The Randolph News – My Paper Online Online Local Community News for New Jersey Wed, 14 Feb 2018 19:16:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Learn How To Deal With Life’s Challenges Thu, 28 Dec 2017 18:08:49 +0000 An upcoming Connections women’s night out is on January 7 at 7:30 p.m.

We all have experienced ups and downs in our life in addition to daily challenges that we may be constantly confronted with.

When the Matza Falls Buttered Side Down is the upcoming topic on January 7. Gain fresh perspective and try some reframing listening to Mrs. Chaya Teldon as she discusses how to deal with life’s challenges, sufferings and pain.

Trust me on this, Mrs. Teldon is the right person to share on this topic. When you hear her story, you will understand why we invited her to our community. The New York times called her the “Erma Bombeck” of Jewish Speakers. With her natural warmth and humor along with her wisdom, you will no doubt leave feeling uplifted and inspired.

Refreshments will be served. Come and just relax and share a great evening together! Of course feel welcome to invite a friend!


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Y Hosts Campaign To Provide ADA Locker Room In Honor Of Longtime Member Thu, 21 Dec 2017 03:14:40 +0000 By Henry M. Holden

The Randolph YMCA recently embarked on a campaign to fund the addition of an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible locker room.

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, prohibits discrimination based on disability and requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities. It also imposes accessibility requirements on public accommodations.

“One of those accommodations is accessible locker rooms for people with disabilities,” said Jordan DiEgidio, Development director at the Y. “This means providing barrier-free access for hundreds of people preparing for physical activity and aquatic rehabilitation. The locker room will also serve families with individual changing stalls and private showers.”

The population is diverse, made up of men, women and children with injuries, disabilities and illnesses.

“We want to build a separate locker room near the front desk and the lobby area, that meets the ADA requirements,” said DiEgidio. “Right now, if someone were to come in with a wheelchair, or walker, or with special needs they must walk down a long hallway, through the maze of our locker rooms, and across the main pool deck, to get to the warm water pool. By the time they get there they are exhausted, even before they’ve started their rehabilitation.”

To help fund the new locker room, the Y held an event staffed by 50 volunteers who gave their time to honor a great person, and a great cause.

“In October we held our 1st Annual ‘Swim for Sally,’” event, said DiEgidio. “It was a swim/water walk in memory of long-time Y member, Sally Schenkman, who passed away suddenly in May. The Y was like a second home for Sally. She was here every day as well as working as a nurse at the Atlantic Health Hospital.

“Her family wanted to do something in her memory,” he said. “They approached us, and we came up with the first swim for Sally event since she would swim here every day.

The new locker room will cost about $200,000.

“On the day of the event, we raised over $10,000 towards a new ADA Accessible locker room,” he said. Since the campaign began in September, the Y has raised more than $70,000 through some 447 donors.

“We did a lot of our fundraising virtually; about $55,000 was raised in a month and a half before the event, and more money will be coming in by the end of the year,” he said.

“Seventy swimmers swam 4,134 laps equaling 125 miles, and some people swim 340 laps,” said DiEgidio. “We worked it so that people could swim, or walk the pool, and one could sponsor them by either a fixed donation or by so much per lap.

Following the swim, 26 local businesses donated the food and raffle prizes for a complimentary dinner for all participants.

A highlight of the event was Randolph native Brendan Fletcher, one of the top five contenders from “The Voice.” He donated his time to perform at the dinner.

“The event was so successful we’re going to run this every year now,” he said.

If anyone would like to donate towards building the Sally Schenkman ADA Accessible Family Locker Room, contact Jordan DiEgidio at; 973-366-1120 x38.

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Local Candy Store Entrepreneur Sweetens Charities Through Annual Giving Thu, 21 Dec 2017 03:13:35 +0000 By Henry M. Holden

John Tompkins (aka JT) spent 23 years on Wall Street running a credit derivatives floor. In 2008, they wanted him to sign a new contract, but he realized he was burning out. He saw a two-week window where he could resign without being in a breach of contract so, he took it.

“I was able to get out while I still had a sliver of my soul intact,” he said. “At the time I had no plans or intentions to do anything.”

Tompkins had developed a craving for homemade caramels growing up; specifically, Mrs. Cooks’ caramels. She was the mother of his childhood best friend, Andy, and for several years his family had been making caramels and pecan clusters at Christmas time, to give to his neighbors and friends.

“In April of 2011, I decided I needed to do something before my wife killed me in my sleep,” he said. “I woke up one morning and while I was meandering to the kitchen it came to me in a flash. I was going to open a confections company. The whole thought process took no more than .065 seconds.

“After about six months of experimenting with recipes, burning pots, myself, and setting off smoke alarms, I created the perfect caramel,” he said. “My caramels are the best caramels you will ever eat.”

Tompkins found opening a new business is challenging.

