give Dr. Testa a call,” he recalled. “John is a gentleman, and believes in, and is driven, in his campaign to honor these 15 Passaic soldiers, who after 55 years of silence from the Passaic Community, have yet to be honored with a monument.” Dubya has since taken over as the project champion, as Dr. Testa has fallen ill with kidney disease. “This is what we do. As an American Legion post, we have the responsibility of honoring our fallen soldiers. That was back in April or May, and we’ve since raised enough money to get started. Our members are committed 100%.” 36 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

Dubya came to Passaic 1951 from Germany and is a proud American. “I love the city, and I am Vietnam veteran myself. I enlisted in 1964 right out of high school, and served for three years. I was in Vietnam in ‘65 and again in ‘66 with the 1st Air Cavalry Division,” he explained. “I am on service connected disability myself, and I know what it is like for a veteran to come back from war, and in my case, not be respected as much as they should be.” “These 22 guys from our area were drafted, and didn’t get a chance to show their community their love of their country,” Dubya continued. “It’s one thing if you’re in war, but these guys didn’t even get a chance. Right out of the starting block, they went down. We are all in agreement that they deserve the same honor and respect that our battle-hardened veterans deserve.” Now, those 15 young men will finally be memorialized with a 7 foot granite monument and flag pole, which will be erected at Third Ward Park, Passaic, across from the restored boathouse. A ceremony will be held on Nov. 9, 55 years and one day after the accident took place. The monument will cost $25,000, and fundraising efforts are currently at $3,400 and growing. Post 359 is selling brick pavers for $100 to offset the cost. Purchase one by visiting Post 359, 1 Wall St., Passaic, or by calling 973-473-2669. “The memorial will also feature a rose garden,” Dubya explained. “Rose gardens symbolize these young men who left, never to return home. Young men who gave up their civilian life willingly, with thoughts of serving their country honorably. And not even 24 hours later, they were gone.”


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Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016



DOOM List of the Honored Dead Below are bios compiled from the sources provided by Gary Bekker. David Moore, 22 David Moore lived on Central Ave. with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Rutherford. Moore attended local elementary schools and Passaic High School before going to work for The Nevins Company of Rt. 3 in Clifton. Robert DeVogel, 23 A graduate of Passaic High, Robert DeVogel lived in Clifton for five years, and was employed in the tabulating department of the Mutual Benefit and Life Insurance Company, Newark. DeVogel was a member of St. Stephen’s Guild of the church, where he served as an usher and was on the men’s bowling team. Paul Stephen Soltesz, 22 The only child of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Soltesz, Paul Stephen Soltesz had a reputation of always wanting to help out, even if it was something as simple as giving a neighbor a lift. Soltesz was an outstanding halfback for the Indians from 1955-1957, playing under legendary coach Manlio Boverini, and earning The Herald-News All-Valley Conference football team. Joseph Kandravy, 22 Born on Madeline Ave., Joseph Kandravy lived in Passaic, moving to Garfield 14 months prior after marrying Elaine Derco. Rt. Rev. Joseph A. Havriliak, dean of SS. Peter-Paul’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral said that Kandravy was, “One of the finest boys in the parish,” while comforting the family at their Passaic home. Donald Gurtman, 22 A resident of Gregory Ave., Donald Gurtman was an alumnus of School 11 and Passaic High School. He also studied at the University of Miami for a year before working with his father, Sigmund, as a plumbing and heating contractor. Gurtman’s passion was in motorcycles, which he would tune himself and compete in rallies conducted by local clubs. 38 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

The tragic news made regional and national news.

Henry Barna, 23 A graduate of the Passaic High Class of 1957, Henry Barna was employed as a bookkeeper at the Bank of Passaic and Clifton, then located at Main and Passaic Aves. Barna also loved theater, and collected record albums of his favorite New York musical shows. Hellmut Petraschek, 24, and Hartmutt Kuttnick, 21 Born in Kaufbeuren-Neugablonz, Germany, Hellmut Petraschek came to Passaic by way of Ottowa, where he met Hartmut Kuttnick, a native of Dortmund, Germany. The two bricklayers struck up a friendship with Mr. and Mrs. Helmut Holzenger, who were also from Germany. The Holzengers moved to Passaic in 1960, and shortly after invited their friends followed. Robert Marositz, 22 Robert Marositz was born in Passaic, but resided in Clifton his entire life. He was a graduate of Holy Trinity School and Pope Pius High School--both in Passaic--and graduated with honors from St. Peter’s College, Jersey City, in the summer prior to the accident that took his life. Marositz worked as a physicist at Fort Monmouth for the Army Signal Corps., and was a member of Holy Trinity R.C. Church, Passaic. Bernard Burrill Olster, 22 Born in Passaic, Bernard Burrill Olster attended Passaic High for one year before attending Storm King School at Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY, where he was a lettered in football, baseball, basketball and tennis.

Sunday, October 9, 2016• 8:30 am

The 9th Annual John Samra Scholarship Memorial 5K Run/Walk — Certified Course — Start & End, City Hall 900 Clifton Ave., Clifton

Registration online at: eliteracingsystems.com

Fee: $20/applicant if postmarked by Oct. 3, to guarantee a t-shirt.

Late registration $25 Race day reg starts at 7 am

Sponsors needed! contact Race Coordinator

Robert Domski rdomski@cliftonpolice.org John Samra was a Clifton motorcycle officer who was killed in the line of duty on Nov. 21, 2003. To keep his memory eternal, a scholarship fund was established in his name and events such as this run help fund it. There are various levels of participation, from newcomers and youth, to competitive runners and seniors. presented by

Clifton PBA 36 withfromsupport Clifton Roadrunners the Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016



DOOM After college, he started working as the vice president of production at Flexicote, Inc., in Clifton, which was owned by his father, Ned. His fiance Cynthia Freeman, recalled his final words: “We’ll be married as soon as I get this over with,” Edward Shamberger, 22 When Edward Shamberger found out he was traveling to Ft. Jackson on a plane, he immediately called his mother, who said that he should not be afraid, since he was a soldier now. It was the last time Stella Shamberger spoke to her son. She learned about the accident the following day when listening to the radio in her Vreeland Ave. home.

Help these vets build the Passaic Monument: Ben Lanza and Jeremiah Drozd with his dog Mac, and from rear left: John Abdul, Walter Bysiek, John Dubyna, Joe Dudek, Cmdr. Jerry Pigan and Fred Corbitt of the Passaic DPW.

