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Sue and Ed Goldstein, Founders of The Valerie Fund Win Unsung Hero Award

Sue and Ed Goldstein, founders of The Valerie Fund, have been selected as the 2016 recipients of the New Jersey Hall Of Fame (NJHOF) Unsung Hero Award.

The Unsung Hero Award was presented at the formal induction ceremony on May 7, at Convention Hall in Asbury Park, N.J., by previous Unsung Heroes Lt. Brian Brennan and Eric LeGrand.

The award recognizes New Jersey’s local heroes, people who are game-changers but are not typically recognized for their work in improving the lives of people in our great state. Nominations are made by the general public, NJOH chooses 5 finalists, and the winners are selected by prior Unsung Hero recipients.  Previous recipients include first responders injured in the line of duty, Holocaust educators and others who have overcome obstacles to accomplish great things and make a difference in their communities.

“There are so many inspirational individuals in our state who don’t seem to receive the recognition they deserve. The Unsung Hero Award was established as a way for these difference-makers to be recognized publically, and to establish their rightful place among the state’s most honored celebrities,” said Bart Oates, NJHOF Board Member.

Sue and Ed Goldstein, longtime New Jersey residents, suffered an unthinkable tragedy not once, but twice: losing both their daughters to cancer.  In the face of their grief, the Goldsteins used their losses to help others, creating programs in the wake of each daughter’s passing.  Their extraordinary efforts over the past 40 years resulted in the creation of The Valerie Fund and The Stacy Goldstein Breast Cancer Center at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.  Both organizations continue to provide hope and life-saving treatment for thousands of people.

“We are deeply honored by our induction into the New Jersey Hall of Fame. This award represents all that The Valerie Fund has accomplished in helping children and their families in their battle to defeat pediatric cancer and blood disorders within our Valerie Fund Children’s Centers,” said the Goldsteins.

The Valerie Fund, based in Maplewood, N.J., started in 1976 in the living room of the Goldsteins’ home after their nine-year-old daughter Valerie died of cancer.  They were determined that no family should have to travel great distances to receive superior medical care and began a fundraising crusade which led to the opening of the first pediatric oncology facility in New Jersey at Summit’s Overlook Hospital in 1977.  Today, The Valerie Fund features a network of seven hospital-based outpatient facilities, six of which are in New Jersey, and provides access to compassionate care for thousands of children battling cancer and blood disorders.

“The Goldsteins are authentic heroes, the kind of people we should look up to every day,” said Steve Edwards, President of the New Jersey Hall of Fame Foundation.  “When confronted with tragedy and adversity, they had a choice as to what to do with their grief, and they chose to help others and have continued to do so every day since the 1970s.  That is incredible and why we are so proud to present Sue and Ed with the NJHOF Unsung Hero Award and showcase their inspiring story and contributions to the community through The Valerie Fund.”

The Unsung Hero Award was developed in 2009 to recognize a true American hero, Lieutenant Brian Brennan. Lt. Brennan, along with three other soldiers and a civilian, were the victims of two improvised explosive device (IED) attacks. Although he suffered from life-threatening injuries, Lt. Brennan miraculously awoke from his coma and has made an incredible recovery. The 2009 Unsung Hero award was presented to Lt. Brennan by General David T. Petraeus, a moment no-one in the audience will ever forget. The award has since recognized major influencers such as paralyzed former Rutgers football star Eric LeGrand and Expect to Win author Carla Harris.

Batista and Davern win 2017 NJHOF Arête Scholarship

Christina E. Batista

Two outstanding seniors from Manchester Township High School in Manchester, N.J., have been selected as the 2017 recipients of the Arête Scholarship.  Christina Batista and John Davern were recognized for their accomplishments during the New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) Induction Ceremony on May 7, at Convention Hall in Asbury Park, N.J.

This is the second year that the New Jersey Hall of Fame has partnered with the New Jersey Education Association to present the Arête Scholarship, which awards each recipient a $5,000 scholarship.  Arête is an ancient Greek term that means, “reaching your highest human potential.”  The scholarship recognizes and rewards students who strive to pursue their passions in life, overcome the obstacles along the way and achieve their highest sense of self.