“The whole science of ‘tempering chocolate’ was something I had to learn,” he said.

Tempering chocolate is necessary for making smooth, glossy, evenly colored coating for dipped chocolates. Tempering prevents the dull grayish color and waxy texture that happens when the cocoa fat separates out.

“The process involves melting, a block of chocolate, heating to a specific temperature, and then cooling it down slowly,” he described.

“Last year at this time I had a lot of big corporate orders and I couldn’t get my brand-new chocolate tempering machine to work properly,” he said.  “The chocolate wasn’t coming out right and I was losing my mind. I called the manufacturer in Boston, and he walked me through the process. I was doing everything right. Finally, he came down here and discovered that the three thermostats used in nine different temperature controls in the process were not calibrated correctly at the factory. This was a big learning curve for me.”

As systems improved for Tompkins, so did profit.

“As our sales began increasing, my wife Sharon, reminded me that we have had a very lucky blessed life and suggested that we use JT’s to ‘pay it back,’” he said.

JT committed to donating a significant part of the profits to nonprofit organizations.

“In 2013, we began working with Summit Speech School in New Providence N.J.; in 2015, we added the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) component to our charitable universe; in 2016 we added St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital to our universe.

“These organizations are in some way near and dear to our hearts,” he said.

In the last 4-years JT has donated $50,000 to charity. His eventual goal is to donate $150,000 to charity on an annual basis.

“JT’s is still a relatively small company; however, our intention is to scale the company through online and corporate sales so that at some point we are writing impactful checks to nonprofits,” said Tompkins.

For more information, visit JT’s shop in Heritage Square, Randolph;; or call 908-377-9199.

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Organization Helps Resettle Refugees In Morris County Thu, 21 Dec 2017 03:01:41 +0000 By Elsie Walker

Last fall, a family from overseas arrived at Newark Airport. That family consisted of a father, mother, a 19 year old son, an 8 year old daughter and a 6 year old son. The family had had another son, but he had been killed when a bomb hit near their home in Aleppo, Syria.

Now, these refugees had come to the United States to start a new life.  To help them make the transition to that life was the Refugee Assistance Morris Partners (RAMP).

Gerry Gannon, who lives with his wife, Mary, in Florham Park, is coordinator of RAMP. Gannon explained how it got started:

“About a year and a half ago, members of the Voice of the Faithful, a group of Catholics concerned about the condition of the Church, met and shared their concern regarding the horrendous suffering of the Muslim refugees that was taking place in the Middle East.  A number of us had been involved in the refugee situation that took place following the Vietnam War, and wanted to do the same for the newest refugees.”

Gannon shared that they got the word out to a variety of Morris County organizations, temples, and mosques about a meeting to discuss about helping to resettle refugees in Morris County.

“Although we did not know who, or how many people would come to the meeting, we were amazed that more than 70 people showed up to find out what could be done,” said Gannon.

At later meetings, they organized into committees to prepare for what the refugees would need to support them settling in Morris County: Housing, employment, education, health and social services, welcoming and orientation, finances (including household budgeting etc, ) furniture and  clothing collection, as well as lists of drivers and translators.

“[Then] we arranged with the Church World Service (CWS), a well known national organization, to facilitate the sponsorship of a refugee family,” said Gannon. “The role of CWS was to arrange for the transportation of the families to America and assign the families to RAMP.”

RAMP is a non-profit interfaith effort.  There are 200 members in RAMP including volunteers, service providers, donors and people just interested in helping in any way they can.  Member organizations which are part of RAMP include Brookside Community Church/United Church of Christ, Morristown; Church of Latter Day Saints, Morristown; Church of the Messiah (Episcopal), Chester; Grace Episcopal Church, Madison; the Islamic Center of Basking Ridge; the Islamic Center of Morris County; Morristown Unitarian Fellowship; St. Matthew the Apostle Parish, Randolph; St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Morris Plains; St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Morristown; St. Vincent Martyr Church, Madison; Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth, Convent Station; Sophia Inclusive Catholic Community, Sparta; The Presbyterian Church in Morristown; and Voice of the Faithful New Jersey. While it has no office, RAMP meetings are regularly held at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Morristown.

After the first family arrived, another from Kabul, Afghanistan came in March 2017, a young couple with a two-year old boy. While in Afghanistan, the father was injured by shrapnel when a suicide bomber exploded a car not far from where he was standing.  Now, just this past month, the family celebrated the birth of a daughter. She represents the first American citizen in their family.

Gannon noted the great satisfaction RAMP members feel in helping these refugees: “If you were to ask any member of RAMP who has been involved in assisting members of a family, they will tell you that they have received  rewards, enormous emotional satisfaction  and gratefulness for their experience  of knowing and working with these families.”

