On December 20, the Little Silver Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 (LSVFC) generously donated $16,326.00 to the Brookdale Community College Foundation T. J. Bruno Memorial Scholarship for students with disabilities. Tony and Claudia Bruno and family friends Eleanor and Roger Dolan formed the scholarship in memory of their son, who died in 1999 at age 34.
“We are so grateful for Little Silver Fire Company’s generosity that ensures scholarships for students with disabilities are available while honoring the memory of a remarkable man, Anthony “TJ” Bruno,” said Nancy Kaari, vice president of Advancement at Brookdale Community College.
The Little Silver Volunteer Fire Company Memorial Golf Outing to benefit the TJ Bruno Scholarship Fund and the Chrissy D. Shaheen Memorial Foundation provides the funds for the scholarship. Committee members Tom Ankiewicz and Betsy Shaheen-Barnett, of Builders General Supply Co, Fire Chief Tom Smith, Tim Spencer, and President Dan Kelly, of Little Silver Volunteer Fire Company, No. 1, presented the check to Brookdale.
The scholarship provides tuition assistance annually for ten students who will attend Brookdale in the fall.
“The students have such a passion for what they are doing, and with all the challenges they may have, they keep pushing forward. They give 110% at the interviews. They give 110% to everything that they do,” said Tim Spencer of Little Silver Volunteer Fire Company No 1.
TJ came to Brookdale through the disability program EXCELL and was a Little Silver Fire Department member. Although he had disability challenges, he was still competitive, could drive himself, take care of himself, and live independently.
“TJ was just a special member for us. He was our photographer and he was a fire police officer,” said Spencer.
The LSVFC has supported students with disabilities planning to attend Brookdale for twenty years.