The 2014 Long Branch Chamber of Commerce Business Awards Dinner

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The 2014 Long Branch Chamber of Commerce Business Awards Dinner honored some of the city’s outstanding, residents and businesses on Friday, April 4 at Ocean Place Resort and Spa.

Teacher Mary George, a born and raised in Long Branch, with Long Branch High School and Monmouth College in her bio that led to her BS in Education, was one of the honorees. She married William O. George in 1961 and later returned to New Jersey as a teacher at Shore Regional High.

She ran the Salton Block China store in the West End section of town and got into the Chamber of Commerce where she has been active since 1992, and is currently the Secretary. She has served on the Board of Education since 1994, proudly is a Green and White member. Ad to that, she is a member of the library board of trustees and Ronald McDonald House.

The very busy mother of five – William, Daniel, Alexander, Thomas and Mary Katherine has 17 grandchildren and is a communicant of at St. Michael’s RC Church.

Receiving the award from past recipient mayor Adam Schneider, she told of her love for the city and continued enthusiasm for its future success.

The other four awardees, the Sirianni family of boys, Sam, Anthony, Michael and Joe are also Long Branch born and raised. The oldest is Sam, who is a Monsignor, then came Anthony, a priest, Michael, a well-equipped and educated “chef extraordinaire” and councilman in the city, and Joe, an accomplished chef in his own right, as he is a Fire Chief and First Aider. Their bios filled four pages in the Awards Night journal.

They are the progeny of Marie and Anthony “Tut” Sirianni, themselves known for miles around for their famous Sirianni’s Friendly Café where each boy worked in the tutelage of their father. Born in Calabria Italy and coming to this country at age 14 months, Tut too was a life-long Long Brancher and church supporter, at Holy Trinity and St. Michael’s. He and Marie set the direction for the boys, lives of contribution and commitment to the city and community. Tut passed away in 2007 at the age of 78. Mother Marie was at the Friday evening banquet and celebrated with her children and their families.

The acceptance speeches each delivered, with rib poking from their siblings, provided a light, humorous air to the evening proceedings. It was brothers having fun and caring was the role each took on.

“This is what we are supposed to do (caring for others)”, they said. “It’s our how.”

Other awards recipients were:

* Presidents Award- Gregory School Senior Residence – a project of the Long Branch Housing Authority.

* Invest in Long Branch – Lasky House on Broadway. Judith and Ray Syms of Proficient Accounting Solutions restored this 1850 home on Broadway to its former splendor.

* Business Improvements –Jamm Printing for their new facade

* Business Improvements. Mar Bello Restaurant for their renovation of the former Pearl of Lisbon restaurant.

Over 280 guests attended the event and enjoyed food, activities and the music of Sandy Sasso.