Nomination from Yessica Chavez
Club Kali Roselle (multicultural) is the home to our children who want to learn about Mexico and it’s culture. Lucia offers traditional dance classes to our children, adults, as well as many other services to our community members. During the pandemic, Club Kali Roselle was not able to open its doors to customers, but Lucia and her husband Luis found a way to use their space to help out our Roselle residents and surrounding community.
Club Kali Roselle in partnership with Hispanos Unidos de Roselle used the space furring the month of April 2020, to collect food donations and were able to help out around 150 families from Roselle, Elizabeth, Roselle Park, Union Township, Linden, and Rahway. Even though, her business was struggling, Lucia never gave up and helped our community during such difficult times by providing her space. Also, during the month of September, Club Kali Roselle, open its doors one more time to host the Mexico Consulate and its food drive to help out 100 families in need. Together with Asociación Mexicana and Hispanos Unidos de Roselle, Club Kali Roselle has been helping out our community throughout this pandemic. Many meetings have been hosted here, including meeting and workshops to help our Spanish speaking parents navigate and understand the new programs our district was using. During a fire that took place in April 2021, Club Kali Roselle open their doors and worked together with Hispanos Unidos de Roselle one more time to receive donations for the families that were affected by the horrific fire.
Club Kali Roselle, has become a second home to our Latin community here in the Borough of Roselle.
Union County Small Business Community Champion’s Story
During the pandemic business was affected in many different ways, but that didn’t stop me from moving forward. Since we were closed due to the safety protocols and executive order of Governor Murphy, I had to find new ways to reach out to my customers.
We would offer door to door delivery, we would also offer transportation if any local neighbor needed help. We created new ways to stay in touch with our customers. During the time that we were closed, we opened our doors to help out our community.
A food drive was put together in April 2020 by Hispanos Unidos de Roselle, a group I am part of, we offered our space to receive and distribute the food that was donated to us. We were able to help many families, not only form Roselle but form our neighbor towns. We were also able to house the Consulado Mexicano en New York, who donated food for our families in Roselle. Asociación Mexicano and Hispanos Unidos De Roselle were part of our efforts to feed our community during this difficult times.
Our locations was also able to help out local parents understand and navigate the new school platform our district was using. We partner up with a local parent and we were able to offer a free orientation class to our parents.
During a fire that left many families without a place to sleep, we open our doors one more time to be the drop off location to receive donations for our families affected by the fire. Once we were able to open, I was so trill to bring our children back so that we can continue with our dance class. We took all the precautions and followed all safety orders. We have been working very hard to get back on track. We are always here for our community and especially for our families in need. This pandemic made us stronger as a business and on a personal level.
Nomination from Erica Kripaitis
Mark Dimaio has been in the fitness industry for a little over 10 years. Since I’ve known Mark, his dream has always been to open his own youth training facility. Mark didn’t come from money, he worked for everything he had/has. He started from the bottom and worked his way up with determination & grit. In 2021, he became fortunate enough to turn his dream into a reality. Before opening his facility, Mark was training clients on his own & even throughout Covid, he never gave up. He was always stayed determined even through the worst of times.
Mark is true definition of a mentor, a leader, and a member of the community. One thing that strikes me about Mark is the love and care that he has for his athletes. One day, Mark gave his athlete his new pair of sneakers because he noticed his athletes shoes were getting beaten up & worn down (he also knew his athletes family were struggling with money due to COVID) He has driven to CT, MD and PA to watch his athletes sports games. Another time, he trained an athlete for free because he knew the family was unable to afford it. Most importantly, his athletes look up to him and that is what makes Mark and his business so special. They build athletes to be the best version of themselves physically, mentally and emotionally on the field and off the field.