INIC hosts pre-Thanksgiving turkey giveaway

Photo by Chris Sykes
Mayor Tony Vauss, fourth from left, stands with Irvington Neighborhood Improvement Corporation employees and volunteers during his free turkey giveaway at INIC headquarters on 16th Avenue on Wednesday, Nov. 22. The free turkeys were available, thanks to the New Jersey Community FoodBank, located at Evans Point Terminal in Hillside.

IRVINGTON, NJ — Mayor Tony Vauss stopped by the Irvington Neighborhood Improvement Corporation headquarters on 16th Avenue to give away free turkeys to those in need the day before Thanksgiving.

This was the second time in five days Vauss had been to the Irvington Neighborhood Improvement Corporation. He had dropped by on Friday, Nov. 17, to host a pre-Thanksgiving Community Dinner for seniors from the Irvington Senior Citizens Community Center and needy members of the community. Also present at that dinner were: Irvington Neighborhood Improvement Corporation Director Deborah Simpkins, Public Safety Director Tracy Bowers, Deputy Public Safety Director John Brown, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Director Donald Malloy and at large Councilwoman October Hudley.

“We do this every year, to bring the community together and share the holiday spirit,” said Vauss on Tuesday, Nov. 28. “Here in Irvington, we truly believe in one team, one dream. And that’s with our entire community, including seniors, children and everyone in between.”

On Wednesday, Nov. 22, Vauss again stressed the “teamwork” of his Team Irvington Strong social and political organization, as he had done the previous week.

“This was a total Team Irvington Strong effort, with members of the fire department and the police department that are standing by, trimming boxes filled with stuffing, vegetables, cranberry juice, rice and macaroni and cheese, that goes with the turkeys and the hens that we’re giving away,” said Simpkins on Friday, Nov. 17. “The fire department and the police department every year collaborate with us and help us be able to provide the families in Irvington with a full Thanksgiving dinner. They got all the money.”

Bowers said he, Vauss, Simpkins and other Team Irvington Strong members share the common goal of making sure all Irvington residents “eat well and be well this holiday season.”

“Police, fire; we’re all one, so it’s a great time in a great city,” said Bowers on Friday, Nov. 17, and Vauss agreed.

“We’re doing what we normally do here in the township of Irvington, which is take care of our residents,” said Vauss on Friday, Nov. 17, and again on Tuesday, Nov. 28. “We have a great meal prepared and I want to make sure that we get to it and serve everyone so everyone has a joyous holiday season.”

Malloy also agreed with Vauss, Bowers and Simpkins.

“It is a cultural affair but it’s one that I’m happy to be a part of getting ready to serve the residents here in the township,” said Malloy on Friday, Nov. 17, and again Tuesday, Nov. 28. “I think it’s more work at this time of year, because we are in the community and we’re going out into the community to make sure that people have what they need. Sometimes, this holiday season is a tough one for some of our residents who have lost loved ones, so we want to make that as comforting to them as we possibly can.”

For more information about the the Irvington Neighborhood Improvement Corporation, call 973-416-0909. For more information about the Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs and upcoming township events, including the annual tree-lighting ceremony on Wednesday, Dec. 6, call 973-399-6598.