Pass It Along celebrates service at annual Serv-A-Thon

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:48

    sussex county - Sussex County Community College was the venue for Pass It Along's Celebration of Service event last Saturday. Pass It Along is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing service to those in need so that no one goes uncared for. The organization works with volunteers to create and improve a variety of hands-on community service projects. "This weekend we had 78 projects going on in the area with over 1,000 volunteers and more than 70 percent of those volunteers are under the age of 21," said Diane Taylor, president of Pass It Along. The Serv-A-Thon, which took place over a two-day period, included such things as senior shut-ins, home repair and yard work, playground cleanups, bowling and swimming with mentally challenged children and adults and providing school supplies and reading books on tape for visually impaired children, to name but a few. The celebration on Saturday evening had musical entertainment and food. Games were provided for all but were especially designed for Tilly's Kids, a group of underprivileged children from Newark. Pastor Tilly Giresi exposes her inner-city children to a life outside of the poverty-stricken atmosphere thru tutoring, monthly outings and summer programs. "I like working with kids," said volunteer Chris Loyas from Sparta. "Especially Tilly's Kids, because these kids had to earn the right to be here by getting all their school work done. It's so nice to see them having fun in a safe environment because most of them come from difficult backgrounds." The Second Annual Burt Brazil Scholarship awards were given to four local high school seniors who have shown great commitment to community service. "We give this award to local seniors who have embodied all the qualities of volunteerism and leadership," said Cathy Brazil, chairperson for the scholarship foundation. This year's top scholarship of $1,000 was awarded to Lucy Chen of Hopatcong, who will be attending Columbia University in the fall where she will study science. Three other scholarships for $500 each were given to Ashley Cayan, Stephanie Ly and Christopher Loyas, all of Sparta. All four scholarship winners also received an award for completing 300 hours of community service with Pass It along.