Richard Wall, 22 Richard’s father, Passaic Police Lt. Richard Wall, recalled how happy his only son was after enlisting in the Army. The tragic death was noted by Mayor Paul G. DeMuro, who lived across the street from the Wall family on Aycrigg Ave. Donald Kaplan, 22 Donald Kaplan was a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University, and hoped to pursue his masters after completing his service. His father, Sidney, mother, Lee, and sister, Marilyn, were enjoying breakfast at their home on Brook Ave. when a friend stopped by to break the news gently. Sidney Kaplan simply repeated: “He was just 22,” Richard Vanderhoven, 22 Standing 6’4, James Vanderhoven was the grandson of the late Passaic Deputy Police Chief Frank Vanderhoven. Much to the amusement of his friends, he was afraid of heights, and joked about having to go on a plane after enlisting in the Army. Like so many who lost their son that day, the tragedy hit Mr. and Mrs. Vanderhoven hard as Richard was their only son. 40 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

Valerie Korschuk, 22 More than 150 people came out to celebrate the life of Valerie Korschuk on Nov. 15, 1961. Services were held at the Scarpa Funeral Home, 125 Lexington Ave., Passaic. A native of Russia, Korschuk came to the United States at 10 years old. He was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church of Passaic, and lived with uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Mostowoj. Patrick R. Purcell, 22 Patrick Purcell was a graduate of the Passaic High School Class of 1957, where he was an outstanding athlete, lettering in basketball. At the time he was drafted, Purcell was working at a construction company in Woodcliff Lake. His brother, Jimmy, was a deputy chief in the Passaic Police Dept., and passed away in 2013. Alberto Zyczynski, 23 A native of Poland, Alberto Zyczynski and his parents relocated to Argentina to flee the growing Russian oppression which was going throughout eastern Europe after World War II. They came to the United States just 18 months prior to the accident. His mother, Cataline, requested that the Army bring the body of Alberto’s late father to New Jersey so that the two may be laid to rest together, per her son’s wishes.

Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016




Now, the Mustangs are coming off As the ten-year anniversary of Sept 9 @Eastside Paterson 7pm their first playoff appearance since Clifton’s 2006 North I, Group IV Sept 16 Bayonne 7pm 2008, and have 18 starters back on a championship team approaches, Sept 23 @Ridgewood 7pm talent-stocked squad with dreams of Mustangs offensive coordinator Sept 30 PCTI 7pm 2006-esque championship glory. Anthony Giordano—quarterback of Oct 7 @North Bergen 7:15pm Always focused though, Cinque is that storied squad—sees some major quick to remind his team that last seaOct 14 @JFK 7pm similarities between his title-winning son was far from great. team and the group he coaches today. Oct 21 Bergen Cty Tech. 7pm “I don’t think our players are comGiordano is far too disciplined to Nov 4 Hackensack 7pm placent,” he said. “We keep them hunprematurely predict any hardware for Nov 24 @Passaic 10:30am gry. We remind them that although the 2016 group, but there are certainthey accomplished a lot last season, Fall Sports by Tom Szieber ly some qualities of the current they still finished 4-5-1. They have a Mustangs that remind the former lot of work to do. But the success we did have gave them CHS signal-caller of the team he helped lead to the a taste, and they know the incentive of trying to become school’s first state sectional title in 33 years. the first Clifton team with back-to-back playoff appear“I try to tell the kids that it isn’t about how much talances [since 1983 and 1984].” ent you have,” Giordano said. “If you go throughout Carrying Clifton on the road back to the North I, Group Clifton history [and its best teams], you might find more V playoffs will be senior running back Saadiq Pitts. A talented teams than [the 2006 team], but chemistry-wise, return transfer from Paramus Catholic, he rushed for 505 we had the best. With this [2016] team, I see that same yards and seven touchdowns as part of a committee-type chemistry starting to develop.” backfield. This year, he is the unquestioned go-to guy, and If Giordano’s observations are correct, Mustangs fans is the most well-rounded back—a mix of speed, power could be in store for a memorable fall. Of course, the and shiftiness—Clifton has had since the days of the legbackdrop for the team is much different than a year ago. endary Joe Haro. “I don’t think anyone knows what the Then, Clifton was dealing with a rookie head coach in ceiling is for Saadiq,” Cinque said. “He’ll carry the ball a Ralph Cinque, who was tasked with turning around a lot, and anything he touches can be a touchdown.” team that had struggled mightily in 2014. 42 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com


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He’ll be joined in the backfield by junior fullback Adrian Sanchez, who has put on 25 pounds this offseason. And although Clifton will want to be a physical, bruising team, they’ll be able to win games through the air with quarterback Joe Santillo. Despite transferring back to Clifton just six days before last year’s season opener, Santillo went 61-of-140 for 1,002 yards and 12 touchdowns. Now fully immersed in every aspect of the Mustangs’ offense, he will have a chance to improve those numbers. He will have the weapons to do it, for sure, in senior receivers Delano Dixon, Harton Stepenson and Hunter Halliburon. In Dixon, the Mustangs have a bona fide game-breaker that caught 31 passes, 544 yards and seven scores in 2015. Stephenson is a tall first-year threat who has shown flashes of explosiveness in the preseason. Halliburton is a former running back who will split time in the slot and as a tight end. The offense will obviously only be as good as its front five, and that unit also appears to have sky-high potential. Left tackle Jacob Abill, left guard Marlon Brown, right guard Adam Miranda and right tackle Carlo Alvarado are all big, athletic and experienced (all four are seniors). Sophomore Devin Garcia is a talented young center that approaches the game with a business-like demeanor. “We want to move you back off the ball,” said Cinque. “[Line coaches Craig] Nielsen and [George] Hill do a great job with our line. Our kids were good last year, but they were still pups. They are just tougher and more confident now.” That aggressive mentality will carry over to the Clifton defense, as well, starting up front with Abill and Alvarado (both defensive tackles). Versatile senior Marlon Brown and hungry junior Mo-Quise Lawrence will be the team’s defensive ends.

Leading the Mustangs’ 4-2-5 scheme are Miranda and Halliburton, two hard-hitting and skilled inside linebackers. Miranda (80 tkl, 1 FF last year) is a textbook defensive field general who is solid in run-stopping, pass coverage and laying hits. Halliburton (53 tkl, 2 INT) has sideline-to-sideline speed and is a ferocious tackler. Clifton’s dual strong safeties, which play in the mold of a linebacker/defensive back hybrid, will be seniors Jason Williams and Luis Lantigua. The latter, a newcomer, is physical and a powerful tackler; the latter, despite being relatively small in stature, is one of the team’s hardest hitters. “Jason has some attributes that don’t come around often,” Cinque said. “His burst is great, he has great hips and he can go from point A to B like lightening. And Luis hits you with everything. You don’t have to worry about him because he knows the scheme and packs a punch.” Dixon, Stephenson and sophomore David Martinez will be in the cornerback rotation, while Pitts will play safety. That group has lockdown potential, with size and athleticism that should cause major issues for opposing quarterbacks. Even with its abundance of talent, there is progress that still needs to be made if this Clifton group is to become the type that can make a deep run in the playoffs. It’ll need to develop the intangible qualities Giordano remembers from his 2006 team. And while the Mustangs still have plenty to prove, their head coach believest they can do it. “All these kids have known each other from junior football and middle school on,” Cinque said. “It all comes down to chemistry. The relationships we’ve built in the offseason, and that they’ve build growing up, I don’t think you can put enough emphasis on that.”



