Cory Poole to be honored

EAST ORANGE, NJ — The Men of Essex Inc. has selected track phenom Cory Poole of East Orange Campus High School STEM Academy to be the recipient of the 2017 “Essex Award.”

The 59th Annual Essex Awards Dinner will be on Wednesday, May 17, at 7 p.m.. at Cedar Hill Golf & Country Club, 100 Walnut St., Livingston.

The Essex Award, an annual rite of spring in Essex County Scholastic circles, bestows highest distinction upon the leading scholar-athletes, and athletes, representing Essex County high schools, public, private and parochial. Presented by the Men of Essex Inc., a service organization of black professionals and businessmen, the Essex Awards Dinner has become recognized statewide as a prestige salute to the best and brightest for the past 58 years.

Cory Poole of East Orange is the Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year last spring and one of the top recruits in the nation plans to attend Syracuse University in the fall. This past spring, Poole became just the third boy in Meet of Champions history to win both the 400-meter hurdles (52.50), and the 110 hurdles in an Essex County record 13.71, which is No. 9 in state history. And he nearly won a third gold medal when he threw down a sizzling anchor PR of 47.0 and almost brought East Orange across first in a thrilling 4×400 as East Orange and Old Tappan each ran 3:15.43. Old Tappan was declared the winner. Poole followed that up with a great quadruple at the New Balance National Championships in Greensboro, N.C. Poole ran a 33.1 300 leg on East Orange’s winning Swedish Relay in 1:54.88, led off the second place shuttle hurdles team (58.82), placed second in the 400 hurdles in 51.56, the 7th fastest time in state history, and split 47.49 to bring EO across the line third in the 4×400 in an Essex County record 3:12.83, No. 10 in state history.

The keynote speaker is Mark Wilf, president  and chief executive officer of the Minnesota Vikings Professional Football Franchise. Wilf, a native of Hillside, is principal of Garden Homes Development, a nationwide leader in retail, commercial and private residential development. A graduate of Princeton University, Wilf served as the radio voice of Princeton Tigers football and basketball. He later graduated from the New York University School of Law. Wilf currently serves on several boards, including Vanderbilt University, the NYU School of Law and Princeton Varsity Club. He also serves on the NFL’s Business Ventures Committee.

More than 200 guests are expected to be in attendance at the Essex Awards Dinner, including educators, parents, coaches and a loyal following of avid supporters. Tickets are $70. Sponsorship and ticket information can be obtained by contacting David Clark at 973-673-8632 or by visiting