One of Livingston’s largest businesses is joining forces with the township to celebrate next year’s bicentennial.
At Monday’s Livingston Township Council meeting, Mayor Stephen Santola was joined by members of Saint Barnabas Medical Center to announce that the medical center would be donating $100,000 to the bicentennial fund and would serve as the "Black Diamond Sponsor" of next year's celebration.
"When we were canvassed about supporting Livingston in this endeavor, wewe really feel like we are such a part of Livingston that how do you celebrate 200 years without us being part of it," said Dr. John Bonamo, President and CEO of Saint Barnabas.
Saint Barnabas Medical Center moved to Livingston in November 1964 and will soon be celebrating their own 50th anniversary in 2014.
"Next year you celebrate 200 years, well the year after that, we celebrate 50 years in Livingston," Bonamo said to Santola and residents who attended the meeting. "So for the greater part of everyone here's time in Livingston, Saint Barnabas has been there with you. So we feel that the Livingston bicentennial celebration is our celebration as well."
The Livingston Bicentennial Committee, which is headed by Scott Maynard and vice-chaired by former Livingston mayors Ellie Cohen and Arlene Johnson, has been planning a moneumental celebration to commemorate the 200th anniversary since Livingston was officially established as a township in 1813.
“The leadership example of Saint Barnabas Medical Center's support will set the pace for generous support and involvement in what is going to be a year-long celebration of Livingston's past, present and future," Santola said in a statement. "We hope everyone will be inspired by this generous gift and will choose to be involved in the bicentennial through their financial gifts and participation in events.”
The money raised for the bicentennial fund will be used to support a wide range of events, programs, and activities, almost all of which will be free to the public. The bicentennial fund will also finance the purchase of a legacy gift for Livingston.
The celebration kicks off in January, with a month focused on Livingston's strong tradition of volunteerism, with a Volunteer Appreciation Celebration on January 24, a Volunteer Fair on January 26, and the traditional Day of Service on Martin Luther King's Birthday.