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a Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016


MUSTANG SPORTS Cheerleadering

First-year head coach Jenna Robert has only been at the steering wheel of Clifton cheerleading since June, but the Mustangs have already given her a lot to be excited about. Clifton is fresh off a successful four-day camp that saw the cheerleaders win a slew of awards. At Pine Forest (Greeley, Pa.), the Mustangs earned top-five finishes in then Dance, Sideline Cheers and Gameday Performance categories, and first place in Varsity Cheer. Both the JV and varsity were both Leadership Award winners, and the program as a whole took home the “Top Banana” honors—particularly special recognition in Robert’s opinion. “This is my eighth year with Clifton, and I have told our team I not only want them to become great cheerleaders, but I want them to be good people,” she said. “I told them when we got back from camp, this is a great start to the season, but I want to see them keep it up.” This fall, the Mustangs will be led by seniors Brittany Calderon, Donna Garzon, Ashley Oliveros, Kimberly Unsihuay and Chelsie Vargas. Junior Jeani Perez and sophomore Gianna Casillas, both AllAmerican Cheerleader qualifiers, will be key members of the squad, as well. 44 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

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Drum Majorette Michelle Zerelik will lead the 78th Mustang Marching Band. Pictured in its entirety above at the conclusion of a two week band camp, these 99 Mustangs learned how to perfect the high stepping field patterns while making Musical Royalty—the theme for their 2016 program—come alive. “We will have a new halftime show for every home game—music by Elvis, Michael Jackson, Prince, Aretha Franklin and Queen,” promised Director Bryan Stepneski, who earlier this year was named the 7th Band Director. A 2009 CHS grad and a Marching Mustang for four years, he studied music education at Montclair State University and was the high school Band Director in Hackettstown from 2014-2016. 46 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

Stepneski said he shares the success of the program with assistant directors Wes Krygsman, Alyssa Trommelen and Majorette Director Korrine Keniscki, all alumni of the Mustang Marching Band. Marching Mustang seniors, pictured within the group above, include: Elizabeth Porter, Michael Borras, Matthew Van Solen, Megha Barot. Kneeling: Carl James Icaza, Prem Naik, Steven Calalpa, Darsh Patel, Allison Model, Jake Nicosia, Michelle Zerelik (Drum Majorette), Ryan Sogluizzo, Charles Clayton. Kneeling: Erin Casserly, Nicole Klinger, Gabby Varano, Mohini Savalia, Froilan Fernando, Angel Burgos, Michael Troller, Frasiel Chong, Miral Gandhi, Diego Belaunde, Louis Galdo, Gabriela Ferreira.


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Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016




Boys soccer

Protecting the goal for Clifton will Last season ended with some Sept 8 @Passaic 4pm be junior Jake Padula, who saw a lot major disappointments for the of time last fall. He will be backed up Clifton boys soccer team. Sept 10 Bloomfield 12pm by senior Jerry Diaz and freshman The perennially successful squad Sept 13 @PCTI 4pm Danny Particka, who round out a not only fell a point shy of a Big Sept 15 JFK 4:15pm group the Lembryk feels can be very North Liberty Division title, but Sept 17 Bergen Cty Tech. 11am good. bowed out of the Passaic County Sept 22 @Eastside Paterson 4pm “Jake is ready,” Lembryk said. semifinal in overtime against Wayne Sept 27 Wayne Hills 4pm “We definitely have confidence in Valley and the North I, Group IV Sept 29 @Fair Lawn 4:15pm him. And with Jerry and Danny, I playoffs in penalty kicks against feel that our goalie position is probaLivingston. It is those close letOct 1 Passaic 2pm bly one of our strongest.” downs, though, that head coach Stan Oct 4 @JFK 4pm Defensively, the Mustangs boast a Lembryk believes will carry his Oct 6 Eastside Paterson 4:30pm skilled and cohesive group that 2016 group to great success. Oct 11 @Bergen Cty Tech. 4pm includes seniors Denilson De Las “I think the first thing we talked Oct 13 PCTI 6pm Casas and Jeremy De La Cruz and about is that yes, we were disapOct 18 @West Milford 4:15pm juniors Carlos Mesa and Anthony pointed and we thought we could’ve Oct 20 @Don Bosco Prep 7pm Nole. Meanwhile, the midfield will accomplished more,” Lembryk said be manned by seniors Damian candidly. “The players have a really Oct 25 Wayne Valley 6pm Konefal and John Pina and juniors sour taste in their mouths and they Michael Algieri and Thomas Miazga. Senior Johan know we could’ve done more. They are focused and Esquerra and junior Damien Quirino will bolster serious and we have a legitimate opportunity this seaClifton’s corps of midfielders, as well. son. Last year’s experiences will help push us through.” 48 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

“I think you have a midfield that that is very technical that likes to attack,” said Lembryk. “I think we will get some good numbers from them as far as goals and assists. I think the word with this team is ‘balance,’ we have a lot of that everywhere.” Algieri will also play forward, as will sixfoot-tall junior Oleg Voroshchy and fellow eleventh-grader Diego Pina. In all, this edition of the Mustangs doesn’t have many household names, but appears to be a team that’s whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It is also one that figures to flourish now that it is in its third year under Lembryk’s system. “It takes a little time to get a program in order,” he said. “It’s not like we aren’t a quality program. I think we really play an entertaining, disciplined style. I think every team you see that goes on the field, we won’t just kick a ball and hope, we will always play tenaciously and with a lot of energy.”

Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016



She’ll be joined by sophomore With eight starters lost to graduaMustangs Maria Orozco, who has impressed tion from Clifton’s 17-2-1 girls socKruczek with her composure and skill cer team, coach Konrad Kruczek set. “Maria came last year and she knows his team will have a lot to Sept 8 Passaic 4pm adjusted to the team very quick,” learn. Still, Kruczek is confident that Sept 13 PCTI 6pm Kruczek said. “She is calm with the his young, talented squad can jell ball. Her touch, passing and receiving Sept 17 @Bergen Cty Tech. 10am quickly and find victory. are good. Last year, the one missing “I think the players we do have Sept 20 Immaculate Heart 6pm part was her physicality but that’s back got good experience last year,” Sept 22 Eastside Paterson 4:30pm coming along.” Kruczek said. “We should be able to Sept 27 @Wayne Hills 4pm Juniors Amy Aguilar and Michelle do that again. The players that Sept 29 Fair Lawn 4:15pm Rzekiec will see time in the midfield, already saw the varsity field will Oct 1 @Passaic TBD as well. Youth is most apparent on the help the younger players grow.” Oct 3 Newton 4:15pm defensive field, where Kruczek finds Among those leaders will be senOct 6 @Eastside Paterson 4pm himself replacing last season’s entire ior midfielder/forward Daniella Oct 11 @Bergen Cty Tech. 4:30pm starting line. LoBue. In her third year as a starter, Oct 13 @PCTI 4pm He will now look to junior Rachel she is a strong dribbler that can finOct 18 West Milford 4:15pm Ramayoni and sophomore Jiulliana ish at the goal. Oct 25 @Wayne Valley 4pm Richards to step up as the squad’s priShe will be joined on the attack by mary defenders. Junior Amanda Ale, junior forward Meaghan Mancini, sophomores Tiffany Velosso and Olivia Ulczak and freshwho scored over 20 goals last season and can beat opposman Kerrie Sekanics constitute the rest of Clifton’s priing goalkeepers with either leg. Speedy freshman Leila mary defenders. Junior Cindy Espinal will be in the goal, Ettayebi will be another key scorer. taking back a slot she held as a freshman before missing Another of Clifton’s veteran players, senior Adriana all but one game last year due to a concussion. Thus far, Sladich, will lead the midfield. A starter for half of last she has not missed a beat in the preseason, displaying grit, season, she has outstanding vision and Kruczek lauds her superb ball handling and quick reaction. first touch on the ball.

Girls soccer

50 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

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To T o Register or for info call the Aquatics Department @ 973.773.2697 ext 31 o g Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016 51



Volleyball Dan Crespo may be entering just his first year as Clifton’s girls volleyball coach, but he is far from new to CHS. A 1993 Clifton High School graduate, Crespo has incredibly well-rounded experience as both a player and coach, and is elated to have the opportunity to come back to lead his alma mater following the departure of Nick Romanak. “If it was any other school, I probably wouldn’t have even considered it, [because of the commitments I’d had coaching at the college level],” Crespo said. “But this is my alma mater. Clifton is very blue collar, and it is tied to my values. I’m thrilled to be here.” Crespo will look to help the Mustangs improve following a loss to Bloomfield in the first round of last season’s Public, Group IV playoffs. He believes there is enough talent on the roster for Clifton to advance further in 2016, starting with junior outside hitter Christie Louer. A key part of the Mustangs’ offense since her freshman year, Louer is always a threat to score when on the floor. This season, though, Crespo expects her game to rise to another level. “Christie’s passing is really on par with her hitting,” he said. “The offense will hum nice through her. She is good defensively, too. I’m kind of opening the playbook for her. Her versatility makes her extremely dangerous.” Flanking Louer offensively is her classmate, outside hitter Kristen Kakascik. Like Louer, she is a leader on the floor, and is an outstanding server, as well. Junior outside hitter Kristen Mawker will be a factor in Clifton’s scoring effort, as well, and is a particularly skilled jumper and hitter. Junior setter Andrea Oyola is a passing specialist who will quarterback the 52 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

Sept 12 Mount Saint Dom.


Sept 13 PCTI


Sept 15 @JFK


Sept 16 @Bergen Cty Tech.


Sept 20 Immaculate Heart


Sept 22 Eastside Paterson


Sept 23 @Wayne Hills Sept 27 Fair Lawn Sept 29 @Passaic Sept 30 JFK

4pm 4:15pm 4pm 4:15pm

Oct 3



Oct 5


Oct 6

@Eastside Paterson

Oct 10



Oct 11

@Wayne Valley


Oct 13

Bergen Cty Tech.

Oct 14


Oct 18

West Milford

4:15pm 4pm

4:30pm 4pm 4:15pm

Kneeling front left: Andrea Oyola, Lauren Brown, Madison Verrill, Kristen Mawker, Kristen Rosado. Standing: Kristen Kakascik, Rebecca Friedman, Nicole Wiebe, Christie Louer, Alison Moran

Mustang offense, so to speak, while junior middle hitter Alison Moran defies the conventional blocking role at her spot and figures to contribute valuable points. Libero Madison Vellis will be the lone senior in the Clifton starting six. With an enthusiastic new coach, a strong starting lineup and a very capable bench, the Mustangs may indeed be poised for a strong fall. Crespo sure thinks so, and isn’t shy about his goals for his squad in year one. “With no slight to any other teams, the league isn’t as strong this year,” Crespo said candidly. “We hope there will be opportunities, and hopefully we can make a run at the county. And if we could get into the states and make it into the third round or so, that would be great. But at the end of the day, we just want to get better. ”

Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016





Front from left: Riddhi Shah, Last season’s Clifton girls tennis Sept 6 Passaic 4pm Prianka Kunadia, Devanshi Mehta, team surprised even its head Sept 8 PCTI 4pm Angelica Mae DeVergara. Standing coach, finishing the season in second from left: De Jane Grant, Paulina Sept 9 @JFK 4pm place in the Big North Liberty Walicka, Abigail Nelken, Heena Sept 12 @Bergen Cty Tech. 4pm Division and taking third in the Patel, Esmeralda Rojas, Visha Patel, Sept 14 Immaculate Heart 4pm Passaic County Tournament. So, the Upasna Mistry, Stephany Jaramillo, Sept 16 Eastside Paterson 4:15pm Elisa Mills, Lamia Abdallah focus for the 2016 Mustangs is to Sept 20 @Wayne Hills 4pm build upon those successes. With Sept 22 Fair Lawn 4pm hangs in points, has nice strokes, and several key components of last seahas experience. And Prianka showed Sept 23 @Passaic 4pm son’s squad back in the court, that me a lot last year. She doesn’t give goal seems very attainable. Sept 26 JFK 4pm up. She is that tough.” “I am hoping to improve on last Sept 28 @Eastside Paterson 4pm From third singles down, the year’s record,” said long-time head Sept 30 Bergen Cty Tech. 4:30pm pecking order is a bit more muddled, coach Chad Cole, alluding to last Oct 5 4pm @PCTI but Cole likes the talent he has. year’s 13-12 finish. “That is my job. Oct 7 West Milford 4pm Third singles figures to be either As long as we continue to get better, Oct 11 @Lakeland 4pm sophomore Taylor Bordamonte or I’m happy. So far this preseason, so Oct 17 @Wayne Valley 4pm senior Xiara Enciso, last year’s good. It helps that all of our players starters at second doubles. The douhave great attitudes.” bles duos for this season aren’t final just yet, but should Juniors Heena Patel and Prianka Kunadia are poised feature the likes of sophomore Stephany Jaramillo and to be Clifton’s top two players in the lineup, returning juniors Paulina Walicka and Abagail Neiken. after occupying the second and third singles spots, The Mustangs appear to be a group that should respectively, last year. Both are tenacious, and rely more improve down the stretch, and may be a bigger factor on their fundamentals and effort than straight power. than expected come tournament time. “Heena doesn’t make a lot of errors,” noted Cole. “She 54 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016



Seniors pictured: Jordan Vanzyl, Anisah Khandakar, Jade Stepeney, Melanie Ibarra, Mollie Slanina, Meghan Jozefczyk, David Ambrose, Carlos Polanco, Jake Zschack, Jake Cupoli, Randy Jimenez, Khaled Soliman, Yash Prajapati.

