Golfers hit the course to support the Department for Persons with Disabilities

Nicholson Family and Eastern Propane named Humanitarian of the Year

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  • Humanitarians of the Year Eastern Propane and the Nicholson Family. Robert B. Nicholson, the Chairman of Eastern Propane is kneeling, holding the award at the bottom, center of Team Eastern.

The Department for Persons with Disabilities’(DPD) 39 Annual Wiegand Farm Golf Classic, sponsored by Lakeland Bank, was held on June 24 at two separate courses for the first time in the Department’s history. One-hundred-ninety-six golfers flocked to Bowling Green Golf Club and Berkshire Valley Golf Course in Oak Ridge to support the charity, which provides care for adults with developmental disabilities.

The Department for Persons with Disabilities provides residential and vocational support for adults with developmental disabilities and their families. DPD operates nine group homes, two supervised apartments and a vocational day program throughout Morris, Passaic and Sussex County.

The Wallace House is one of these programs located on Glen Road in Sparta.

“The 2013 Wiegand Farm Golf Classic was our biggest and most successful ever. We had 196 golfers, over 130 sponsors and raised over $80,000. This amazing level support is truly uplifting and inspirational” said DPD Development Director Christopher Brancato.

Over $55,000 was raised on sponsorships, including contributions from the Event Sponsor, Lakeland Bank, Platinum Sponsors Eastern Propane and Arthur J. Gallagher and Co. and Gold Sponsors Joseph A. NatoliContruction and Macedos Construction.

In addition to sponsorships, DPD raised over $7,000 on the silent auction portion of the event which featured items donated by celebrities, athletes, restaurants , golf courses and local businesses.

DPD also raised over $9,000 on their MEGA 50/50 fundraiser which was won by William Stank of Wharton.

Luckily, the skies remained sunny throughout the entire day for DPD.

The 196 golfers started off the day by watching several participants take a chance at a 60-foot putt for $2,500. Unfortunately, the putts fell short. The golfers teed off soon after.

The highlight to many of the participant’s day was the Win-A-Watch hole where golfers took a shot at the green to win a watch from Alexander House residents Anthony Iovine and John Huppman. “The day is a lot of fun. It is great meeting people who help me and my friends” Anthony said.

After golf, the luncheon, silent auction and award ceremony was held. DPD Board Member and past DPD Humanitarian of the Year, Mike Calabrese presented Ray Lillie with the Knight of Columbus the Year Award for his work with people with developmental disabilities. Lillie is a longtime member of the Bishop McLaughlin Council in Morris Plains.

Eastern Propane and the Nicholson Family were later presented with the Dominick Calabrese Humanitarian of the Year Award by Russell Dunn, the Vice President of Lakeland Bank and Scott Milliken, DPD’s Executive Director.

Eastern Propane was established in 1938 and is currently one of the largest privately owned propane marketers in the country. “If you attend a charity event in the surrounding area of Jefferson Township, you are likely to see that it was sponsored by Eastern Propane. Rob Nicholson and the entire Eastern Propane family do so much for the community and we are so proud to honor them for their fantastic service, kindness and dedication” said Milliken.

“I would like to congratulate the honorees, Eastern Propane, The Nicholson Family, and Mr. Raymond Lillie. Their leadership and contributions to DPD have had a significant impact on the lives of individuals and families throughout the state” wrote NJ Governor Chris Christie through a letter to all participants.

If you are interested in golfing in the 2014 Wiegand Farm Golf Classic or if you would like to sponsor the 2014 event contact DPD Development Director Chris Brancato at 973-406-1104 or at

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