“The recipients of these scholarships exhibit a sense of Jersey pride, and the willingness to go above and beyond. They show academic engagement, moral character and a commitment to their community,” said Steve Edwards, President of the NJHOF Foundation Board. “These students truly demonstrate focus in school and life, and have a well thought out plan on how they intend to succeed in the future.”

“It is truly an honor to be selected,” said John Davern, “but what is more amazing is that two students from the same high school were both selected for this prestigious award.” Christina Batista added, “I am really happy we got to put Manchester on the map.”

John Davern

Both are nervous about being a part of the New Jersey Hall of Fame Ceremony which will feature the induction of: Kelly Ripa, Carol Higgins Clark, Connie Chung, Ray Liotta, Tommy James, Wyclef  Jean, Rosey Grier, Chuck Wepner, Carol Blazejowski, Alfred Koeppe, Arthur Imperatore, Sr., Peace Pilgrim, and Philip Kearny.

“Honestly, it is a little scary, but it will be exciting to be on stage with all those amazing people,” said Davern.

“I am so excited and honored to be a part of this community and to see the excellence that is happening in the state. I am really blown away!”  said Batista.

Davern, age 17, is an avid sports fan, athlete and honor student. He is senior class president and is actively involved in Student Government.  In addition to maintaining a perfect 4.0 grade point average, he has achieved MVP status on the Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, and Cross Country Teams. Being involved in the local community is also important to Davern, who mentors middle school students about issues such as bullying and drugs/alcohol as part of the Heroes and Cool Kids Club. He also coaches Manchester Little League.

“Seeing things from the coach’s perspective really gave me new insight,” said Davern. “When I was young, I thought I was just learning how to play the sport.  I didn’t realize the coaches were actually teaching us skills like teamwork, communication, and leadership.  I like being able to pass that on to the kids.”

Davern plans to attend Lock Haven University this fall to study Sports Management. He also aspires to write a sports blog for a sports network or print publication.  His ultimate goal is to work for NASCAR in management or marketing.

“This scholarship will allow me to focus on my school work and to spend more time getting involved with the college community,” he said. “I didn’t know what Arête meant until I started researching it, and it really opened my eyes. To live with Arête is the knowledge that you can and will be successful – if you want to be successful; which is something I have followed my whole life.”

Batista, age 17, is an outgoing honors student who loves the performing arts. She is secretary of the National Honor Society and proudly notes that she has performed in every Drama Club production over the past four years. She is also a featured member and section leader of the Cantante Honors Choir.  Batista’s other passions include volunteering and working with young people.

She volunteers as a mentor in the Heroes and Cool Kids Club and serves as a teacher’s assistant for Religious Education Programs at St. Johns Roman Catholic Church in Lakehurst, N.J. She also assists children with reading as a library tutor at the Ocean County Library.

“It is wonderful to help youth grow and learn and to teach them invaluable skills. At the library I taught children how to read and to see them flourish is really amazing,” said Batista, who also volunteers for the American Red Cross school blood drive. “It is always important to give back.  I volunteer because I want to make my community a better place.”

Batista said she wasn’t familiar with the term Arête before applying for the scholarship, but found that it describes the essence of who she is. “The concept is something that has been passed down in my family from my grandparents to my parents to me. It means being a passionate, focused individual that works hard to achieve success, and I believe I exemplify those qualities,” she noted.

Batista plans to study business administration and marketing at the Silberman College of Business at Fairleigh Dickinson University this fall. “I see myself as a future leader of a Fortune 500 company, taking my place among the ranks of other accomplished women who have broken through the glass ceiling.”

According to Edwards, the New Jersey Hall of Fame was created to honor the Garden State’s most distinguished citizens, people who are powerful role models, especially for the young people in our state.

“This scholarship is important for us to be involved with because the NJHOF is dedicated to serving as a source of inspiration and motivation for young people to strive for, and to achieve, excellence in any endeavor they pursue,” said Edwards.

