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Building Futures Awards

(Paramus, NJ) – October 15, 2014 - Children’s Aid and Family Services recently hosted its annual Building Futures Awards at the Woman’s Club of Ridgewood. Click here to see photos from the event. The following individuals and organizations were honored:

Shavonda Sumter – Government Leadership

Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter serves on the Health and Senior Services and Commerce and Economic Development Committees in the New Jersey Legislature. She is director of behavioral health services at Mountainside Hospital in Montclair, NJ. She is also the Secretary of the NJ Legislative Black Caucus. She has been a supporter of the work of The Center for Alcohol and Drug Resources, a program of Children’s Aid and Family Services, in its efforts to educate low-income citizens about healthy aging in Paterson and Garfield.       

Mary Pat Angelini – Government Leadership

          Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini serves on the Health and Human Services and Human Services Committees in the New Jersey Legislature. She is the CEO of Preferred Services of New Jersey, a non-profit community behavioral health agency. She sponsored the 911 legislation, which established a safe haven from prosecution for minors who get medical attention for underage drinkers. Assemblywoman Angelini has also worked with other legislators to create a comprehensive plan to curb heroin and prescription drug abuse.

Saddle River Day School – Community Leadership

Saddle River Day School’s students are active in giving back to the community. They participate in a pajama drive for the Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center. They raise funds to increase awareness of breast cancer, leukemia; donate supplies and funds to disaster relief efforts and create care packages for U.S. military personnel. The students also donated their artwork to Children’s Aid and Family Services’ Medical Center, where children in therapeutic foster care receive direct medical care.

Beal Bank – Business Leadership

Beal Bank encourages its employees to give back to the community, and has been a strong supporter of Children’s Aid and Family Services. Its employees have volunteered on an ongoing basis with the agency, especially with office tasks and the distribution of diapers and formula to low-income families with babies.

Borough of Paramus -- Municipality Award

The borough of Paramus has been a leader in providing social services support to its citizens. It has also taken the lead in helping to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness. In 2013, it became the first Stigma-Free zone in Bergen County, working to educate the community about this issue.

Children’s Aid and Family Services has worked closely with the borough for many years headquarters and one of its community homes for children in therapeutic foster care are located in Paramus.

Woodlea/Path I Advisory Council – Special Recognition Award

The Woodlea/Path I Advisory Council is a group of dedicated community volunteers whose mission is to enhance the quality of life for the children in Children’s Aid and Family Services’ Path I home for young boys in therapeutic foster care and its Woodlea home for young girls in therapeutic foster care who have suffered abuse and neglect. For more than 40 years, these volunteers have been supplying the items that a parent would normally give to their children, such as games, sneakers, recreational trips, bicycles, special occasion outfits and gifts in recognition of the children’s achievements. They also help to ensure the homes remain comfortable by raising funds for carpeting, wallpaper and furniture.

Waldwick School of Rock - Small Business Leadership

The Waldwick School of Rock has been a strong supporter of many community programs. It has been especially dedicated to Children’s Aid and Family Services’ programs for children and teenagers with severe autism and for children in therapeutic foster care. STATiC, The director of music and operations and the students, organized a fundraiser that enabled 82 of the children to go to the Bergen Community Gourmet Food Truck Festival and enjoy summer camp and other recreational experiences.

About Children’s Aid and Family Services

Children’s Aid and Family Services is a leading nonprofit human services organizations serving northern New Jersey. The agency is fully accredited and has served the community for more than 110 years. Its mission is to preserve, protect, and when needed, provide families. Motivated by compassion and in partnership with the community, we make positive lasting differences in the lives of those we serve. We provide high quality, innovative services to children and their families that advance social, educational and emotional development and wellbeing. For more information on Children’s Aid and Family Services, call 201.261.2800 or visit