Thomas O'Neill, a fire/burn educator with Saint Barnabus Health Care System, stood in the Hazlet Township Meeting Room after receiving a $2,500 check for the popular Fire Prevention Smoke House program, and talked about how grateful he was to the Hazlet volunteers.
"It's very substantial, and it will go right back into the fire education program for the kids in the schools," said O'Neill. "Of all the travels I do, I must say, here in Hazlet, the fire department is outstanding and very few municipalities can say they do what Hazlet does."
Patti Dickens of the Hazlet-based RAINE said its gift would be used for the annual holiday food and toy drive for the needy, which begins in earnest in October. "We're thrilled to get the money," she said.
Saint Barnabus was one of six charities that were bestowed checks by Hazlet Fire Offical JB Beslanovitz in a modest ceremony at Town Hall on Wednesday. On four different days over the summer, volunteers from North Centerville Fire Company, Hazlet Emergency Services and 25 members of the Hazlet Wrestling team accepted a dollar here and a dollar there from motorists passing through the intersections of Laurel Avenue & Route 36 and Poole Avenue & Route 35.
"Long days, and tough times, but everyone pulled through together and I would like to thank them for their help," said Beslanovitz, who has been organizing the charity canning drive for 10 years.
The recipients were :
$2,500 for Deborah Heart and Lung Center in Browns Mills, NJ
$2,500 for Saint Barnabus Fire / Burn Education Unit at Community Hospital, Toms River.
$2,500 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in New York
$500 for RAINE based in Hazlet
$500 for S.T.A.R.S. based in Hazlet
$250 for Run For the Fallen based in Holmdel