Look Who Joins the NJ Hall of Fame Greats

The New Jersey Hall of Fame announces the 15 newest inductees to be honored at this year’s Induction Ceremony on May 7, 2017, at the historic Convention Hall in Asbury Park, New Jersey. The distinguished Class of 2016 currently includes:

  • ARTS & LETTERS: Author Carol Higgins Clark and news anchor Connie Chung.
  • ENTERPRISE: Businessman Alfred Koeppe and founder of NY Waterway Arthur Imperatore, Sr.
  • PERFORMING ARTS: Singer, composer, actress, entertainer, and publisher Connie Francis, actress and TV personality Kelly Ripa, actor Ray Liotta, pop-rock musician Tommy James, and musician Wyclef Jean of The Fugees.
  • PUBLIC SERVICE: Non-denominational spiritual teacher and activist Peace Pilgrim and United States Army officer Philip Kearny.
  • SPORTS: Professional soccer midfielder Carli Lloyd, Olympian and Basketball Hall of Famer Carol Blazejowski, heavyweight boxer Chuck Wepner, and NFL Pro-bowler Rosey Grier.
  • UNSUNG HERO: To be announced in April.

All living inductees are expected to attend the 2016 Induction Ceremony; a friend or family member will represent inductees who are no longer with us. The New Jersey Hall of Fame may select additional inductees based on their availability for the ceremony.

“Induction into the New Jersey Hall of Fame is the highest civilian honor that our State can bestow on someone,” said John Keegan, Chairman Emeritus of the NJHOF Foundation Board. “It’s a celebration of New Jersey and its greatest achievers, and a recognition of role models for our next generation. This is New Jersey’s version of the Academy Awards, so attendees can expect some surprise celebrity appearances.”

The official 2016 Public Vote ballot contained 50 nominees – 10 in each of five categories: Arts & Letters, Enterprise, Performance Arts, Public Service and Sports. The public voting, along with input from the Hall of Fame’s Board of Commissioners, determined this year’s class. More information about the selection process and the “Recommend a Nominee” is on our website.

The recipients of the second annual Arête Scholarship will also be recognized at the Induction Ceremony. Named for the Greek concept of “Arête” meaning the realization of one’s highest potential, these $5,000 scholarships are awarded to New Jersey high school seniors to help them achieve their potential. Students can apply for scholarships online at www.NJHallofFame.org/arete before the deadline on March 17, 2017. The Arête Scholarship is provided in partnership with the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA).

For information on sponsorship and ticket packages, please contact Brenda De Santis at BDeSantis@BGIAINS.com.

 

THE NEW JERSEY HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2016

Arts & Letters

CAROL HIGGINS CLARK, Washington Twp, NJ

Raised in Washington Township, Bergen County, NJ, Clark began her career as a mystery author re-typing mother Mary Higgins Clark’s manuscripts. The author of the popular Regan Reilly series, she has also co-authored a best-selling holiday-themed suspense series with her mother.

CONNIE CHUNG, Middletown, NJ

This longtime Middletown, NJ, resident is a renowned journalist who has hosted 20/20 and the CBS Evening News. In 1993, she became the first woman to co-anchor CBS Evening News, as well as the first Asian and the second woman to anchor one of America’s major network newscasts. She has been an anchor and reporter on NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, and MSNBC.

Enterprise

ALFRED KOEPPE, Manasquan, NJ

Educated at Rutgers-Newark and Seton Hall Law School, Koeppe was President and COO of Bell Atlantic and PSE&G. He served as President of the Newark Alliance and formerly chaired the State Economic Development Administration and the New Jersey Schools Development Authority. He was the recipient of the 2013 Steven J. Diner Ethical Leadership Award.

 

ARTHUR IMPERATORE, SR., Fort Lee, NJ

This Italian-American businessman is best known for being the founder and president of the NY Waterway. Imperatore began his business career in 1947, founding what would become the fourth largest trucking company in the U.S. In 1981, he purchased a 2.5-mile length of waterfront in Weehawken and West New York from the Penn Central Railroad. In 1986 this land was used to begin the NY Waterway ferry service between Weehawken and Manhattan. The former Arthur E. Imperatore School of Sciences and Arts of Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey, was named in his honor.

