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'Good Neighbors' Contributions Recognized

Hasbrouck Heights Kiwanis Club presented 'Good Neighbor' awards to seven members of the community who go out of their way to help others.

The Hasbrouck Heights Kiwanis Club continued its tradition this week of honoring the “Good Neighbors” in the community. 

Wednesday night the Kiwanis Club honored seven members of the community during its annual “Good Neighbors” awards ceremony.

As Dr. Burnett Eglow, Kiwanis president, told friends and family members of the honorees, the individuals being honored never brag about what they do or look for any recognition. Several years ago Kiwanis Club members Peter and Marie Gallo came up with the idea of honoring those good neighbors in the community and its been successful ever since, said Eglow.

This year’s honorees are:

Estella Hackel for her decades of service to the . Since she was confirmed at age 12, she has been an active member of her church. She’s served as an elder, a deacon, has taught Sunday School. Hackel serves as president of the church’s Ladies Guild and heads the church fundraisers every year.  Hackel is also an active member of REACH which assists people in the community in need of getting to and from doctor appointments and treatments.

Paul Barcia was nominated to receive the award by the . Barcia has been volunteering his time teaching Tai Chi classes at the library. Upon presenting Barcia with the award, Mimi Hui, library director, said Barcia has been putting in hours of his time teaching workshops which led to a regular monthly class and asks for nothing in return.

Marie Gallo presented a “Good Neighbor” award to Joseph Costa, owner of on Route 17. Costa continuously has helped out various groups in town as well as town events. Gallo said the IHOP always donates towards the annual fireworks event and street fair. In addition to monetary donations, they assist clubs and towns with their fundraisers including the Kiwanis Club. Gallo said thanks to IHOP allowing the club to place a canister on the restaurant counter, the club has raised more than a thousand dollars for people with disabilities.

Peter Gallo presented an award to Donald Rodriguez, the assistant vice president and branch manager of the Kearny Savings Bank in Wood-Ridge, which is known to continuously lend a hand to the many organizations, religious groups, veterans, little league and senior clubs in the surrounding communities. 

Eglow presented the award to Bill Lenox, the third generation of the 100-year old family business in Hasbrouck Heights. Eglow said Lenox is a “giver not a taker” pointing out the long list of things that he has seen him to do to help others by donating his services to loaning flatbed trucks for town parades. Upon accepting the award, Lenox credited Eglow for being the example that he is  when it comes to helping others.

Patricia Link has been serving her hometown for decades, starting as young as 15 years old. Link, whose family members have all been known to volunteer, has been a longtime member of various clubs in town including the Contemporary Club which she has served as president for three terms. She has served for more than two decades on the recreation committee, previously served on the Board of Adjustment. Link has been serving on the Mayor’s Committee for Celebrations for 40 years and has worked at various town events such as the Easter egg hunt, Halloween in the Park. She is also a trustee of the Hasbrouck Heights Public Library.

The seventh award recipient, Stephen Maisch, was not in attendance at the ceremony. He had been nominated by member Karen DiGennarro who knows from personal experience how Maisch always goes out of his way to help out at events and to help his neighbors. From always lending a helping hand to help clean up after community events, to truly come over to help fix something or chop up branches for neighbors after the Nor’Easter storm last fall, Maisch is “truly dependable and involved and a real good neighbor.”

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