Veteran cross-country coach John Pontes calls it “the longest streak in our high school that no one knows about.” His girls squad has now won its league title—in either the NNJIL, NJTCC or Big North—for the last 15 seasons. So, it is only fair for Pontes to expect his team to go for number 16 this year. “Our girls, we want to try to win the league again,” he said frankly. “And our boys’ goals would be to get through the dual-meet season with one loss or less. Its tough, but I think we can do it.” The girls will push for that title behind senior Meghan Jozefczyk, who won the county as a sophomore but was slowed by injuries last year. A first-team All-Passaic County runner the last two years, she will be bolstered by the presence of fellow twelfth-grader Anisah Kandkar—a fantastic athlete good enough to be a number one on most teams. Kandkar was a first team All-Big North Liberty and second team All-Passaic honoree as a junior. 56 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com


Cross Country Sept 9

@Eastside Paterson


Sept 12



Sept 17



Sept 20

Bergen Cty Tech.


Sept 24



Sept 27



Oct 1



Oct 6


Oct 13



Oct 21



Oct 25


Nov 5


Nov 12



4pm 10am TBD

Versatile junior Hadeel Alshujaieh will be a major piece of the Mustangs' pursuit of another title, as in any given meet, she can be the team's number three option. She had the top time of any girls runner in Clifton's team time trials. Senior Mollie Slanina and junior Sarah Adams will also be key runners for the girls. On the boys side, senior Carlos Polanco and junior Kevin Heredia will lead the way. Both first team All-Big North Liberty runners a year ago, each has strong leadership ability and looks primed for a strong fall season. “Both are outstanding runners,” said Pontes. “Both started as freshmen and worked hard. Kevin was the top freshman in our county, and Carlos was second when he was a freshman. They’ve been contributing to our team for a while. Juniors Max Dubac and Takshi Yuasa and senior Joswah Leonard will provide depth for the boys. They'll get further support from seniors Jake Cupoli and Yash Prajapati and sophomore Krunal Rana.

Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016



Rear from left: Mariel Buscar, Vanessa Soto-Hernandez, Aliah Chamrro, Megan Roach, Brianna Morrison, Stephany Ayala, Akifa Choudhury, Sarah Kusher. Holding Kristen Garcia Briana Valdez, Angy Calixto, Kristine Carrillo.

“Sarah works out privately and with [CHS strength Brittany Gaccione knows that after losing some of and conditioning coach] John Silva,” Gaccione said. the best gymnasts Clifton has had in recent years, “And Brianna is extremely talented. Even as sophothere will be some challenges in 2016. Now in her third mores, they’ve both taken on leadership roles and they year at the helm of the Mustangs, she also feels she is don’t think twice about it. They show all the girls what equipped to face those challenges and grow her proto do, and really take control.” gram in the process. Junior Briana Valdez is a gritty athlete that competes “We are rebuilding a bit,” Gaccione admitted. “A big on beam, and is a reliable scorer. Seniors Kristen reason is the loss of a couple of top performers like Garcia and Kristine Carrillo and junior Mariel Buscar [Kristen and Samantha Wong]. They weren’t just the will also be integral pieces of the Clifton roster. best on the mat, but they were motivators and leaders. The Mustangs are likely to expeBut I know what my responsibilities rience some early growing pains, but are, and with each year I am learning Mustangs the post-Wong era of CHS gymnasbetter how to execute those responsitics should get off to a much bilities.” smoother start than it might have a Replacing the Wongs is a tall task, year or two ago—thanks both to but Gaccione is hopeful that the Sept 12 Wayne Hills 4:30pm some key young talent the maturaprogress of sophomores Sarah Sept 14 @Indian Hills 4:30pm tion of their now-veteran head Kusher and Brianna Morrison will Sept 20 Wayne Valley 4:30pm coach. soften the blow of the twins’ graduaSept 26 @Ridgewood 4pm “My goal is to see the girls step tion. Kusher competed in floor last Sept 29 Passaic Valley 4:30pm out of their comfort zones a little season, but has put in significant offOct 5 @Montclair 4pm bit,” Gaccione said of her new crop season gym time and looks ready to Oct 11 @West Milford 4:30pm of Mustangs. “And I want to see compete all-around. Morrison was a Oct 17 @Union 4pm them add more to their repertoire. floor and vault competitor last fall, Oct 19 @West Milford 5pm They’re working hard, and I think but her progress has her looking likethey can do it.” ly to expand her role, as well.


58 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016


The Last Night of Ballyhoo Clifton is now home but Michael Baran remains proud of his southern roots. A high school English teacher, he is also an actor soon to be performing the role of Adoph Freitag, a successful Atlanta businessman in the Nutley Little Theater production of The Last Nignt of Ballyhoo. Set in 1939 Atlanta as a German Jewish family prepares the young women in the household for the Ballyhoo, a lavish cotilion to be held at an exclusive German Jewish country club, when an unexpected visitor arrives at their home, causing the family to reexamine their beliefs and their identities. Baran is pictured in an old favorite photo of ours and today at left with some cast members. The comedy-drama was written byAlfred Uhry, who also wrote the script for Driving Miss Daisy. Uhry, noted Baran, was once a student of Baran’s father. Uhry has been in touch with Baran, one of the reasons the play has deep personal significance for him. The role of Adolph is a strong one and Baran appreciates Uhry’s effort to show a different side to Atlanta, not just as a city of guys with pickup trucks and gun racks. Opening at Nutley Little Theater Sept. 9 with performances through Sept. 24. Call SmartTix at 1-212-868-4444, or go to SmartTix.com.

