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Gregory Blair, Board President
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Four Heroes Receive Valor Awards at 200 Club of Mercer County Luncheon
Colonel Joseph R. Fuentes, Superintendent New Jersey State Police Delivers Keynote
MERCER COUNTY, June 15 — Three Ewing police officers and one Ewing firefighter received Valor Awards at 200 Club of Mercer County’s Annual Luncheon June 13 at the Stone Terrace by John Henry’s in Hamilton. 250 supporters from the community gathered to honor the Valor honorees and hear Colonel Fuentes’ keynote address.
The Valor Award is presented to an individual who has committed an act of bravery, beyond the call of duty, and at imminent personal risk to his own life and safety, and is the highest award bestowed by a 200 Club. A 200 Club Valor pin is the only pin allowed to be worn on the uniform of a New Jersey State Police officer outside of its own awards.
Ewing Fire Chief Jeffrey Lenarski presented the first Valor Award to Ewing Fire Captain Michael Anderson. Captain Anderson did not think twice before risking his own life to save a grandmother trapped on the second floor of her burning home May 2011.
Ewing Police Chief Robert Coulton presented Valor Awards to three Ewing Police officers: Frederick Dow, Jeffrey Caldwell, and Detective Michael Pellegrino. These men acted quickly at the scene of a car crash in January of 2012 where a telephone pole had fallen atop the vehicle. The three officers were able to pull an 81 year-old mother and her 54 year-old son out of the car just before it was engulfed in flames.
“This group of first responders, like so many safety and rescue personnel, put their own lives in danger to protect others,” said Greg Blair, president of the 200 Club of Mercer County. “Their courageous actions saved lives. They are quiet real-life heroes that embody all that the Valor Award represents.”
Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent New Jersey State Police provided an engaging and informative keynote on the topic of “The State Police After 9/11” and how security has changed drastically not only nationally but on state, and community levels as well. Colonel Fuentes described a State Police reorganization that has increased capacity of resources with their law enforcement, intelligence, corporate, and emergency response partners.
About The 200 Club of Mercer County
The 200 Club of Mercer County is one of several hundred associations nationwide dedicated to providing financial assistance to the families of our public safety and rescue personnel who are killed in the line of duty. This includes the police officers, correction officers, fire fighters, and rescue squad technicians of Mercer County. Established in 1979, The 200 Club of Mercer County has provided funds to a multitude of families. The club also supports organizations like local chapters of The American Red Cross, Mercer County Fire Academy, NJSP Museum honoring fallen Troopers, NY/NJ Port Authority Police Widows Fund. Gold Sponsors: Doerler Landscapes, Ritchie & Page, Ken Pieslak – Weidel Realtor, Roma Bank, and V.J. Scozzari and Sons. Silver Sponsors: Route 130 Car Wash, First Bank, and First Choice Bank. Visit www.mercer200club.org to learn more.
Photo caption: L-R 200 Club President Greg Blair, Valor Award Recipients Ewing Fire Captain Michael Anderson; Officer Jeffrey Caldwell and Detective Michael Pellegrino, Ewing Police Department Not pictured: Valor Award honoree Officer Frederick Dow, Ewing Police Department. Photo by: Joe Schmeltz