Performing Arts

CONNIE FRANCIS, Newark, NJ

Singer, composer, actress, entertainer, and publisher Connie Francis was born in Newark, NJ, and educated at Arts High School, Newark. She has toured the US, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Europe, owned publishing companies, and has made many records from the 1950s onward including hits like “Who’s Sorry Now” and “Stupid Cupid.”

KELLY RIPA, Stratford, NJ

Born in Stratford, NJ, Ripa has co-hosted syndicated talk show for 15 years: Live! With Kelly, previously Live! With Kelly and Michael and Live! with Regis and Kelly. She spent 12 years playing Hayley Vaughan Santos on the soap opera All my Children, for which she won three Daytime Emmy Awards.

 

 

RAY LIOTTA, Newark, NJ

This native of Newark, NJ, is known for his portrayals of Henry Hill in the crime-drama Goodfellas and Shoeless Joe Jackson in Field of Dreams. He won an Emmy Award and was nominated for Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards. He won his Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his role on the medical drama ER.

TOMMY JAMES, Cedar Grove, NJ

American pop-rock musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer, Tommy James is most widely known as the leader of the 1960s rock band Tommy James and the Shondells. The group first recorded at a local radio station in 1964, and became best known for their hits “Hanky Panky” and “I Think We’re Alone Now.” James eventually went solo and recorded two Billboard Hot 100 top 20 chart hits, along with eleven other Hot 100 hits.

WYCLEF JEAN, Newark, NJ

Wyclef Jeanelle Jean is a Haitian rapper, musician, and actor. At the age of nine Jean moved to the United States with his family where he spent much of his life. Jean graduated from Vailsburg High School in Newark, NJ. He first achieved fame as a member of the acclaimed New Jersey hip-hop group The Fugees. Jean won three Grammy Awards for his musical work.

Public Service

PEACE PILGRIM, Egg Harbor City, NJ

Born Mildred Lisette Norman in Egg Harbor City, NJ, Ms. Pilgrim was an American non-denominational spiritual teacher, mystic, pacifist, vegetarian activist, and peace activist. In 1952 she became the first woman to walk the entire length of the Appalachian Trail in one season. Ms. Pilgrim also walked across the United States at least eight times—likely more than 20 times. Starting on January 1, 1953, in Pasadena, CA, she adopted the name “Peace Pilgrim” and walked across the United States for 28 years.

PHILIP KEARNY, Kearny, NJ

Kearny served as a United States Army officer and was notable for his leadership in the Mexican-American War and American Civil War, during which he commanded the First New Jersey Brigade. He was killed in action in the 1862 Battle of Chantilly. The town of Kearny, NJ, where he had his estate, is named in his honor.

Sports

CARLI LLOYD, Mount Laurel, NJ

Lloyd is an American professional soccer midfielder who currently plays for the Houston Dash in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and the United States women’s national soccer team. She is a FIFA Women’s World Cup winner and two-time Olympic gold medalist. Lloyd scored the gold medal-winning goals in the finals of the 2008 Summer Olympics, the 2012 Summer Olympics, and the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. She represented the United States at three FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments: the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, in which she helped the U.S. win bronze; the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, in which the U.S. won silver; and the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, where Lloyd scored a hat trick in the final, captaining the U.S. to its third title. Ms. Lloyd is a native of Delran Township and now lives in Mount Laurel, NJ.

CAROL BLAZEJOWSKI, Elizabeth, NJ

Blazejowski is the former Olympian and Basketball Hall of Famer, and three-time All-American at Montclair State (1976-1978). She won the inaugural Wade Trophy as the nation’s finest collegiate female player in 1978 and led the nation in scoring with 33.5 points per game in 1976-77 and 38.6 points per game in 1977-78. She was Captain of the 1980 women’s Olympic basketball team, and member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. She worked in the front office of NBA and currently is Associate VP at Montclair State University.

CHUCK WEPNER, Bayonne, NJ

Known as the “Bayonne Brawler” and the “Bayonne Bleeder,” the heavyweight boxer was a heavy underdog when he went fifteen rounds with world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali in a 1975 title fight. Wepner claimed that he was the inspiration for the movie Rocky.