60 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com


Making New Careers One-Stop Training for New Opportunities Nurses Aide

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Passaic County Employers: 973-340-3400 • Ext. 7223 Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016


Last month’s look back at the folk music programs of Woodrow Wilson Junior High School under the direction of teacher Frank Rainey was so good we published more. From 1967 to 1977, the WW music teacher would audition singers from the school for a select group—the 9th Grade Singing Ensemble—who performed difficult vocal and instrumental pieces leading up to the Hootenanny, or Folk Program. Recently some alumni hosted a 75th birthday party for Rainey which led to the idea of a reunion concert. Dante Liberti contacted the principal and music staff at WW. The concert is at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in the courtyard at 7 pm on Sept. 28, rain or shine. If it rains, the concert will move into the auditorium. To keep the tradition, a group of current Woodrow students would perform as well as the alumni, who will make up the majority of the show. Many of the singers from the late 60’s and 70’s have careers in music and the program promises to be of high quality. Go to theaterleagueofclifton.com for tickets. They are $8 if purchased on the website; $10 at the door.

62 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016


The Cliffs at Great Notch in Winter as seen from Richfield Center in a circa 1970’s illustration by Lauren Smith published by The First National Bank of Passaic County. For a list of Centennial events, go to cliftonnj.org and click on Celebrating 100 Years..

The tale of how Clifton got its name is a familiar one from our history. Nonetheless, it is worth repeating here as plans for the Centennial are underway. In 1867, as the story goes, a group of community leaders focused on consolidation walked the town, then still called Acquakanonk, to ponder new names. Decades earlier, former portions of Acquakanonk had already re-named themselves Passaic and Paterson. Various possibilities for this final horseshoe-shaped chunk of Acquakanonk—based on family names or local features—were considered. Names like Weasel, Garrison, Vreeland and Claverack were discussed, tossed around and rejected. Finally, inspiration struck a certain Mrs. Charles D. Spencer. Directing the group’s attention to Garret Mountain, Mrs. Spencer famously exclaimed, “There are your Cliffs and the name shall be Clifton.”

Good Neighbors, Great Rates


Thomas Tobin 973-779-4248

Bill G. Eljouzi 973-478-9500

64 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

973Roofing • Siding Seamless Gutters Additions • Alterations

Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016


Mustang Reunions & A New Cable TV Show The CHS class of 1956 60th reunion will be held on Oct. 2 from noon to 4 pm at the Brownstone in Paterson. Tickets are $50, which includes a buffet, appetizers, wine, soda, coffee, and music from the era. Contact Judi Zagaya Den Herder at 973-779-6923 or judifromnj@aol.com. The CHS class of 1965 enjoyed themselves so much last year they are celebrating their ‘50 + 1 Reunion’ on Oct. 1 at the Fairfield Crowne Plaza. The deadline is approaching and tickets must be purchased in advance. To attend, call Loretta Wilson at 949-429-5040 or Albert Greco at 973-773-0448. The CHS class of 1966 50th Year Reunion Weekend is Nov. 4 to 6. Events begin at the CHS stadium with the Friday Mustang football game followed by a Saturday morning tour of CHS and lunch with classmates at Rutt’s Hut and a banquet at the Regency House, Pompton Plains. The banquet is $70; other events are pay-as-yougo. Write to CHSreunion66@aol.com, on FB at “Clifton HS Class of ‘66” or call Nancy Maurer Muddell at 201723-0402 or Jackie Sussman Schein at 973-265-4873.

66 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

The CHS class of 1986 is holding a 30th reunion at the Bethwood on Nov. 26. The cost is $75 and for more information, write chsmustangs86@optonline.net. The CHS class of 1996 20th reunion will be held on Nov. 26 at 7 pm at the Barnyard and Carriage House in Totowa. Tickets are $60 and include dinner, beer, wine, door prizes and a DJ. Make checks to the CHS class of 1996 and mail to P.O. Box 4109, Clifton, NJ 07012. Ray Grabowski has launched a new cable tv show to keep Cliftonites connected. Done in the spirit of a late night talk show with a recorded laugh track, two-piece band and produced by volunteers, he said it celebrates our hometown and the people who make it a positive place to live or work. Find it at various times on Channels 77 or 40, depending upon your cable carrier.

Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016


Running Around... in More Ways Then One! The 3rd annual Fred Torres Memorial 5K will be held on Oct. 16 beginning at 9:30 am at Garrett Mountain with a competitive 5K run and the 2 Mile Fun Walk. The race follows the CHS Varsity Cross Country course and awards will be given to the top three finishers, male and female, and the top three by age group. This year awards will be given to top overall CHS Track alumni, male and female. At 10:15 am, Kid Races begin and all kids

get medals. Post-race party to be held at Alexus Steakhouse. Torres, who died at the age of 63 on Jan. 20, 2014, was an avid supporter of the Mustang community of runners. With this annual run, his memory is kept alive by wife Ana and their kids Brian and Jessica. Proceeds from the run go to the Fred Torres Memorial Scholarships presented to graduating scholarathletes of CHS Cross Country and Track & Field programs.

On Aug. 25, this year’s Fred Torres Memorial Scholarships were awarded to four CHS student athletes—Alexander Zapata, Kenneth Herrera, Allison Proszowski, and Megan Davey. Register for the race at fredtorresmemorialfund.org. Joel Pasternack hosts cross country clinics at Brookdale Park for children ages six to 14 beginning on Sept. 19. The clinic’s lasts for eight weeks, will be open from 6 pm to 7 pm and will meet at the track scoreboard. Contact Joel Pasternack at joelrun@aol.com or call 973-919-1430 for information. The clinic will involve stretching, running drills and hill running. Additionally, there will be one and two mile runs with walks if needed, relay races and speed training. On April 15, 1974, Pasternak, then the owner of Joel’s Sports in Styretowne Shopping Center, ran the Boston Marathon, finishing 28th. He completed the race in 2 hours, 25 minutes and 3 seconds. The 4th Annual Conference for Fathers of Children with Special Needs is Sept. 17 at Montclair State University. Parent to Parent is a support and advocacy group to help parents raise a child with a developmental delay, disability or special health care need. The conference features speakers, breakout sessions and a networking lunch. Spanish translation will be provided and at least one workshop will be in the Spanish language. The event is fre. For more info contact Brenda L. Figueroa at bfigueroa@spannj.org or follow Parent to Parent NJ on Facebook or at spannj.org.

68 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016


Hurry! Only 500 Tickets Will Be Sold

September 26th 6:30 to 9 pm 181 Colfax Ave.

