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 NEWARK, N.J., Sept. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The volunteer efforts of 20 special people who help to brighten lives and strengthen communities throughout New Jersey will be recognized at an 8:30 a.m. reception on Sept. 13 hosted by Public Service Electric and Gas company (PSE&G) at its 80 Park Plaza headquarters in Newark.
 The reception honors participants in PSE&G's "We Caught The Spirit" volunteer recognition program and will feature the presentation of grants totaling $19,500 to community organizations served by PSE&G employee volunteers. Officials from many of the community service organizations will be attending the event, which will honor 18 PSE&G employees as "We Caught The Spirit" monthly award winners and two quarterly award recipients.
 Lawrence R. Codey, PSE&G's president and chief operating officer, said the goal of the "We Caught The Spirit" program is to honor the exemplary achievements of PSE&G employee volunteers. Each year, the program recognizes employees on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis.
 "At PSE&G, we view volunteerism as an integral part of good corporate citizenship and our employees have made volunteering a strong and proud tradition since the company's inception," said Codey. "The `We Caught The Spirit' award recipients represent the best of this tradition of volunteerism."
 "A recent employee survey indicated that more than 70 percent of our nearly 13,000 employees engage in volunteer activities," Codey said. "We estimate that value of the services they provide to be in excess of $10 million annually."
 "We Caught The Spirit" recipients are selected by an independent panel of representatives from New Jersey's volunteer community. The panel chairperson is Elaine Sterling, vice president of the Volunteer Center of Essex County. Selection criteria is based on a review of a Statement of Volunteer Activities submitted by each nominee. The statement outlines the volunteer's area of focus and also addresses need, scope of activity, accomplishment, approach and the uniqueness/value of the employee's volunteer service.
 Codey will present plaques and $3,000 grants to two quarterly award winners -- Barbara Heiser, a senior executive secretary in the public affairs department in Newark, and Andrew Loiacono, a customer inquiry representative at PSE&G's northern inquiry and accounting center in Cranford, N.J. The $3,000 grants will be given to the non-profit community service organizations served by Heiser and Loiacono.
 Heiser, a Nutley resident, assists The Dystonia Foundation, The Good Shepherd Academy, The Yard School of Art and other charitable organizations with their planning, development and fund raising activities.
 Loiacono, a Newton resident, is a volunteer for the Sussex County Unit of the American Cancer Society. He acts as a volunteer counselor for two support groups serving cancer patients and families in the Franklin and Newton areas.
 The 18 "We Caught the Spirit" monthly award winners will receive certificates and $750 grants to be used by non-profit organizations.
 They are as follows:
 -- Simon J. Blom of Midland Park, a staff administrator in the northern gas distribution systems operations department in Clifton, N.J., for the Guidance Guild Day Care Center, Inc., in Passaic, N.J.
 -- Robert L. Brant of Yardley, Pa., a safety coordinator at Mercer Generating Station in Hamilton Township, for the Rusling Hose Ambulance and Corps Rescue Squad in Hamilton Township.
 -- Edward N. Collins of Cherry Hill, N.J., an inquiry representative at the southern inquiry and accounting center in Bordentown, N.J., for the Cherry Hill Minorities Civic Association, Inc., in Cherry Hill.
 -- Dale R. Cowley of West Orange, N.J., an underground technician in the Irvington, N.J., underground department of the Metropolitan Electric Distribution Division, for Boy Scouts of American Troop No. 2 in West Orange.
 -- Thomas R. Dardani of Monmouth Junction, N.J., a mechanic in the New Brunswick transportation department of the Central Electric Distribution Division, for the Kendall Park Volunteer Fire Company.
 -- Dan De Guzman of Parsippany, N.J., a senior staff auditor in the internal auditing department in Newark, for Literacy Volunteers of America - Newark, N.J.
 -- Sheila Y. Devereaux of Newark, a senior management development consultant, in the human resources planning and development department in Newark, for Reading Rainbow, a program of the Newark Literacy Campaign, Inc.
 -- Raymond A. Fernandez of Hazlet, N.J., a senior project manager, in the demand side management department in Newark, for the Monmouth County Boy Scouts of America.
 -- Hedilberto Galarza of Pennsauken, a distribution supervisor in the distribution department at Audubon Gas Center in Audubon, for Mi Casita Day Care Center in Camden, N.J.
 -- Harry J. Mahoney of Neshanic Station, N.J., a test engineer in the transmission systems department at the Research and Testing Laboratory in Maplewood, N.J., for United Cerebral Palsy of North Jersey in East Orange.
 -- Thomas Matulewicz of Rumson, N.J., an engineering plant supervisor at Palisades Electric Distribution Division in Secaucus, N.J., for the National Park Service's Volunteers in the Park Program, Fort Hancock and the Baykeeper Program of the American Littoral Society, Highlands.
 -- Judson Mitchell of Jersey City, N.J., a senior staff auditor in the internal auditing department in Newark, for the Northern New Jersey Chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants, Inc.
 -- Jose A. Pinho of Union, N.J., a service representative at the northern inquiry and accounting center in Cranford, for the Boy Scouts of America, Cub Scout Pack 101 at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Elizabeth, N.J.
 -- Domenic D. Staine of Lodi, N.J., a corrosion technician at the northern gas systems operations department in Clifton, for the Lodi Public Tree Board.
 -- Andrew Stokes of East Orange, a meter technician in the Elizabeth meter department of the Central Electric Distribution Division, for the East Orange Co-Op Day Care Center and Pre-School, Inc.
 -- William Thomson of Point Pleasant, N.J., supervisor displays, in the Springfield display department, for the Monmouth County Council of Girl Scouts.
 -- Robert Uniszkiewicz of Neshanic Station, a principal estimating engineer in the technology development services department in Newark, for Hillsborough Township Volunteer Fire Company No. 2.
 -- Shirley Walker of Irvington, N.J., a senior executive secretary in the Secretary's Department in Newark, for the C.I.N.D.Y. Foundation, an organization which provides toys and clothing to children who are homeless, impoverished or suffering from life-threatening illnesses.
 -0- 9/2/93
 /CONTACT: Priscilla Suber Brown, corporate communications, Public Service Electric and Gas Company, 201-430-6021/ CO: Public Service Electric and Gas Company ST: New Jersey IN: UTI SU:

WB-TW -- NY049 -- 8443 09/02/93 12:59 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 2, 1993

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