ROSEY GRIER, Roselle, NJ

Grier played in NFL for the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams from 1955–1966, and was honored as a two-time Pro Bowler. As an actor, Grier has appeared in numerous films and TV shows. Has also written several inspirational books and is an inspirational speaker. Grier spent his high school years in NJ and played high school football at Abraham Clark High School in Roselle, NJ.

Find information on all of our past inductees at NJHallofFame.org.

To view past induction ceremonies, visit the NJ Hall of Fame YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/NJHoF

Mary Higgins Clark

Mary Theresa Eleanor Higgins Clark Conheeney, professionally known as Mary Higgins Clark, was born on Christmas Eve 1927 as the second child of Irish immigrant Luke Higgins and his American-born wife Nora. As a child, Higgins Clark was fascinated by writing and composed her first poem at age seven.

Following her graduation from Saint Francis Xavier Grammar School, Higgins Clark received a scholarship to attend Villa Maria Academy where she was encouraged to explore and develop her love of writing. After completing her schooling at the Wood Secretarial School, she worked various jobs including secretary stewardess for Pan-American Airlines and copy editor before leaving her job to begin a family. Though she began writing at an early age, it wasn’t until 1964 when her husband passed that she began writing radio scripts. First published at age 28, many years passed before her agent urged Higgins Clark to try her hand at writing novels.

Her first novel, a fictionalized tale about George Washington, did not fare well and Higgins Clark decided to pursue her passion: mystery and suspense novels. Each of her subsequent 51 books have been bestsellers in the United States and various European countries. As of 2015, all of her novels still remain in print, with her debut suspense novel in its 75th printing. Find out more about Mary Higgins Clark in this month’s Legacy video installment!

Arete Recipients Announced & The Legacy Project Presents: Eric LeGrand, American Football Defensive Tackle

This month, the New Jersey Hall of Fame celebrates 2012 Inductee Eric LeGrand, a former American football defensive tackle that played college football at Rutgers University. LeGrand became paralyzed while making a tackle in October 2010 but has since regained movement in his shoulders and sensation throughout his body through his hard work and determination.

After reviewing the many applications, The New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) and the New Jersey Education Association proudly announced the recipients of the Pirst annual Arête Scholarship: Sal Campbell of Englewood Cliffs and Madeline Bowne of Cherry Hill. The pair was honored at the Hall of Fame Red Carpet Induction Ceremony on April 7, 2016, alongside this year’s distinguished inductees. Sal Campbell expressed his appreciation: “When I look at all the great people that are part of the New Jersey Hall of Fame and the many adversities that they have overcome, I am motivated and determined to work hard to achieve excellence in everything I do. Through hard work, courage, and determination, I can overcome any hardship or adversity and achieve excellence, give back to the community, and reach my highest sense of self.” Madeline Bowne said, “I am honored to have been selected as the female recipient of the New Jersey Hall of Fame Arête Scholarship. My memories of the induction ceremony on April 7th, 2015, will stay with me forever as I go forward in my career, serving as both inspiration and motivation.”

“Arête isn’t passive, it isn’t sitting down, and it isn’t conformity. Those who achieve Arête are active, standing up, and making their own path. Dreaming is easy. Doing is hard. While on stage on April 7th, standing where many of New Jersey’s Pinest dreamers and does have stood, I felt all the more determined to follow in their example.”

Proudly Presenting the 2016 Arete Scholarship Recipients

AreteI am honored to have been selected as the female recipient of the New Jersey Hall of Fame Arête Scholarship. My memories of the induction ceremony on April 7th, 2015, will stay with me forever as I go forward in my career, serving as both inspiration and motivation.

After hearing the famous men and women share their stories of success at the induction ceremony this year, I saw for myself the power and influence of Arête. Every person inducted into the Hall of Fame possessed a spark, a spark that helped to set them apart, a spark that allowed them to find their highest sense of self.

Sinclair Lewis, while addressing students, asked them, “How many here are really serious about being writers?” After many raised hands, he asked, “Well, why aren’t you all home writing?” Then he walked out. Lewis’s dramatic inquiry makes a point: one does not learn to do anything well while confined to a room with four walls. Writing is mastered by going outside; by acquiring practice and experience.

