Long Branch — The Greater Long Branch Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the recipients of the 2013 Louis G. Libutti Community Service Award.
Receiving the prestigious award this year are August DeVito, founder and coach of the Holy Trinity All Stars Basketball League for developmentally challenged people and the Villapiano family of Seashore School and Day Camp.
The award was established in 1970 in honor of Louis G. Libutti, a former president of the Long Branch Chamber. Exemplary leadership, outstanding professional achievement and community service are the criteria for this award.
Recent recipients of the award include The Damiano Family; Ed Johnson, Director of the Higher Learning Center at Brookdale Community College; Nancy Mazza, recent chair and lifelong Board member of Ronald McDonald House; and Dr. Margaret “Meg” Fisher of the Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center.
This year the 79th Annual Business Awards Dinner will be held on Friday, March 15, at the Ocean Place Resort and Spa, 1 Ocean Blvd.
“The Chamber is delighted to honor Mr. DeVito and the Villapiano Family. They are all wonderful examples of unselfish service to the community,” said Chamber President Howard Steel. “We are pleased to laud their achievements with this award.”
Almost 38 years ago, DeVito saw the need for activity for individuals with special needs. Starting with six players and seven coaches, they practiced and played at the Holy Trinity School gym. Through word of mouth the program grew rapidly and currently there are approximately 60 players in the program. The Long Branch Knights of Columbus, Holy Trinity Church, the Holy Trinity Holy Name Society, Tim McLoone and Holiday Express and many more have been stalwart supporters of this outstanding program.
DeVito and his wife, Marie, live in Long Branch and have three children: Michael, Steve and Chris.
The Villapiano family has inherited a life long commitment to community from their parents, Augustus and Dorothy. The family has participated in many grass roots efforts to assist community activities. Recently they conducted a fundraiser for the victims of the West End Fire and have continually supported the Michael W. Thorne Scholarship Run since its inception.
John Villapiano is the Director of Seashore Day Camp and School and has been involved most of his life. His priorities have been educating children, providing exceptional camp experiences and giving back to the community.
As an elected official including Freeholder and State Assemblyman for the 11th District. he has been a strong advocate for children’s rights. He is a 34-year member of the Shore Chapter of New Jersey Football Officials and was elevated to White Hat in 2010.
John has four children Jacqueline Flannery, John, Joseph and Jeannette Villapiano. He is married to Sharon Metz, Seashore’s Director of Marketing.
Augustus “Gus” Villapiano has been in charge of Grounds and Operation for Seashore and keeps all three of its campuses running smoothly. His efforts were reflected last November when Seashore was the first school to open six days after Superstorm Sandy.
The Long Branch Easter Egg Hunt in West End Park does not happen without Gus. He is there with the eggs and hay for area children. In addition to his work at Seashore, Gus served as an Asbury Park fireman for 25 years.
He has three children, Douglas, Augustus and Allie, five grandchildren and longtime partner Lauren Volk.
Carolee Villapiano started at Seashore as a camper and has spent more than 30 years giving young people the kind of summer she had as a child. Recently she retired from a 30-year career as an educator with the Long Branch Public Schools. Currently, she is Chief Financial Officer and Program Director for the camp and advisor to the Pre-School, Pre-Kindergarten and the Elementary-Intermediate campuses.
Phil Villapiano chose a different path through football. Upon graduating from Bowling Green, he was drafted by the Oakland Raiders. He played in four Pro Bowls and was a member of the Super Bowl XI winning team. He was Defensive Rookie of the year in 1971.
Currently, Phil is Vice President of Sales for Odyssey Logistics & Technology along with being a partner in Seashore.
Phil has been involved with the Muscular Dystrophy Association for many years. He established the Field of Hope Gala which as raised over $3 million for research. He has been the recipient of the “Jimmy V Don’t Ever Give Up” Award from the Jimmy Valvano Foundation.
Recently Phil and friends have founded The Foundation To Save The Jersey Shore, a local community based 501c(3) volunteer organization to raise funds to provide assistance to homeowners, businesses and communities affected by Sandy as they rebuild, recover and renew their lives.
Phil is married to Susan Villapiano and has three children, Andrea, a teacher at Seashore, Philip and Michael.
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In addition to the Libutti Award, the Chamber will present the 2013 President’s Award to Monmouth Medical Center for 125 years of healing and teaching here in Long Branch.
Monmouth Medical Center was opened by area businessmen in four rented rooms above Arnold’s delicatessen in 1887 as a place to treat ailing children.
Today, Monmouth Medical Center, a 527-bed community teaching hospital, also is home to The Children’s Hospital. Monmouth treats nearly 20,000 adult and pediatric inpatients and performs more than 13,000 surgeries annually. Monmouth handles 370,000 patient visits through its many outpatient departments and ambulatory services, including 46,000 patients who receive acute care through the Emergency Department and Pediatric Emergency Department.
Monmouth’s reputation as a progressive academic medical center attracts the state’s top physicians who are committed to quality patient care and medical excellence. Monmouth has more than 900 members on its medical and dental staff – trained in primary care medicine, as well as in 60 recognized subspecialties such as maternal-fetal medicine, neonatology, gynecologic oncology, cardiology and pulmonology. Monmouth also offers access to a host of surgical specialties and offers the highest surgical survival rate of all the academic medical centers in New Jersey.
Monmouth Medical Center gives patients access to world-class physicians and procedures to ensure a higher level of expertise and the best outcomes.
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The 2013 Invest in Long Branch Award recipient will be the Ocean Place Resort & Spa. The hotel underwent a total upgrade, including a new roof and exterior repair; replacing all balcony guest room windows and doors and a beautifully redecorated lobby.
Receiving the 2013 Business Improvement Awards are Jack’s Rib and Ale; Arje’s The Salon and Café D’Amico. They were selected for their improvements to their buildings which enhanced their neighborhoods.
For further information, please call the Chamber office at 732-222-0400 or email at [email protected]