Special Olympics New Jersey (SONJ) is proud to recognize the tremendous support of individual donors and corporate partners through events such as the one that happened recently at the SONJ Sports Complex. The 2021 annual Tribute Patio dedication and RWJBarnabas Health Sports Court Ribbon cutting took place on September 18, 2021. The Tribute Patio, presented by The Sean Nelligan Foundation, represents the triumphs of Special Olympics athletes, the dedication of volunteers and sponsors, and the pride of families and friends.

Barnabas Health became familiar with Special Olympics and its mission when they committed to be a Founding Partner of the 2014 USA Games held in New Jersey.  Proceeding the Games, Barnabas Health continued its support and commitment to the athletes when they agreed to become a Premier Partner of Special Olympics New Jersey in 2015, focusing on our Healthy Communities initiative. The merger to become RWJBarnabas Health has been instrumental for the organization as a whole. 

“We are excited to celebrate another milestone with Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health,” said Heather Andersen, SONJ President & CEO.  “The partnership is in its 7th year and stronger than ever, as we celebrate the newly renovated multipurpose courts now called RWJ Barnabas Health Sports Court.” 

“RWJBarnabas Health is a long-standing partner of Special Olympics New Jersey and for us to be a part of the ribbon-cutting ceremony is truly an honor,” said Children’s Specialized Hospital President & CEO, Dr. Matthew McDonald. “We’re just thrilled that these courts can come to fruition and our athletes will have the opportunity to play on them.”

This year’s Tribute Patio dedication featured 25 new additions, with the following supporters leaving a lasting legacy for their, friends, family, programs, coaches, and/or loved ones:

Jill & Wayne Canastra, In Honor of Tom Varga
Lucy Capone, In Honor of Gwen Guidice
Maryanna Jannotti, In Memory of Robert & Rita Lammerding
Joanne Kissleman, In Memory of Joseph Pluta
Gregory Larkin, In Honor of Martha & Dave Larkin
Keith & Jeannie Larsen, In Memory of Leif Aleutian Larsen
Betty Lunn, In Memory of Agathe A. Marten
Lauren Mahoney, In Memory of Patricia Mahoney
Howard Mayer, In Honor of Mercer Tennis
Jeannine Miller, In Honor of Benjamin Miller
Christian Myers, In Memory of Robert Boughner
Marla Napurano, In Honor of Allie Carvajales
Vince & Karen PetersackLisa Sweeney, In Memory of Brian Sweeney
The Bocchino Family
The Carvajales Family
, In Memory of Bill Esler
The Felano Family
The Gatti/Baldini Family
The Lecato Family
, In Honor of Abbey
The Mejia Family
The Richards Family
, In Honor of Kraig
The Russ Family
The Ryba Family
, In Honor of Gabriel Ryba
The Santoro Family, In Memory of Brian Sweeney
Derek Walker, In Memory of Robert Carvajales

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