Arête isn’t passive, it isn’t sitting down, and it isn’t conformity. Those who achieve Arête are active, standing up, and making their own path. Dreaming is easy. Doing is hard.

While on stage on April 7th, standing where many of New Jersey’s finest dreamers and does have stood, I felt all the more determined to follow in their example.

– Madeline Bowne

I am very grateful to the New Jersey Hall of Fame and the New Jersey Education Association for selecting me as the male recipient of the 2016 ArêteScholarship. It is a great honor to be selected and the memory of attending the New Jersey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony that was held on April 7, 2016 will last a lifetime.

When I look at all the great people that are part of the New Jersey Hall of Fame and the many adversities that they have overcome, I am motivated and determined to work hard to achieve excellence in everything I do. Through hard work, courage and determination, I can overcome any hardship or adversity and achieve excellence, give back to the community and reach my highest sense of self.

Jackie Robinson once said, “A life is only as important as the impact that it has on the lives of others.” Thank you to the members of the New Jersey Hall of Fame for being role models to me. I hope that I in turn can be a role model for others because “Everyone Needs a Hero!”

– Sal Campbell

New Jersey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Set for April 7, 2016 Asbury Park Convention Hall

The New Jersey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony for the 2015 inductees is scheduled for April 7, 2016 at the Asbury Park Convention Hall. The evening will begin with a Red Carpet Entrance at 5:30pm followed by the Ceremony Reception at 6pm. The Induction Ceremony will commence at 7pm.

  • ARTS & LETTERS: authors James Fenimore Cooper and Anna Quindlen
  • ENTERPRISE: Fox Studio founder William Fox, and philanthropists Lewis Katz and Bernard Marcus
  • PERFORMANCE ARTS: legendary R&B band Kool and the Gang, and comedian Jon Stewart
  • PUBLIC SERVICE: Medal of Honor recipient Jack H. Jacobs, and U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg
  • SPORTS: baseball great Derek Jeter, U.S. Women’s national soccer team captain Christie Rampone, and ESPN college basketball commentator Dick Vitale
  • UNSUNG HERO: Morgan Stanley executive Carla Harris

New Jersey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Date Change

The New Jersey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony originally scheduled to take place on October 22, 2015, has been postponed to April of 2016. This move is made based on the Commissioners’ intention to permanently move the Ceremony to the spring and to accommodate inductee schedules. Once finalized, the date of the ceremony will be released to the media.

  • ARTS & LETTERS: authors James Fenimore Cooper and Anna Quindlen
  • ENTERPRISE: Fox Studio founder William Fox, and philanthropists Lewis Katz and Bernard Marcus
  • PERFORMANCE ARTS: legendary R&B band Kool and the Gang, and comedian Jon Stewart
  • PUBLIC SERVICE: Medal of Honor recipient Jack H. Jacobs, and U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg
  • SPORTS: baseball great Derek Jeter, U.S. Women’s national soccer team captain Christie Rampone, and ESPN college basketball commentator Dick Vitale
  • UNSUNG HERO: Morgan Stanley executive Carla Harris

Official times and locations for the April event will be posted soon.

Statement on the Passing of NJ Hall of Fame Member Yogi Berra

Today New Jersey mourns the loss of a neighbor and friend who loved like he lived—with a great and giving heart. While much of the world rightly celebrates Yogi Berra as a giant of the sport he loved, Montclair and his millions of Garden State admirers will know him as a champion for human dignity and the right of every child to learn. Yogi Berra changed lives.

In 2008, Yogi’s induction speech as a member of the inaugural class of the New Jersey Hall of Fame was a simple reminder of his greatest single virtue—humility.

New Jersey Hall of Fame Annual Message for 2015

Board Members & Family of Supporters:

2014 was the NJHOF’s most productive year yet, and we are very excited as we look forward to 2015 and beyond.

The Mobile Museum reached an important milestone in 2014 by attracting more than 100,000 visitors since its launch.

In the process, the mobile has generated extensive positive publicity for our home state and has instilled a sense of pride in all four corners of New Jersey.

We are keeping our expenses low, and at $3 per visitor, we are operating one of the most cost-effective museums in the state.

The first state hall of fame mobile in the nation is also regarded now by industry professionals as one of the more successful mobile museums of any kind in the country, as defined by total visitor count.

