Celebrating our 20th year as a nonprofit in the Trenton area, Kidsbridge was excited to present our Tenth Annual Kidsbridge Humanitarian Awards and Celebration on Thursday, November 3. The Trenton Country Club provided the backdrop once again, as Kidsbridge proudly presented a diverse and deserving group of honorees. Some might even use the word “unparalleled” in describing the prosocial service to our community and the selfless, humanitarian acts performed in order to benefit others. All four honorees decry bullying, encourage diversity appreciation and foster respect for others.

Kidsbridge Tolerance Center Trustee Lori Danko, Kidsbridge Board Chair Frank Lucchesi, honoree Hal English of Grand Bank, honoree Denise Taylor of Great Looks Hair Salon, honoree Brian O’Reilly of Philadelphia Insurance, honoree Ewing Mayor Bert Steinmann and Kidsbridge Executive Director Lynne Azarchi at the 10th Annual Kidsbridge Tolerance Center's Humanitarian Awards Celebration held at the Trenton Country Club in Trenton, N.J. Thursday night, November 3, 2016. (Photo by Cie Stroud for Kidsbridge)Thursday night, November 3, 2016. (Photo by Cie Stroud for Kidsbridge)

Kidsbridge Tolerance Center Trustee Lori Danko, Kidsbridge Board Chair Frank Lucchesi, honoree Hal English of Grand Bank, honoree Denise Taylor of Great Looks Hair Salon, honoree Brian O’Reilly of Philadelphia Insurance, honoree Ewing Mayor Bert Steinmann and Kidsbridge Executive Director Lynne Azarchi at the 10th Annual Kidsbridge Tolerance Center’s Humanitarian Awards Celebration held at the Trenton Country Club in Trenton, N.J. Thursday night, November 3, 2016. (Photo by Cie Stroud for Kidsbridge)Thursday night, November 3, 2016. (Photo by Cie Stroud for Kidsbridge)

Congratulations to this year’s honorees:  the passionate and generous Denise Taylor, CEO of Great Looks Multicultural Hair Salon in West Windsor; longtime active community member Hal English, Vice President/Regional Manager at Grand Bank; diligent public official Mayor Bert Steinmann of Ewing Township; and Philadelphia Insurance Companies, putting their money where their mouth is by giving back to the communities in which their employees live and work.

The formal presentation included an introduction of each honoree by Frank Lucchesi, Kidsbridge’s Board President. One of our Kidsbridge Diversity Dolls, Anita, acted as his able sidekick, adding personal commentary (thanks to Frank using his “Anita voice”) – and much levity — to the presentation. The impeccable credentials of each honoree left audience members impressed, in awe, and sometimes in tears.

Thank you to the honorees, for inspiring us. Thank you to the attendees, for joining in our celebration and participating in our Silent and Live Auctions. Thank you to the staff and our volunteers, for without your efforts, this fantastic evening would not have been possible.

The 2016 Honorees

Denise Taylor

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Denise Taylor, CEO of Great Looks Multicultural Hair Salon, takes pride in developing loyal, supportive relationships with her guests, partners, and staff.

Beyond the salon, Denise is passionate about donating time and resources to communities in and around Mercer County. She and her staff are mainstays at charitable events, regional foundations, and local fundraising programs.

In 2013, Denise received a women of achievement award from the Princeton Chamber of Commerce and the Women in Business Alliance. In 2012, she was a Princeton YWCA Tribute to Women honoree.

Denise currently volunteers in leadership and advisory roles at Womanspace, Homefront’s Women’s Initiative, and the Princeton Breast Cancer Resource Center’s In the Pink fashion show.

All this, and she just completed her fifth New York City Marathon!  With this race, she will have raised more than $38,000 for Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Hal English

Hal English of Grand Bank, honoree, speaks at the 10th Annual Kidsbridge Tolerance Center's Humanitarian Awards Celebration held at the Trenton Country Club in Trenton, N.J. Thursday night, November 3, 2016. (Photo by Cie Stroud for Kidsbridge)

Hal English fights against bullying because he knows how it feels to be bullied. It happened when he was a homeless youth in Trenton in the late 1960’s. Overcoming those challenges inspired lifetime in service to others.

As Vice President and Regional Manager at Grand Bank, Hal has served on numerous boards and commissions in the Mercer County area, including as trustee of the Hamilton YMCA; Foundation Director of Mercer County Community College; trustee of the Delaware Valley United Way and Project Freedom; board member of the Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness.

If that weren’t enough, Hal makes time to volunteer for the Big Brother/Big Sister program and Mercer Street friends. He also chairs RWJ Hospital at Hamilton’s Strides for Stroke 5k run, and he promotes financial literacy in the Trenton public school system.

In his “spare” time, Hal found time to write BEHIND THE IVY WALLS, a book based on the true story of his beggar-to-boardroom life.

Mayor Bert Steinmann

Ewing Mayor Bert Steinmann, honoree, speaks at the 10th Annual Kidsbridge Tolerance Center's Humanitarian Awards Celebration held at the Trenton Country Club in Trenton, N.J. Thursday night, November 3, 2016. (Photo by Cie Stroud for Kidsbridge)

A Ewing resident since 1959, Mayor Bert Steinmann has a long history of community service. In the 1990s, he served and later chaired the Ewing Recreation Commission. The West End Soccer Association named its training facility after him — an honor he and his family will cherish forever.

Professionally, he worked for the international brotherhood of electrical workers for thirty-five years retiring in 2007. He has been a board member of arc mercer since 2000.

Mayor Steinmann’s political career started in 2000 when he was elected to the Ewing Township Council, and then elected as mayor ten years later.

He was instrumental upgrading the community’s playground equipment and establishing new parks. As member of the planning board, he helped attract numerous businesses, including Home Depot, Parkside Plaza and Court Yard by Marriott.  Pfizer and the Madison and Scotch Run also call Ewing Township home. The GM Property is currently under development.

In a unique partnership, Kidsbridge utilizes free space in the Ewing Senior Community Center. In exchange, Kidsbridge educates 200 Ewing Township children. This relationship affords Kidsbridge the opportunity to educate even more children in bullying prevention and diversity appreciation.

Philadelphia Insurance Companies

Brian O'Reillly of Philadelphia Insurance, honoree, speaks at the 10th Annual Kidsbridge Tolerance Center's Humanitarian Awards Celebration held at the Trenton Country Club in Trenton, N.J. Thursday night, November 3, 2016. (Photo by Cie Stroud for Kidsbridge)

As a leading insurer for nonprofit and human-service organizations, Philadelphia Insurance Companies recognizes the value of giving back. For more than fifty years, PHLY has offered commercial property and professional liability insurance products. The company boasts fifty offices nationwide and insurance coverage designed for more than 100 niche markets.

PHLY supports organizations whose missions are focused on health and wellness for children, education, or the environment. Team PHLY proudly supports hundreds of organizations each year across the country through monetary contributions and employee volunteerism.

In 2015, PHLY employees devoted almost 18,000 hours to a variety nonprofits. PHLY has donated more than $17 million to charitable organizations since 1980.

image001Philadelphia Insurance has a special relationship with Kidsbridge. Brian O’Reilly, PHLY’s Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, has been a Kidsbridge Board Member for three years. For the past three years, PHLY has supported the Kidsbridge Annual Walk2Stop Bullying by fielding a huge walk team – and as the Walk’s presenting sponsor.

2016 Photo Gallery

Photos by Cie Stroud: Web Site / Facebook Blog