Governor’s Jefferson Awards Ceremony
Honors Chad Murphy, Auggie DeVito
Newark, NJ – Two local community volunteers, Augustine (Auggie) DeVito of Long Branch and Chad Murphy of Sea Bright were honored at the New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Awards ceremony held on Tuesday, June 9, at the Newark Museum. They were among 22 volunteer individuals and groups recognized for their voluntary service each year from among one 1.5 million New Jersey volunteers who devote millions of hours of community service annually.
The Jefferson Awards provide occasion to honor those who help others with no expectations of receiving acknowledgement or financial reward for their work. The program was introduced in New Jersey by Governor Tom Kean in the 1980s, having begun at the national level in 1972 by the American Institute for Public Service. The program’s philosophy is from President Thomas Jefferson and his beliefs in citizens providing leadership, excellence and entrepreneurship in serving and giving back to the country.
Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno addressed and thanked the volunteers, and said the work they do goes beyond what the government might accomplish, and at considerable costs. Other speakers voiced similar sentiments, backed by the applause of everyone in the 300 seat auditorium.
Mr. DeVito was recognized with the Lifetime Service Award for his nearly four decades of meeting challenges and providing amazing contribution to the community. For 38 years he has directed an activity to help those with physical and mental challenges. The program grew from six participants to more than 90 each year. Thirty one years ago he started the first Monmouth County Pretrial Intervention program to guide first-time offenders into community service to earn expunging of their records, helping them to become productive citizens.
Chad Murphy, a Sea Bright Police Officer and Fire Chief of the Sea Bright Department received the Emergency Services award, honoring him for bringing his community, devastated by hurricane Sandy back to its feet. The hurricane took down the fire house, destroyed buildings in the entire community and left many firefighters also without homes.
He was on call, on duty as Fire chief 24 hours a day for more than two months. It is a-said that without Murphy’s efforts the Fire Department would have folded and left the town without protection. “He made a huge contribution and sacrificed everything for his department and his community” the award committee report says.
Edward J. O’Malley, Chair of the Governor’s Advisory Council said “The scope of work being done by volunteers is humbling, and caliber of the individuals we honor sets the bar for us all.”
The Governor’s Jefferson Awards program is a partnership of the New Jersey Office of Volunteerism, the Community Foundation of New Jersey, and The Star-Ledger|NJ.com, with underwriting support from PNC Bank, BD, PSEG, Verizon, and State Farm Insurance.
Information on the awards can be found at www.njgovernorsawards.com.