Unit 305 Bear Den collects books, pro boxers give tips to future champions | Journal Entries

Salvation Army NJ lists winners of “Star Search” contest

More than 200 young people from grade school to high school involved with The Salvation Army NJ Corps Music & Creative Arts programs recently competed in the “Star Search” music & creative arts talent contest.

The program began in the 1990′s to encourage arts and music development for young people and highlights the talents of NJ youth in a huge range of areas: brass solos, guitar solos, vocal solos, monologues, dance solos, drum set solos, piano solos, youth band, youth chorus, drama troupe. Winners of the various categories will go on to compete with other regional Corps in Hershey, PA on Saturday, June 11.

The Hudson County winners, all from Kearny, include Bruce Chalco Leon (acoustic guitar), Kenneth Chalco Leon (acoustic guitar, piano solo), Evelyn Ovalles (vocal solo), and Allison Rouse (brass solo primer).

Bears hold successful book drive

The Bear Den of Unit 305 recently coordinated a book drive to promote literacy. The event was created by Bear Den Leader Diane Rodrigues, who along with her scouts spearheaded the collection of 500 new and gently used books for this year’s community service project. It was designed as part of the Fellowship and Duty to God Adventure requirement to put into practice what the Bears learned about their faith.

The Bears worked together to create collection boxes of books donated by fellow scouting families and others in the community through a request on the Unit 305 Facebook page. Leaders, scouts, and parents sorted the books by age and reading level and donated them to five organizations, all with different literary missions.

Operation Paperback sends reading material to American men and women serving in the armed forces, veterans, and military families at home and overseas. The adult paperback and hardcover books provide new reading material for the soldiers for mental escape and relaxation. The soldiers were also gifted children’s books to read to their sons and daughters virtually during deployment. The pre-k and kindergarten books enable Precious Angels Daycare in Kearny to expand their library collection for their growing program. Books for children and adults were given to Intermountain Therapy Animals to support their Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) program to boost confidence in literacy skills during non-judgmental team sessions. The child or adult reads aloud to a registered therapy dog under the supervision of a literacy mentor.

Books in a variety of subjects were placed in the book nooks sponsored by the Kearny Elks #1050 near every school throughout Kearny. The Oasis in Paterson, a safe house for battered women and children, also received a number of donations.

Pro boxers offer tips and inspiration to kids class in North Bergen

Top professional boxing prospects Emmanuel “Salserito” Rodriguez and Anthony Johns took time out of their fight preparations to give helpful tips and inspiration to the next generation of boxers on Wednesday, May 11, at State of Fitness Boxing Club in North Bergen.

The two professionals shared their experience with the gym’s kids class, where children from elementary school age to high schoolers can learn how to box every afternoon from 4 to 5 p.m. under the tutelage of coaches Mike Pacheco and Michael Carvajal.

State of Fitness Boxing Club is located at 508 73rd St., in North Bergen. The gym opened in 2016 and is owned by Desmond Boyle, senior firefighter at the North Hudson Regional Fire Department. The gym has developed numerous amateur champions from tournaments such as the Golden Gloves, Diamond Gloves and Battle on the Beach.

Morahan Center opens

The Matthew J. Morahan III Health Assessment Center for Athletes (Morahan Center) at RWJBarnabas Health recently expanded its services to Hudson County at Newport Centre. To mark the grand opening of the new center, staff offered free cardiac and concussion baseline screenings for young athletes.

There was a “meet and greet” with David Diehl – Retired New York Giants Offensive Lineman and two-time Superbowl Champion and with Ken Daneyko, New Jersey Devils alum and three-time Stanley Cup winner.

NJCU grad student first American honored in Albania competition

Lazara Luisa Diaz, a graduate student pursuing a Masters in Music in Classical Guitar Performance at NJCU, has become the first American to win a prize at the “Marku Guitar Competition” based in Albania. The international competition was held from May 10 to May 15.

The “Marku Guitar Competition” is a virtual competition open for professional classical guitar players regardless of their nationality. Diaz scored 86.79 points to collect Third Prize in Category V (no age limit). She competed against performers from multiple countries.

Diaz is a native of Havana, Cuba and she graduated from Universidad de las Artes in Cuba in 2013. At NJCU she studies with Dr. Celil Refik Kaya — an international performer, composer, educator, and Naxos Recording Artist — who is the coordinator of Guitar Studies at NJCU, in the university’s Music, Dance, and Theatre Department. Diaz’ performance can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/QWVrPiUWOXU.

Jersey City student’s research featured at symposium

Simran Sanju Kadam from Jersey City was one of 170 undergraduate and graduate students who showcased their research and creative scholarly work at New York Institute of Technology’s (New York Tech) annual Symposium of University Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE).

Throughout the day, students shared their research projects in the form of verbal and poster presentations. Research projects included topics such as the 3-D bioprinting of organs, neuromarketing, virus genome analysis, and robotics in medicine, among many others.

Bayonne schools mark Cinco de Mayo, honor former Tuskegee Airman

Miss Spann’s first grade students at Mary J. Donohoe School celebrated Cinco de Mayo on May 5, by making the Mexican flag and a pinata. They also learned about how Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in Mexico and in the United States.

Ms. Pecoraro’s and Ms. McMonagle’s students from William Shemin Midtown Community School, along with Bayonne High School students in Social Studies teacher, Mr. McCafferty’s classes, wrote birthday cards to former Tuskegee Airman, Sgt. Victor Butler, who celebrated his 100th birthday on May 21.

Students graduate, achieve honors

University of the Cumberlands held commencement ceremonies recently to celebrate its newest graduates. The following Jersey City residents who graduated are Gynaneshwar Rao Allakanti Narsing, Mihir Harishbhai Jinger, Junlian Liu, Praveen Kumar Nallabothu, and Jil Rajeshbhai Shah.

Carlos Pepin of Jersey City received a degree from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania at a commencement ceremony on May 8 at Eiler-Martin Stadium.

Wilfried Bai of Jersey City graduated from Hofstra University in December 2021, earning a BS in Industrial Engineering.

Alexandra Coulter of Jersey City received a bachelor’s degree during Assumption University’s 105th Commencement exercises on Sunday, May 8, at the DCU Center in downtown Worcester.

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