With Special Thanks to our Title Sponsors Wine Country

Investors Bank

Cuellar Family Markets/ShopRite of Passaic/Clifton

Tickets: $35 Groups of 10: $300 Call John DeGraaf at 973-773-0966 x111 or write to info@bgcclifton.org Entertainment by DJ Nick at Nite Please follow our Facebook page for exciting updates on this and other events, www.facebook.com/ BoysGirlsClubOfClifton 70 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

Enjoy Food & Drink from... Allwood Diner Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza Bogey’s Sports Pub Uno Pizzeria and Grill Francesco’s Restaurant Mausam Express Indian Curry N Bites Jamie’s Cigar Bar & Restaurant Mario’s Restaurant Matthew’s Italian Restaurant Gerry D’s Catering Mountainside Inn Mr. Cupcakes

DeRoLicious Delights Shannon Rose Irish Pub Shopper’s Vineyard ShopRite of Passaic/Clifton Stew Leonard’s Toros Turkish Restaurant Wine Country Applebees Inca Kola Liquor Locker Mexican Cantina/ Clifton City Tavern Lucky’s Steak Plate Con Sabor a Peru

Back-to-Back Fundraisers: The programs and services of the Boys & Girls Club run year-round, keeping another generation of kids off the streets and serving as a place where its true—great futures start here. Daily, over 1,200 kids are in the Club at 181 Colfax Ave. or at one of the school sites and around town. Swimming, on the playground, in the gym, or working with tutors to keep up with their school work, many good things happen here. The Club has evolved since it founding in Botany Village in 1947 but the mission remains the same: to help kids learn and grow in a healthy and safe environment. Fundraising remains critical to the Club and that’s why there are two major fundraisers this month...

The 3rd Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show is Sept. 18 at 9 am (raindate Sept. 25) at the Allwood Atrium, 6 Brighton Rd. Open to cars, trucks and motorcycles of all years, there are dozens of trophies and awards for a wide variety of categories. Day of the show registration starts at 7:30 am and costs $20. The 4th Taste of Clifton is Sept. 26 from 6:30 to 9:30 pm at 181 Colfax Ave. Tickets are $35 and visitors will sample food and beverages from 30 vendors. Purchase 10 tickets in advance and the cost is $30. To sponsor, donate or purchase tickets, call John DeGraaf at 973-773-0966 ext. 111, write info@bgcclifton.org or find out more at bgcclifton.org.


Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016



R I A F E V A N E T U O H VAN a Whole New Way—30 Feet Above the Crowds

in See Athenia

The 14th Annual Van Houten Ave. Street Fair is Sept. 18. From 11 am till 6 pm, walk Athenia and enjoy food, drinks, vendors, rides and entertainment. To vend, call Laurie Kirwin at 973-778-7837 or Christine Witmeyer at 201-410-1686. St. Andrew the Apostle Church and School Carnival is Sept. 7 to 11 at 400 Mt. Prospect Ave. Hours are 5 pm to 10 pm on Wednesday and Thursday, 5 to 11 pm on Friday and Saturday, and 3 to 8 pm on Sunday. Jammed with rides, a big midway with plenty of family games and entertainment, visitors can save by purchasing a $75 super bracelet in advance at camys.com/tickets. For info, email standrewreled@optonline.net.

Botany Merchant’s Carnival is Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 1 to 5, from 5 pm to 10:30 pm daily, at Randolph Park. Enjoy low cost rides and entertainment. Thursday is Bracelet Night; ride all night for $25. Save $10 on at sheet of 50 tickets with a coupon found at Botany Village Pizza, Rossi’s Tavern, Johnny’s Bar, Lydia’s Ice Cream, Hot Bagels Abroad and City Hall. Historic Botany Sunday Street Fairs return to Dayton and Lake Aves. on Sunday mornings. The dates are Sept. 25, Oct. 23 and Nov. 20. Vendors should call Arlene Nikischer at 973-943-0547. St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church Festival & Zabava is Sept. 18 at 217 President St., Passaic. The festival displays Ukrainian talent through a wonderful day of entertainment and delicious food. There are activities for children and raffles for adults. Admission is $5. Tours of the church interior and museum are included. Zabava means “to play” in Ukrainian and play they will with singing and dancing into the night. The Ukrainian Orthodox Holy Ascension Cathedral’s Picnic is Sept. 25 at 635 Broad St., Clifton. The festival starts at noon and among the musicians and dancers featured will be the ensemble ISKRA, as well as the youth ensemble CYM-Passaic. Stage performances are at 1 and 3 pm on the grassy picnic field, with much music and fun into the evening. Admission is $5. Downtown Clifton Street Fair is Oct. 22 from 9 am to 5 pm along Main Ave. from Washington Ave. to Hadley Ave. There will be merchandise vendors, crafters, kiddie rides, great food, pony rides, and a DJ with karaoke and entertainment all day. Come out and stroll the Avenue or man a booth. Call 973-557-3886 for info.

72 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

The Regina Mundi Knights of Columbus Council 3969 of Clifton held its annual family picnic in July. The group is one of several K of C’s chartered here in Clifton, which are a fraternal benefit society providing charitable services, promoting Catholic education and Catholic public policy positions. If you would like more information about the council or have questions about membership, contact Grand Knight Robert Bollettino at 973-772-2727 or write to Marc Fazio at mtf975@gmail.com.

Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016


Good Will Travels Dr. Cecily H. Lesko, a Clifton ophthalmologist, traveled to Myanmar (Burma) earlier this year with three other US volunteers as are part of a goodwill effort to save and improve vision among impoverished communities. At the Sitagu Ayundana Hospital in remote Sagaing Hills, for 12 days the group provided surgery, eye treatments and taught hospital staff updated techniques. Besides their surgical skills they brought equipment to help the most impaired patients. They performed complicated retinal and cataract surgery. Dr. Lesko noted, “You finish a case thinking ‘well, that was the most difficult case I’ve done in my career’until the next patient comes in.” The plan is to continue this project in an area where thousands are underserved, where little or no treatment is available. Myanmar, with a population of 60 million is one of the poorest nations in the world. The volunteers, recruited by a local retinal specialist, traveled at their own expense, and received donations of supplies.

74 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

Besides Myanmar, Dr. Lesko has traveled to Soweto to treat the eyes of children in orphanages in Africa. Here in Clifton, Dr. Lesko practices with her father, Dr. William S. Lesko, Dr. Stuart Wunsh, Dr. Patricia Cucci and Dr. Rana Mady at North Jersey Eye Associates, at 1005 Clifton Ave. Dr. Cecily Lesko played collegiate basketball at John Hopkins University and today she is well known in the professional sports and media communities. She treats many local professional athletes, college coaches and television personalities, including volunteering with the Boomer Esiason Foundation in their fight against cystic fibrosis.

