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PRESS RELEASE

April 9, 2014

ESSEX COUNTY FREEHOLDERS
HONOR THE IRONBOUND COMMUNITY CORPORATION
ON ITS 45TH ANNIVERSARY

The Ironbound Community Corporation in Newark was honored for its 45th Anniversary during the Freeholder Board’s April 9th meeting at the Hall of Records.  Joseph Della Fave (Front, Center), Executive Director is pictured above with: June Kruszewski Center (Extreme Front). Front Row (left to right), Joseph Nardone, Freeholder President Blonnie Watson, Freeholder Vice President Patricia Sebold and Nancy Zak. Back Row (left to right), Johanna Moroch, David Robinson, Freeholder Rolando Bobadilla and Drew Curtis.   PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON

                                                     
(Newark, NJ) – During its Wednesday, April 9th, meeting held at the Hall of Records, The Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders honored the Ironbound Community Corporation for its 45th Anniversary.  The Ironbound Community Corporation is a community-based organization rooted in the ethnically diverse Newark neighborhood called Ironbound.  The Board’s Commendation was co-sponsored and presented to the Ironbound Community Corporation’s Executive Director Joseph Della Fave by Freeholder Vice President Patricia Sebold of Livingston, Freeholder President Blonnie Watson of Newark and Freeholder Rolando Bobadilla of Newark.

Freeholder Vice President Sebold opened the program by recognizing the Ironbound Community Corporation as a grassroots social service agency that perpetuates a sense of “neighborhood” and an agency that has its pulse on how best to meet the needs and goals of the community. 

Founded in 1969 by residents, the mission of the Ironbound Community Corporation is to engage and empower individuals, families and groups in realizing their aspirations and together, work to create a vibrant and sustainable community.  Their neighborhood-based clientele encompasses a multi-cultural, multi-lingual population of approximately 50,000 people in the East Ward section of Newark.

Also, sharing in the presentation, Freeholder Bobadilla gave kudos to the organization for their community work and congratulated them for their excellence.  He stated that he has been “totally impressed” with their many accomplishments over the 45 years.  Freeholder President Watson was on hand to share in the accolades and reminisced on the noticeable difference the Ironbound Community Corporation has made in the East Ward.

The Ironbound Community Corporation’s many programs are aimed to address unmet needs and service gaps; support child development and strengthen families; develop self-esteem, self-sufficiency and civic participation. They take pride in having achieved the following accomplishments: A new $6 million Early Head Start Center soon to open; Celebrated opening of Riverfront Park, in partnership with the County of Essex; Created 4 new community gardens; 9 foreclosed homes purchased and being rehabilitated for low and moderate income families; free income tax filings for 1,000 households, totaling $2.2 million in refunds and opened an 80 unit affordable housing building, Ironbound’s first in 30 years.

The Ironbound Community Corporation’s Board President Dave Robinson greeted the assembly on behalf of their 150 employees and the 1,000 people that they serve daily, and thanked the Freeholders for the honor and recognition.  He commended Executive Director Joseph Della Fave and his staff for an incredible job and for carrying the agency through adversity.  Robinson made a point to note, “These people are from Newark and working hard to make Newark better each day.”  

Long-time community advocate and Parks Programming Director Nancy Zak spoke of the agency’s humble beginnings which materialized from the efforts of a group of women who needed to work, and their need turned into the initial daycare center that was established 45 years ago.  She indicated “now” is a wonderful time to be in the Ironbound; reflecting on the opening of the Riverfront Park.  She recalled memories of days where toxic and hazardous waste were being dumped in the area and explosions that threatened the air quality and safety of residents.  Due to The Ironbound Community Corporation’s efforts, this is no longer an issue.  She invited all who were present to River Day which marks the opening of the 2014 Summer Programs at Riverfront Park.
Finally, Executive Director Joseph Della Fave thanked the Freeholder Board and County.  He credits their partnership with the county for developing the 12 ½ acres for Riverfront Park which increased open space in the Ironbound by 50% and laid the foundation for the revitalization of Newark’s own riverfront which will affect many for years to come.  He closed by saying, “Service is our heart, and the soul of our work are our community initiatives.” We work to enhance quality of life, to strengthen the community and the Ironbound.”

The Ironbound Community Corporation’s Board of Trustees is comprised of: David Robinson, President; Johanna Moroch, Vice President; Rosas Tomas, Secretary; Ana Esteves, Esq., Treasurer; Veronica Faulkner; June Kruszewski; Ollyn Lettman; Ernesto Marques; Dawn Robertson and Joseph Della Fave, Executive Director.

 

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For Additional Information:
Kathy R. Brown, Research Analyst
Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders
973-621-4489
kbrown@freeholders.essexcountynj.org

 

 

 

Board of Chosen Freeholders, County of Essex
Hall of Records - Room 558, 465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd., Newark, New Jersey 07102
Tel: (973) 621-4486 Fax: (973) 621-5695