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10/5/2010 - Hamilton Announces 2010 Economic Development Award Winners to be Honored Later this Month

Hamilton Announces 2010 Economic Development Award Winners to be Honored Later this Month

Special Event Includes First Ever Business Volunteer Award and Special Award Winner Film Interview Presentation by Mercer County Community College Students 

(Hamilton) – Hamilton Township Mayor John Bencivengo and the Hamilton Township Economic Development Advisory Commission today announced the 2010 Award Recipients for the 35th Annual Hamilton Township Economic Development Distinguished Achievement Awards Dinner. 


The annual awards dinner will take place on Thursday, October 28, 2010, at Cedar Gardens located at 661 State Highway 33 in Hamilton, beginning with networking and cocktails at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 7:00 p.m.  Tickets are $40 in advance, $45 at the door, with a special table of 10 rate of $375.  The annual economic development award dinner is an excellent networking opportunity for local business leaders.  Proceeds from the dinner help to fund the commission’s economic development advancement efforts without the use of taxpayer dollars. 


For reservations of more information, residents can call Hamilton Township’s Economic Development Department at (609) 890-3519 or via e-mail as .


This year’s distinguished award recipients include:


The Goddard School of Hamilton – Corporate Award Recipient

Risoldi’s Great Value Grocery Store – Local Business Award Recipient

Jack Blair, Sr. – Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Dr. Sidney Whitman, DDS – Entrepreneur Award Recipient

Project Freedom of Hamilton – Non-Profit Award

33’s Barber Shop – New Business Award Recipient

Grounds For Sculpture – Mayor’s Beautification Award Recipient

Jo Jo’s Tavern – Mayor’s Beautification Award Recipient

Bill’s Olde Tavern – Mayor’s Beautification Award Recipient

Michael Pratico, Jr. – Business Volunteer of the Year Award Recipient


“This year’s class of award recipients is an excellent example of the fine community partners and business leaders that make up ‘America’s Favorite Hometown’,” says Hamilton Township Mayor John Bencivengo. 

“As a small business owner, I think it is very important to recognize the business leaders of our community who have greatly contributed to our local economy and have provided jobs and economic opportunities to Hamilton residents,” says Hamilton Township Councilman Ed Gore, who met with yesterday morning with the award winners.


This year’s ceremony include the first-ever presentation of the Business Volunteer of the Year Award, which will be award to Michael J. Pratico, Jr., of Richardson Commercial Realtors.  “I was surprised and humbled when the Mayor explained I was the first-ever recipient of the business service award,” says Pratico.  “I have always believed in the value of giving back to both the business community and the many non-profit organizations that serve Hamilton.  It was gratifying to be recognized for that work.”

Also new to this year’s event will be a special interview presentation that will be created by Mercer County Community College Digital Film Major students Jim Monteforte, Tyann Sells and Joe Schufreider.  This new portion will give attendees a unique look at the award recipients like never before.


The 35th annual Hamilton Township Economic Development Distinguished Achievement Awards Dinner will be a special night to acknowledge the contributions of business leaders and organizations that have given so much back to Hamilton Township over the years.


“Project Freedom started in a small room in Hamilton Township 26 years ago, and getting this award is both exciting and validating.  Project Freedom has proven that developing and operating supportive housing for people with disabilities makes good economic and social policy sense.  We are proud to be a part of the Hamilton Community,” explains Norman A. Smith, Co-Founder and Associate Executive Director for Project Freedom.

“I always enjoyed being involved in the community in Hamilton Township, and to me, it is a true honor to receive this recognition,” says Lifetime Award Recipient Jack Blair, Sr., who was involved in several organizations throughout the years such as the Hamilton Rotary Club, the Hamilton-area YMCA and St. Mark’s Methodist Church, in addition to his years of service as President of Nottingham Insurance Company.  “To me, Hamilton was a community which was not only prosperous for my own business, but was a community in which lasting friendships were made.”   





In the attached photograph, Hamilton Township’s 2010 Economic Development Distinguished Award Recipients stand outside of the Hamilton Township Municipal Building for a picture following the announcement of the award winners.  In the first row, seated, is Norman Smith of Project Freedom.  In the second row, standing from left to right are John Strycharz, Chairman of the Hamilton Township Economic Development Advisory Commission; Frank Lucchesi of PSE&G; Hamilton Township Mayor John Bencivengo; Tim Doherty of Project Freedom; Bob Buda of Project Freedom; and Ed Stackhouse of 33’s Barbershop.  In the third row, from left to right are Denise Murphy of PNC Bank; Joe Scharibone of Jo-Jo’s Tavern; Janet Englke of Nottingham Insurance (on behalf of Jack Blair, Sr.); Roxanne Klett of Grounds For Sculpture; Dr. Sidney Whitman of Hamilton Dental Associates; Gary Zarrilli of Project Freedom; and Al Von Steenburg of Bill’s Olde Tavern.  In the fourth (back row) from left to right are Hamilton Township Councilman Ed Gore; Sam Risoldi, Sr. of Risoldi’s Market; Clarice Risoldi or Risoldi’s Market; Sam Risoldi, Jr., of Risoldi’s Market; Michael J. Pratico, Jr. of Richardson Commercial Realtors; and Fred Maresca of the Goddard School.  Photograph courtesy of Hamilton Township.