To show everyone’s appreciation, the Board of The Strand Center for the Arts, Lakewood, held A Salute to Lakewood First Responders, the first on the scene to help, on August 14 in The Strand Gallery, 400 Clifton Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., with a buffet dinner catered by Pizza Plus, an open bar, entertainment by Acoustic NRG, and an awards ceremony.
The honorees included the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, the Lakewood Police Department, the Lakewood Volunteer Fire Department, The Lakewood Fire Department, the Lakewood Volunteer First Aid, The Lakewood First Aid EMS, the Lakewood Office of Emergency Management, Hatzolah, the Lakewood Civilian Safety Watch (LCSW), Chaveirim, the Police Benevolent Association (PBA), and Bikur Cholim.
Strand Executive Director Scott MacFadden and Board President Glenn Harrison presented the awards and proclamations from the N.J. State Senate and House of Representatives to Sheriff Mike Mastronardy on behalf of the Ocean County Sheiff’s Department; Captain Joseph Goertz for the Lakewood Police Department; Chief Jason Wallace for the Lakewood Volunteer Fire Department; Captain Jon Yahr for the Lakewood Career Fire Department; Captain Yehuda Shvarzblat for Lakewood Volunteer First Aid EMS; Chief Crystal Vandezilver for Lakewood First Aid EMS; Emergency Management Coordinator Rob Lawson for Lakewood Office of Emergency Management; Joel Tesser for Hatzolah; Jessica Cerchio for LCSW; President Mike Zwick for PBA, Local 71; Yehoshoa Lapides for Bikur Cholim.
Not present: Chaverim and Lakewood Paid Fire Department whose members were on a call. Jon Yahr will accept their award at a later time.
More than 120 guests entering the theater were greeted by the Belmar band “The Pipes and Drums of the Jersey Shore Shillelagh,” made up of seven bagpipers and five drummers led by Drum Major Mark Mastowski and Pipe Sergeant Glenn Allan. Special guests in attendance included Freeholder Director Ginny Haines, Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles, and Lakewood Committeeman Mike D’Elia.