Hudson County Man Wins Max Your Vax Award; Jersey City student wins NABA / Xero scholarship | Journal Entries

Hudson County man wins $ 40,000 Max Your Vax award

Hudson County resident Ed Wengerter became the winner of Amazon’s $ 40,000 Max Your Vax award last October.

Amazon was offering its vaccinated frontline workers the chance to win big during the contest period until October 21, during which the company would award a total of 18 prizes worth nearly $ 2 million: two $ 500,000 cash rewards, six $ 100,000 rewards, five new vehicles and five vacation packages. To participate, employees had to provide proof of being fully immunized through an internal website and were automatically entered into weekly draws.

Wengerter, a retired firefighter and US Army veteran from Hudson County, has worked at Amazon since July 2020. He plans to use his $ 40,000 in earnings for a new truck; in addition, he will donate $ 1,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Amazon Warrior group. Amazon is giving plans to match this donation. As a frontline worker, Wengertner encourages his fellow Amazonians to do their part to give back to the community and pay it forward by getting vaccinated.

Local student receives scholarship

Jersey City resident Joel Guzman, a current student at Rutgers Business School, received a $ 2,500 scholarship from the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) and Xero, the global accounting software platform for small businesses that sponsored it. Guzman is doubly specialized in finance and economics.

A senior at Rutgers University, Guzman attended McNair Academic High School. During his second year at Rutgers, he interned at American Express with the school’s Global Merchant Services group. After experiencing the corporate world, he decided to seize another opportunity with UBS as part of their Tomorrow’s Talent program where he was an intern in global wealth management within the bond sales team.

After graduating next year, he will return to UBS to take a full-time position as a GTP Analyst of Global Wealth Management.

Hoboken Food Pantry Celebrates Founders Award

On Thursday, November 4, The Hoboken Food Pantry (HFP) celebrated Toni Tomarazzo, who recently received the New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Award for her work in creating the HFP. Local dignitaries, residents, public workers, volunteers and donors who all helped feed the community during this time of need were in attendance for the celebration at Hoboken Food Pantry, 1301 Washington St., Hoboken.

The HFP opened in December 2019 to help residents of the Hoboken Community Center’s Single Room Occupancy affordable housing program. But when the pandemic struck, the HFP stepped up operations to feed anyone in need in the community. In less than two years, more than 350 committed volunteers worked 2,310 hours and 1,300 partners and donors supported the HFP. With their help, the organization provided 18,445 bags to people in need. It also expanded its offering to provide 100 families with non-food items such as diapers, toiletries and cleaning supplies every two weeks.

Speakers included Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, City Councilor Jen Giattino, City Councilor Tiffanie Fisher, Hoboken Community Center Board Chair Kenneth Nilsen, and Hoboken Food Pantry Director of Operations, Chesleigh Meade.

The Hoboken Food Pantry is a community resource for a hunger-free Hoboken. The Pantry is part of the Hoboken Community Center, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit that also provides affordable housing for 96 low-income men. The pantry provides essential food and personal hygiene supplies to residents of the Affordable Housing Program and all food insecure residents of the community. The Pantry is a member agency of the Community Food Bank of NJ. To learn more, including how to donate or purchase Amazon’s Wish List, visit

Verisk employees volunteer over 2,500 hours

Verisk employees recently devoted more than 2,500 hours to supporting communities around the world as part of Verisk’s eighth annual Week of Volunteering. Verisk is a Jersey City-based global data analytics provider that helps customers protect people, property and financial assets around the world.

Volunteers contributed in a number of ways, including collecting and donating clothes and supplies for those in need, as well as preparing, packing and distributing meals in local pantries. Many have helped raise funds for various causes by participating in cycling challenges, races and walks or volunteering their time to support local organizations. Some donated much-needed blood and helped clean up local parks, community gardens, beaches and lakes. One group supported reforestation efforts by planting trees, and others participated in a project to reduce plastic waste in the ocean.

Flags placed for heroes

Councilors Dean Westpy and Dr Bransfield, with members of The chapter of the National Society of Honor of Social Studies Rho Kappa of the Lycée de Bayonne has placed flags on the lawn in front of the Lycée de Bayonne for the annual Field of Heroes program. Field of Heroes was held on November 10 in the O’Connor auditorium of the Lycée de Bayonne.

The keynote speaker was Lt. Col. Thomas Darrow, United States Army (2nd Battalion, 315th Brigade Engineer Battalion at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and Seton Hall University).

This year’s winners included Harriet Zakutansky (posthumously), US Army; Joseph Kochanski, US Army; Harold Spann, US Army; Frank Andrisano, Jr. (posthumously), US Marine Corps; and Brendon J. Pierson (posthumously), US Navy.

Local residents win award from WGU

The following local residents have won awards for excellence at Western Governors University. The award is given to students who succeed at a higher level in their courses:

Amanda Bellagamba of Hoboken won an award of excellence at Western Governors University Teachers College; Gisele Cupolillo of Hoboken won an Award of Excellence at Western Governors University College of Business; Yamila Castro of Union City won an Award of Excellence at the Western Governors University College of Health Professions.

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