Just about every one of our corporate sponsors has renewed their sponsorship for 2015, and $350,000 has been raised in donations and commitments in the last six months of the year.

The 2014 NJHOF Induction Ceremony was a success.

Bruce Springsteen made his third appearance at a NJHOF Induction Ceremony, and several noteworthy personalities participated in this year’s event including many of the Soprano cast members who paid tribute to the late James Gandolfini.

The NJHOF salutes the other  amazing men and women who were inducted this past year whose storied lives earned them a place in our 2014 Class, and we look forward to inducting another stellar class in 2015.

The NJHOF professional team continues to expand with the addition of a new media relations and social media consultant.

Princeton Strategic Communications, one of the more prominent media consultants in the state of New Jersey, has already helped the NJHOF to create a first-rate website in 2014.

The NJHOF’s social media presence and engagement is also growing by the day, thanks in large measure to the talented team at PSC.

The NJHOF is also pleased to announce the addition of Lisa Fielding, one of Johnson & Johnson’s lead communication consultants.

Lisa will be collaborating with the NJHOF’s corporate sponsors and will help to organize their respective mobile tours.

Lisa will also be working closely with the staff at PSC on everything social media and media relations centric, and will continue to publish the NJHOF newsletter. Lisa is already making her mark!

The NJHOF welcomes New Jersey Manufacturers as the most recent prestigious organization to join our growing roster of sponsors.

NJM will join the Regional Council of Carpenters, CCT and PSEG as a title sponsor of the mobile museum.

The NJHOF will continue to secure corporate sponsors and one of our main areas of focus in 2015 will be to make sure the NJHOF is on sound financial footing for the foreseeable future.

The NJHOF will also be collaborating  closely with world renowned architect Michael Graves, designer Ralph Appelbaum and Lynch Associates to retrofit and create the next generation mobile museum.

A capital campaign will commence in 2015 and once the necessary funds are secured, the mobile will undergo a transformation that will result in a mobile experience that is more interactive and immersive, and one that will appeal to children and adults of all ages.

The NJHOF/NJEA Educational Plan is gaining momentum and has several elements that will help to educate our children and remind them they should strive for excellence in any walk of life of their choosing.

Our annual NJEA sponsored Essay Program is entering its 8th year, and thousands of essays have been written to date.

The one hundred page NJEA-authored Curriculum Plan will be redistributed to every public school teacher in NJ, and testimonial letters from educators and students that are being received continue to reassure the NJHOF leadership that our efforts are making a difference in the lives of countless students.

The Legacy Project interviews of all living inductees will continue in earnest in 2015.

The inspiring Governor Kean interview will be available soon on the newly-created NJHOF website screening room, and many more will follow in the years to come.

The NJHOF and NJEA will also unveil soon an annual Scholarship Program that will recognize two deserving seniors every year who exemplify the best of the best.

NJHOF Inductee Hometown Celebrations, a Student Voting Campaign, and a formalized docent program will also round our exciting and high impact educational plan in 2015.

The NJHOF continues to make best efforts to bring the concept of a permanent  museum to reality.

We are exploring with state officials the long-term viability of siting the permanent museum at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, and the NJHOF leadership continues to look for other suitable host sites throughout the state, as well as funding.

The Rock and Roll HOF held 10 induction ceremonies before their state-of- the-art museum was built, and we will certainly strive to do all we can to create a permanent museum in less time.

Perhaps the best accomplishment of all in 2014 was that the NJHOF continues to be a  bipartisan team effort attracting volunteers from all over our great state.

We have a lot yet to accomplish, but we sincerely thank everyone who has brought the NJHOF to this point.

Our supporters are an elite group of New Jerseyans who believe in New Jersey’s future, and believe that it’s a worthwhile mission to preserve our state’s rich heritage and inspire the next generation of leaders.

Together we are going to build an institution that will last for the ages, and one that will have an immeasurable impact on the pride of New Jerseyans.

We look forward to collaborating with you for many years to come as we further the NJHOF mission.

Best,

Steve Edwards
John Keegan
Bart Oates
Wayne Hasenbalg