It’s been 15 years since 9/11 and Clifton doesn’t forget. Clifton’s commemoration this year will begin at 6 am as volunteers arrive on the grounds of the Clifton City Hall to set up the flags. One year after the September 11th attacks, community members started ‘planting’ flags around City Hall. Since then, the display has grown to be among the largest in the nation. There will be 1,762 American flags and nine World Trade Center flags — one for each of nine individuals from Clifton who lost their lives on 9/11/01: Zuhtu Ibis Kyung Cho, Francis Joseph Trombino, Ehtesham U. Raja, Edward C. Murphy, Edgar H. Emery, Port Authority Officer John Skala, brothers John and Tim Grazioso. If interested in helping set up the display on 9/11, be at City Hall before 6 am. Help is also needed to break down the display before dusk.

Five times a year volunteers raise and lower the American flags outside City Hall. Other holidays on which the flags are displayed are Memorial Day, Flag Day, Fourth of July and Veterans Day. Each flag represents a living or deceased Clifton military veteran. Citizens can honor a veteran by purchasing a flag with a donation of $110. This fee pays for the flag, pole, sleeve, name plate and ground socket. Year round, volunteers are also needed to do behind-the-scenes prep work that gives Clifton this beautiful display. Flags must be put together, caps painted and the grounds generally maintained. The display would not be possible without Bill Van Eck who is in charge of the upkeep of the flags, poles, caps, trolley carts and general upkeep of the flag areas. To volunteer or for other info, call John Biegel Sr. at 973-519-0858.

Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016


76 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

Around the world the blue and yellow Ukrainian flag was raised on Aug. 24, including at Clifton’s City Hall where the photos on these two pages were taken, in celebration of 25 years of Ukraine’s independence. The rally was preceded by a “Parade of Embroidery” from Hird Park — with marchers wearing clothing displaying intricate and colorful Ukrainian embroidered designs. In 1991, people watched as the Aug. 19 coup in Moscow threatened to topple the Soviet Union. Five days later, Ukraine’s parliament voted for independence, putting the final nail in the coffin of the USSR.

Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016


which means Tomahawk Jr. is trained and nationally certified in restorative water drying methods by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, also known as IICRC. 78 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016


Birthdays & Celebrations - September 2016

Happy Birthday to... Send dates & names... tomhawrylko@optonline.net

Frank Hahofer celebrated his 103rd birthday on Aug. 7. Dorothy Knapp has a birthday on Sept.12. Happy birthday to Nick Hawrylko who will be 21on Sept 12. Jarah Tamayo turned 8 on Sept. 1. Birthday greetings on Sept. 8 with wishes for a good Hajj to Neama M. Sleem. Michael Capwell ...............9/1 Allison Di Angelo ..............9/2 Liam Robert Martin ............9/2 Bill Federowic ...................9/3 Dave Gabel ......................9/3 Jennifer Martin ..................9/3 Sharon Holster ..................9/4 Joseph Shackil...................9/4 Eric Wahad ......................9/4 Linda Ayers.......................9/5 Christy Gordon .................9/5 Mohammed Othman ..........9/5 Ana Stojanovski ................9/6

Darren Kester ....................9/7 Greg Martin .....................9/7 Helen Albano....................9/8 Eddie Bivaletz ...................9/8 Shannon Carroll ................9/8 Liz Tresca .........................9/8 Geoff Goodell...................9/9 Annamarie Priolo...............9/9 George Andrikanich ........9/10 Nicole Moore .................9/10 Dolores Wyka .................9/10 Ronnie Courtney..............9/11 Andrew Orr ....................9/11

Andrew Shackil ...............9/11 Lee Ann Doremus ............9/12 Wayne Funke..................9/12 Naoma Martin ................9/12 Thomas Wayne ...............9/13 Sarah Bielen ...................9/14 Anthony Dorski................9/14 Emily Duchnowski ............9/15 Manny Monzo ................9/15 Hagar Ibrahim ................9/16 Stacey Corbo..................9/16 Nancy Ann Eadie............9/16 Joe Genchi .....................9/16

Happy Birthday to Mike Soccol on Sept. 17. Congratulations to Arlene and Joe Nikischer who celebrate their 59th Anniversary on Sept. 21. They also welcomed their second great grandchild, Caroline Grace Husted on Aug. 18. Her parents are Lauren and Bryan and their first son is Landen Nicholas. The happy family resides in Bethlehem, PA.

80 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com


Jaclyn Scotto ...................9/16 Cindy Murcko .................9/17 Kathleen Gorman ............9/18 Amanda Meneghin..........9/18 Dawn Smolt ....................9/18 Daniel Smith ...................9/18 Gloria Turba ...................9/18 Mickey Garrigan .............9/19 James Graham ................9/19 Rickie Ojeda...................9/19 Louis DeLeon ...................9/20 Sara Gretina...................9/21 Lynne Lonison..................9/21 Annamaria Menconi ........9/21 Peter Skoutelakis..............9/21 Valerie Carestia...............9/22 Beverly Duffy...................9/22 Ryan Gorny ....................9/22 Timothy St. Clair..............9/22 Keith Myers ....................9/23 Brian Salonga .................9/23 Brian Engel....... ..............9/23 Pam Bielen......................9/25 Deanna Cristantiello ........9/25 Donato Murolo................9/25 Corey Genardi................9/26 Saverio Greco.................9/26 Richard Van Blarcom........9/26 Kenneth Chipura .............9/28 Barbara Mascola.............9/29 Thomas E. Moore ............9/29 Mary Perzely ..................9/29 Lauren Hrina ...................9/30 Ryan Lill..........................9/30 Daniela Santos celebrates her 20th birthday on Sept. 5. Happy 16th anniversary to Greg & Margaret Nysk on Sept. 17. Arlene & Villeroy Hard will be married 58 years on Sept. 14. Walter & Claire Pruiksma are married 70 years on Sept. 18. Cliftonmagazine.com • September 2016


Prevention is Key Don’t Wait Check The Date is the theme for the 2016 Fire Prevention Campaign. Based on a national campaign running during October, we at Tomahawk Promotions created a book of safety tips for Clifton kids. Working with the Clifton Fire Department and members of Clifton FMBA Local 21, the Fire Safety Coloring Book is distributed during Fire Safety month in October, at no cost to the taxpayer. We print 10,000 books and during October, Clifton Firefighters will visit kids in public and private school in grade 3 and below to meet the kids, give them the books and share safety tips about smoke alarms. While the Clifton FMBA members provide an initial grant, we are soliciting businesses and organizations to help pay for the printing and design work. Care to help out? Call Tom Hawrylko at 973-253-4400.

82 September 2016 • Cliftonmagazine.com

Tomahawk Promotions 1288 main avenue Clifton, NJ 07011

PRSRT STD U.S. Postage PA I D Phila Pa 191 PeRmiT No. 7510

Profile for Clifton Merchant Magazine

Clifton Merchant Magazine - September 2016  

Clifton Merchant Magazine - September 2016