Nov. 22 is Thanksgiving. This is the time of year when we reflect back on just how much we have to be thankful for and to count all of our blessings.
Personally, I am thankful for my family, friends, and for the great township where we all live. As long as I can remember, Wayne has been defined by the spirit of volunteerism and that spirit was once again exhibited after “Superstorm Sandy” passed through the township as many of our fellow citizens volunteered their time to help those who were in need.
The township is blessed to have a volunteer fire department and first aid squad that responds to all types of emergencies in all types of weather. During and after the storm, they responded to hundreds of calls. The Township is blessed to have our Community Emergency Response team volunteers who were out there assisting our Office of Emergency Management.
The Township is blessed to have a very active Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster group, which once again served hundreds of hot meals to those who were without power and provided various other services that helped make the aftermath of the storm a bit more tolerable.
And we are blessed to have volunteers who were able to staff the township’s shelter for days following the storm. This allowed us to be able to provide a place where residents could come to get warm or just to charge their cell phone.
I would be remiss if I did not mention those township employees who worked through the major part of the storm and who have not stopped working since.
Our police department is on the road 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and I could not be prouder of this group of men and women who “Serve and Protect Us.”
Our parks department and our department of public works employees have all worked long hours these past few weeks both during and after the storm to clean up the mess that was left by Sandy and to insure that our pump stations and other critical infrastructure did not fail during the long power outage.
I can say without any hesitation at all that we have the finest group of municipal employees in the State of New Jersey.
The biggest blessing of all is the continued recovery of police officer Robert Franco who was severely injured responding to a call on the night of the storm when a large tree landed on his patrol car. After visiting with Bob this past weekend I can report that he continues to show progress and we look forward to the day when he returns to us. He is truly an inspiration to us all and I ask that you continue to keep him in your prayers.
Finally, I would like to ask that we share our blessings with the local food bank that is run by the Wayne Interfaith Network and is located at the Packanack Community Church located at 120 Lake Drive East. They are running low of supplies and any donations you can make would help them provide food to those in our community who may need assistance.
I wish all of our residents a happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday.
Christopher P. Vergano