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September 26, 2013


Freeholder Brendan Gill Presents Board’s Commendation
To Medalist in 50-Meter Freestyle and Breast Stroke Events

(Newark, NJ) – During the Wednesday, September 25th, meeting of the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders held at West Orange Town Hall, Freeholder Brendan Gill of Montclair honored swimmer Nadiuska Negron of Nutley for her silver medal-winning performances at the Special Olympics New Jersey (SONJ) Summer Games, which were held June 7-9, 2013, at The College of New Jersey in Ewing.

Freeholder Brendan Gill of Montclair presented a commendation from the Board to Nadiuska Negron of Nutley, during the Board’s September 25th meeting held at West Orange Town Hall.  Ms. Negron was honored for having won 2 silver medals in swimming (50-meter freestyle and breast stroke events) at the Special Olympics NJ Summer Games held at The College of New Jersey June 7-9th.  (Photo by Glen Frieson)

Ms. Negron won her silver medals in the 50-meter freestyle and 50-meter breast stroke events in the female 30+ division, with the times of 54.72 seconds and 58.38 seconds, respectively.  She competes independently under the umbrella of SONJ’s Area 9 (Essex County) network of local training programs, is coached by her mother, Thelma Gardeslen, and trains at the Montclair YM/YMCA.

When presenting the Board’s commendation to Ms. Negron, Freeholder Gill explained that she has been an enthusiastic Special Olympics athlete for more than 20 years.  “Nadiuska has competed in many events, including figure skating, roller skating, speed skating, bowling and gymnastics”, said Gill, “but tonight we’re here to recognize her for her accomplishments as a swimmer.  Nadiuska, on behalf of my freeholder colleagues, I am delighted to present you with this commendation and to congratulate you for your outstanding efforts.”

Ms. Negron thanked Freeholder Gill for honoring her, and also expressed her special thanks “to my mother and coach, Thelma Gardeslen, my father and Special Olympics coach, Louis Negron, and Special Olympics.”

This year’s Special Olympics New Jersey Summer Games attracted more than 2,500 athletes from across the state who competed in seven sports: acquatics, bocce ball, gymnastics, powerlifting, softball, tennis and track & field.  SONJ, which was founded in 1970, is headquartered in Lawrenceville and headed by its current president, Marc Edenzon.   Over the last 43 years, it has grown to include more than 20,000 volunteers, 20,000 family members and 23,000 athletes.  Part of a worldwide Special Olympics movement of sports training and athletic competition programs, SONJ’s mission is: “To provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.”  Essex County’s Area 9 is led by Area Director Frank E. Petrucci and the Area Committee: Albina Bagano, Bob Beatrice, Bill Copeck Pat Deshenes, Larry Eckel, Debbie Fresco, Bob Gleason, Dante Mercurio, Captain Ken Miscia, Theresa Nevins, Keith Parsick and Dot Petrucci.

For more information about Special Olympics, visit SONJ’s website at www.sonj.org, or the national organization’s website at www.specialolympics.org.


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For Additional Information:
Gary Kroessig, Public Information
Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders


Board of Chosen Freeholders, County of Essex
Hall of Records - Room 558, 465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd., Newark, New Jersey 07102
Tel: (973) 621-4486 Fax: (973) 621-5695