A magnificent, educational, and uplifting event was held last week to celebrate the return to school for our children of the Hoboken Housing Authority. I wanted to take a moment to distinguish these incredible volunteers who helped make this vision a reality and a successful program.
First and foremost, a special thank you to Luis Acevedo, Director of Save the Youth Academy, for leading this project. Secondly, to the terrific members of the Hoboken quality of life coalition, whose mission it is to educate our community on how to become greener and more environmentally conscious.
When Luis and I first met with this organization to discuss opportunities on how it could help us educate, inspire, and empower our families to go green, its members’ commitment was genuine. We spoke about our Recreation, Recycling and Energy Conservation concept, known as Project REC. Through recreation programs, we can teach our young people all about the need to conserve and about recycle materials that are wasteful and can harm our planet. The people in the room were excited to assist in this plan especially Helen Manogue, J.D. Capuano, Pat, Courtney, Dee Sullivan, Francis Jennings, Ines Garcia-Keim, Rita Literno, and Commissioner Eduardo Gonzalez. They believed in the idea and started working diligently on planning the “Back to School, Green is Cool” block party with Luis.
Last weekend, we established another precedent for the HHA community – we started our green journey. We had entertainment for the children, but they had to earn their fun by learning the importance of a greener Hoboken. They were given refresher tips and had to pass a quiz before entering the ozone party. Wow, was it inspiring to see all of our children participating in the save the Earth activities. They were excited to receive school supplies such as crayons made out of soy beans, pencils made out of old jeans, pens, pads, dictionaries, healthy food, cool T-shirts to commemorate the day, and a fire dance squad performance lead by Instructor Derrick Ladson.
I'd like to recognize County Executive Tom DeGise, Assemblyman Ramos, Mayor Zimmer, Director Pelligrini, Freeholder Romano, Commissioner Stuiver, The Hudson County Improvement Authority, and North Hudson Sewerage Authority Commissioners Raia, Lopez and Soares for their wonderful contributions. To all of our sponsors, such as the Rotary Club, I9Sports, Big Banners, Circulo Deportivo, we appreciate all of your support. We are forever grateful to project manager Luis Acevedo, the Hoboken Quality of Life Coalition, my HHA staff, Lisa Dortch, residents, and the families who came out to make this a success.
Thank you all for making this amazing day happen.
Carmelo G. Garcia, MSIS, IM, PHM
Executive Director, Hoboken Housing Authority