For more information about RAMP, visit its site at:

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Versatile Volunteer Embraces Role As CCM Board Chair And Veteran’s Cemetery Manager Thu, 21 Dec 2017 03:00:01 +0000 By Cheryl Conway

Whether its politics, veterans’ affairs or academics, one Mt. Olive resident manages to stay involved no matter what hat he wears.

Paul Licitra of Flanders, former mayor of Mt. Olive, just received two appointments in November. He was elected chair of the County College of Morris Board of Trustees on Nov. 15 at its annual reorganization meeting; a day earlier he received a letter by the governor’s office to serve on the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery Advisory Council.

Licitra is excited about both appointments and looks forward to any contributions he can make as a volunteer.

“I look forward to being chairman,” says Licitra about his new two-year role on the CCM board. “It’s an exciting school to be at right now.  I consider it to be top 10 in the nation. We just changed presidents.”

On the CCM Board of Trustees for the past six years, Licitra was appointed to the board in 2012 by the Morris County Board of Freeholders. Reappointed last year, he has served in multiple roles such as secretary, vice chair and now chair.

“Every two years, we rotate it,” Licitra says regarding the chair’s role.

The CCM Board of Trustees is composed of eleven Morris County residents from business, education, law and other professional fields who volunteer their services in four-year terms.  The board sets policy and has final authority over budgets and expenditures.

In the midst of its 50th anniversary, CCM has had just three presidents, with Dr. Anthony J. Iacono recently inaugurated as the college’s third president.

He “came in with a new vitality,” says Licitra of the new leader. “He’s reenergized the staff. He brings a vitality and energy that’s unbelievable. It’s pleasure to work with the new president,” as well as the old president and staff.

Licitra first got connected with CCM in 2005 when his daughter attended and received her associate’s degree in early childhood education, went onto Montclair State and now teaches in Randolph.

“I always heard about what a great school it was,” says Licitra. “My daughter graduated from CCM; I saw how it turned her life. She made dean’s list; she became a great teacher.”

According to Licitra, CCM is “one of the only schools in N.J. with a population that’s increasing. We are that good; looking to stay that way.”

CCM currently boast 15,000 students in various programs, according to Licitra.

“Our campus is immense,” he says. “It’s an education you can afford” for two years with credits that will transfer to all N.J. colleges.

As a board, “we accomplish a lot,” says Licitra.  It meets twice a month. As chair, he gets to set the agenda for meetings, appoint committee chairs, deal with the college president daily on college matters and mentor new trustees.

“I make sure everyone does their jobs,” says Licitra.

He says the board’s mission is “Don’t get in the way. It’s running so well; give them the tools to do what they do best.”

As far as making any changes, Licitra sees no need as “I’ve been looking for something for six years. It’s a well-oiled machine; just give them the tools and don’t get in the way. They are that good of a staff.”

For goals, Licitra says, “I’d like to make his [Iacono’s] transition at CCM a pleasant one.”

He is also working on some extensions with the college, wants to see board members get more involved with the college and its students such as attending plays, serving on advisory boards and even activate a veterans’ committee.

Having served as an Army Sgt. Military policeman in Vietnam from 1965-1927, Licitra says he does what he can to help support veterans.

“I’m attentive to the veterans and what their wishes are,” says Licitra. “I do a lot of outreach with veterans. I thank them for their service.”

Licitra was a commissioner with the N.J. Agents Orange Commission in the 1980’s in which he helped research at a lab at Rutgers University and draft legislation on Agent Orange, a herbicide and chemical used by the U.S. military as part of its herbicidal warfare program.

“Whenever they need somebody” regarding veterans, Licitra gets involved.

On Nov. 14, he received notice of his appointment by Gov. Chris Christie to serve on the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery Advisory Council through June 2020.

“The governor needed a veteran on the committee so they came to me,” says Licitra. “It was another way I can help veterans.”

On this council, Licitra will be one of five commissioners to help manage the one veterans’ cemetery in N.J.

As a resident of Flanders with his wife Norma for the past 45 years and their three kids now grown, Licitra has served in various capacities.

Licitra served as Mt. Olive Twp. mayor from 2000-2004 after serving eight years as a councilmember from 1992-2000, the planning board for 20 years, Morris County Planning Board and various state assembly committees.

“I was very active; I coached four sports at one time,” says Licitra,  who currently manages the N.J. State Motor Vehicle Commission in Newton and works part-time as a non-paid volunteer managing the Allamuchy satellite office of  Senator Steven Oroho and

Assemblyman Parker Space. His professional experience involves 40 years in insurance covering all aspects of risk management.

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Thomas Edison’s West Orange Home Open For Holiday Tours Thu, 21 Dec 2017 02:55:01 +0000 By Anya Bochman

The Glenmont Estate in West Orange, built in 1880, had a less than illustrious start when its original owner, Henry Pedder, was jailed for embezzlement. According to Karen Sloat-Olsen, chief of Interpretation and Education at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park, the house was subsequently put on the market. Thomas Edison, newly engaged to his second wife Mina Miller in 1886, saw the grand house for sale and bought it for his bride as a wedding present.

