Township celebrates Earth Day with local restaurant’s assistance

Photo by Chris Sykes
Children from Project Redirect in Newark stand with the flowers and seeds they planted with their own hands in the parking lot of the McDonald’s restaurant on Springfield Avenue on Saturday, April 28, during the township’s Earth Day celebration with franchise owner Jessica Quintana. See story, Page 3.

IRVINGTON, NJ — Mayor Tony Vauss, the Irvington Municipal Council and the township’s Earth Day Committee, led by council Vice President Renee Burgess, teamed up with local McDonald’s restaurant owner Jessica Quintana to celebrate Earth Day on Saturday, April 28, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Clinton Avenue restaurant.

“I’m here with my mom, Celeste Quintana. We’re celebrating Earth Day here in Irvington with the mayor, with the council people and the entire community,” Jessica Quintana said at the event. “We do it every year. We just want to show the community: We’re here for you, we’re here to try to save the planet and we’re happy to be here.”

Celeste said serving the community runs in the family, something that will continue in the future.

“Arielle is our granddaughter and she will the third generation owning a McDonald’s. She’s 5 months old,” said Celeste Quintana at the event. “We just want to give a shout out to the mayor and all of the council people. They were all here. Thank you, mayor, for coming out and helping us with this day. He’s an amazing man and he’s really got Irvington in his heart. He lives it, he breathes it and he wears it on his shoulder. So thank you, mayor, for coming out.”

Vauss said no thanks were necessary, especially when it comes to collaborating with great corporate neighbors such as the Quintana family. He also said he would never miss out on a party celebrating the community and the environment.

“The community and the environment go hand in hand; you can’t have one without the other,” said Vauss on Tuesday, April 24. “We’re glad to partner with one of our many exceptional local business owners, like Jessica Quintana, who always goes out of her way to be a good corporate neighbor to the township community. She also gives away bargains and discounts for food, drinks and dessert, so it’s a win-win all around for everybody.”

Burgess said she and the other council members agreed with Vauss and the Quintanas.

“As chairperson of the Earth Day Committee for the township, I get the opportunity to work with Charlotte Gala and the ‘McBoss Lady,’ Jessica Quintana, the owner of McDonald’s here in Irvington on Springfield Avenue, where we get to work with the children and parents in the community, letting them know that we care about the cleanliness of our town and we have different activities focused on environmental issues that challenge our way of life,” said Burgess on Tuesday, April 24. “The mayor also comes out to participate in this great event. Everyone is invited.”

Jessica Quintana is well-known throughout Essex and Hudson counties for her charitable works in communities, including Irvington, East Orange and Jersey City, where her family’s McDonald’s fast-food franchises are located. She is known for hosting annual Halloween and Christmas parties for children and families in the communities where her family does business, because she believes serving customers’ needs is good for business.

Jessica Quintana has also partnered with Alison Bryant and the Irvington Rotary Club to host back-to-school events, including book, backpack and book bag giveaways at her Clinton Avenue restaurant.