Harrison's Own First Responders Visit S.J. Preston Students
During this season of celebration and thanksgiving, the kindergarten students of Samuel J. Preston showed their appreciation to Harrison’s own first responders who provided extraordinary support and service to the Harrison community during Hurricane Sandy.
Kindergarten teacher Dianne Rigano, whose husband Nick Cusumano is the Assistant Fire Chief in the Downtown area of Harrison, had a front row seat to the commitment of these extraordinary workers. Many of her husband’s nights were spent away from home aiding those who had been most affected by the storm’s devastating impact.
Ms. Rigano’s friend Robin Webb, who is the secretary in the District’s Athletics Department, shared an article with her about Uncle Will’s Pancake House in Long Beach Island, New Jersey. Uncle Will’s was encouraging teachers to have their students reach out to the first responders and the two thought this would be a wonderful way for the young students of Harrison to address their own community.
Ms. Rigano approached her kindergarten colleagues Patricia Colangelo and Kimberly Salvatore who were excited to participate. Their students wrote letters to members of the police, fire and EMS departments as well as the mayor. Instead of mailing, the children were able to deliver their heartfelt messages in person. Through her husband, Ms. Rigano invited representatives from all of the departments to attend Hurricane Sandy-A Celebration of Thanks. Many of the first responders came to Preston and listened to the letters in person and spent time talking with the authors.
A Special Thanks for the first responders and guests in attendance:
From Harrison Emergency Medical Services:
Chief Joe Bilotto
Lt. Cindy Mercado
EMT John Varmon, Jr.
From Harrison Police Department:
Police Officer Carmine Gentile
Police Officer Frank Massaro
From West Harrison Fire Department
Chief Steve Mancini
From the Town of Harrison:
Mayor Ron Belmont