On Friday, November 22nd, members of the Special Olympics New Jersey (SONJ) community gathered for the 2019 Awards Dinner. Each year, the annual event recognizes exemplary athletes, coaches, volunteers, supporters, and partners for their passion , commitment, and achievements within the Special Olympics movement. This year, the Awards Dinner was held at the Hilton East Brunswick, and attendance was by invitation only. 


Below is a list of award recipients and a description of each award. 

Outstanding Athlete

For Special Olympics New Jersey athletes – one from each of the 13 Areas – who have shown determination and dedication to training and an increased proficiency in any sport at any competition level. 

Area 1 – Hudson County – Joseph Maccagnano

Joseph Maccagnano

Area 2 – Passaic County – Katherine Stuffle

Katherine Stuffle

Area 3 – Morris, Sussex, & Warren Counties – William Morales

William Morales

Area 4 – Hunterdon County – Halli Williams

Halli Williams

Area 5 – Middlesex & Union Counties – Keith Fisher

Keith Fisher

Area 6 – Monmouth & Ocean Counties – Daniel Cherkos

Daniel Cherkos

Area 7 – Camden, Gloucester, & Salem Counties – Elijah Borgard

Elijah Borgard

Area 8 – Atlantic, Cape May, & Cumberland Counties – Erika Schmid

Erika Schmid

Area 9 – Essex County – Danielle Graffeo

Danielle Graffeo

Area 10 – Somerset County – Ann Ferraro 

Ann Ferraro

Area 11 – Mercer County – Delaney O’Connell

Delaney O’Connell

Area 12 – Bergen County – William Grundy 

William Grundy

Area 13 – Burlington County – Ben Miller

Ben Miller

Special Olympics New Jersey Hall of Fame

For an individual with at least 10 years of involvement with Special Olympics movement who has demonstrated a lifetime of commitment and compassion to the athletes of Special Olympics New Jersey. 

Richard Gelfond

Karen Bruno

Richard Gelfond
Karen Bruno

Marc S. Edenzon Lifetime Achievement Award

For an individual with at least 15 years of involvement with the Special Olympics movement who has demonstrated a lifetime of commitment and compassion to the athletes of Special Olympics New Jersey. 

Scott Kent – Wawa 

Scott Kent

Outstanding Local Training Program 

For the program that has shown the best example of high-quality sports training for Special olympics New Jersey athletes. 

Schafer Sports

Schafer Sports

Outstanding Volunteer Family 

For the family of a Special Olympics athlete that has demonstrated unique and outstanding support of the Special Olympics movement and athletes.

Concepcion Family 

Concepcion Family

Outstanding Volunteer Coach 

For an individual coach in any Special Olympics sport who has demonstrated a high degree of technical skill and personal commitment to preparing athletes for participation in Special Olympics New Jersey events. 

Neil Hudes

Neil Hudes

Outstanding Volunteer Officials

 For exemplary voluntary service by an individual sports official at Special Olympics New Jersey state competitions and events. 

Swimming Officials 

  • Bob Estler

  • Agathe Martin

  • John Thornton

  • Tom Verdon

Tom Verdon, Agathe Marten, John Thornton, and Bob Estler

Outstanding Volunteer – State Level 

For exemplary voluntary service by an individual to Special Olympics New Jersey at state competitions and events. 

April DeVito 

April DeVito

Outstanding Volunteer – Area Level 

 For exemplary voluntary service by an individual to Special Olympics New Jersey at area competitions and events. 

Jean Mazalewski 

Jean Mazalewski 

Outstanding Volunteer Group 

For exemplary voluntary service by a group to Special Olympics New Jersey. 

Manasquan Elks Special Children’s Commitee

Manasquan Elks Special Children’s Committee

Outstanding Unified School 

For a school that has demonstrated a superior commitment to inclusion, acceptance, respect, and dignity for all by integrating Special Olympics Initiatives into their school programs and culture, and embracing the motto, “Play Unified, Live Unified.”

Voorhees High School 

Voorhees High School

Spirit Award 

For individuals who have advanced the mission of Special Olympics New Jersey through year-round support and innovation. 

Terry Mikus 

Bernadine Olear  

Speed Skating Committee – Peter Fitterer

Speed Skating Committee – Glen Hukins

Speed Skating Committee – Fred Schweikert 

Terry Mikus
Bernadine Olear
Glen Hukins, Peter Fitterer (not pictured: Fred Schweikert)

Law Enforcement Torch Run Hall of Fame Award

For an individual who has demonstrated a superior contribution to the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics New Jersey. 

Kevin J. Burke, Jr. 

Kevin J. Burke, Jr.

Bessie Perlman Achievement Award

For a Special Olympics New Jersey athlete who has demonstrated a dedication to sportsmanship and success in the community. 

Adam Eng

Adam Eng

S. Michael Higgins Special Olympics Scholarship

For a Special Olympics New Jersey athlete who has demonstrated dedication to sport through a commitment to training. 

Michael Lehrer

Michael Lehrer

Congratulations to all of the award winners!

2019 Awards Dinner Photos 

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