The 29-room mansion sits amid rolling lawns and includes a barn and carriage house on the property. Miller Edison, as well as the Edison children, made renovations and additions to the estate over time; new greenhouses were erected on the grounds, and a garage – to accommodate Edison’s interest in cars – was added to the house.

Today, these sights are available to curious visitors; the greenhouses are functional and managed by volunteers, and the garage includes an original charging panel and gas pump for cars of the era – as well as automobiles owned by Edison. The first and second floors of Glenmont Estate, which include original furnishings, are available for viewing.

The estate is part of the Thomas Edison National Historical Park in Llewellyn Park in West Orange, a site “dedicated to promoting an international understanding and appreciation of the life and extraordinary achievements of Thomas Alva Edison by preserving, protecting and interpreting the Park’s extensive historic artifact and archive collections.”

The property has been open for tours since October; starting on Nov. 24 through Jan. 7, the inventor’s home will undergo a special program called “Holidays at Glenmont.”

During this period, Glenmont Estate will be decorated in the style it saw when inhabited by the Edison family. Selected musical pieces will accompany tours, with greenery and red poinsettias decking the mantles above the fireplaces. Staircases will be ringed with boughs and red ribbons, with wreaths decorating every window.

According to a press release by the park, “in the den, the majestic 10-foot tree will be lit and the presents underneath will be waiting as if the Edison children Madeleine, Theodore and Charles will soon come running down the stairs from their rooms.”

The holiday tours will be offered on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.; the site will be closed on Sunday, Dec. 24. Spring tours on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays will begin again on Friday, March 30, 2018.

Visitors to the estate must purchase car passes and tour tickets at the Laboratory Complex Visitor Center. Admission is $10, and includes the Glenmont Estate and the Laboratory Complex, as well as the surrounding estate grounds. Children under age 16 are free, as are seniors with valid senior passes.

Sloat-Olsen points out that Llewellyn Park is a private residential community – necessitating the car passes in order to get to the Edison residence.

“The tickets sell out quickly due to limited space, so it’s advisable for visitors to come fairly early,” Sloat-Olsen says.

The Visitor Center of the Park is located at 211 Main Street in West Orange. For more information or directions, call 973-736-0550, ext. 11 or visit

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Historic Essay Winners Are Recognized Thu, 21 Dec 2017 02:41:21 +0000 Randolph Memorial Post #7333, Veterans of Foreign Wars, recently recognized the winners of its patriotic essay contests.

Post Commander Scott Montanio and Programs Chairman Jack Sassaman presented awards to the first-place winners at the post’s recent meeting. Ryan Manderioli, a Randolph Middle School student, received first place for his entry in the Patriots Pen Contest, and Elizabeth Moran, a West Morris Mendham High School student, won for her entry in the Voice of Democracy audio/essay scholarship contest.

Each essay is written to a preselected patriotic theme from the national headquarters located in Kansas City, Mo. Contest takes place once a year where all entries must be received by the entrant’s local VFW post by Oct. 31 of each year. National winners receive scholarship monetary awards.

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Savvy Science Students Thu, 21 Dec 2017 02:39:51 +0000 The Randolph High Science Honor Society Officers were recently announced. From left are science fair coordinator Kelyn Chen, secretary Sabrina Hu, Vice Presidents Brooke Olsen and Daphne Cheng, President Brett Ludwig, Parliamentarian Daniel Kim and Advisor Alicia Gomez.

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Olson Signs On To Run For Cornell Thu, 21 Dec 2017 02:38:33 +0000 Randolph High School senior Brooke Olson, a cross country runner and track team member, has signed a national letter of intent to run for Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y..

Olson is seated with her parents, Carl and Michele Olson. Standing, from left, are Randolph High School Assistant Athletic Director Marybeth Foran, Head Coach Lenny Pietrewicz, siblings Carl, Emily and Rachel Olson, assistant coach Kevin Higgins and Athletic Director Jeffrey DiLollo.

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Community Gathers For Challa Making Thu, 21 Dec 2017 00:40:28 +0000 More than 70 Jewish women joined together at the Randolph Community Center recently to perform a very special mitzva in memory of a very special lady – Linda Koval.

At the event, led by Rochie Pinson, author of “Rising – The Book of Challah,” participants learned how to create handmade challa — mixing, kneading and shaping their own traditional challah. They used the time to pray for family and friends as well as those who need a speedy recovery.

The purpose of this evening was to foster community, unity and sisterhood between all segments of the Jewish community. The event was organized by a two-sister team, Shlomit and Netanya Koval.

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