BLOOMFIELD, NJ — The Bloomfield Department of Recreation presented an Independence Day celebration at Foley Field on Wednesday, July 4. The sky was overcast the entire day and rain seemed imminent, but did not fall. A good crowd, on blankets and beach chairs, were spread over the field or filing up to the food stands behind the visitors’ bleachers. They heard Diane Aragona sing the national anthem and Mayor Michael Venezia give a welcoming address. A highlight of the evening was the presentation of four awards by Michael Sceurman, the director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs. The recipients are all township residents.
The Board of Recreation Commissioners gave its award to Jerry Simon. Simon is a 1961 graduate of Bloomfield High School. A “super fan,” Simon was cited by Sceurman as a Bengal through-and-through, having missed only one home football game over the last 40 years. He is a photographer whose sports pictures are often published in local newspapers, including the Bloomfield Independent Press.
Two individuals received the service award given by the recreation department. They were Barry Weiner and James McDonald. Weiner is the president of the highly successful Bloomfield Soccer Club. McDonald heads the William Foley Football and Cheerleading League and also works to promote tackle-football safety.
The outstanding citizen’s award went to Joseph Ellmer, a veteran of the Korean War. Ellmer has for many years been active with the Miles A. Suarez Post 711 VFW, located on Broughton Avenue. He was cited as being the driving force behind the Bloomfield Joint Memorial Committee which organizes the Memorial Day and Veterans Day parades.
Live music was provided by The Kootz. As night arrived, attendance increased for the 9:30 p.m. fireworks.