Business meets charity

Bayonne Chamber of Commerce holds meet and greet with UCP

For the second time in the last six months, the Bayonne Chamber of Commerce has teamed up with a local charity to help bring together local businesspeople for a good local cause.
Last December, the chamber met at Ten East Restaurant in South Cove Commons Mall to help generate support for the Assumption Church Food Pantry. This month, the chamber met there to introduce its membership to members of the United Cerebral Palsy organization of Hudson County.
Matthew Dorans, president of the chamber, called it “networking for a good cause,” noting that it helps the businesspeople get a better understanding of what the charity is about, and allows them to give back.
Vince Lombardo of the UCP said events like this make businesses more aware of what UCP is doing to help the developmentally disabled throughout Hudson County.

Matthew Dorans, president of the chamber, called it “networking for a good cause.”
The Bayonne Chamber of Commerce is a longstanding organization in the city, and is preparing to celebrate its centennial in 2012.
Founded in 1912, the chamber has been reinventing itself to reflect new economic conditions in Bayonne over the last few years in an effort to continue to meet its mandate to “stimulate, retain, improve, and expand the role of business life in the community.”
In the past, the chamber represented heavy industry and large manufacturers, but lost focus as these types of businesses left Bayonne. In the heyday of the 1940s and 1950s, the Chamber of Commerce often was seen as a powerful voice in the community, helping City Hall to shape pro-business policies. Now, most of the large manufacturers that once made up the economic base of the city are gone, and the world is in the midst of one of the greatest economic downturns in decades.
Dorans, who became president of the chamber early in 2007, said reaching out to the community through “meet and greet” events has allowed the chamber to re-introduce itself to a new business community, and has brought in new members.

UCP has been seeking corporate sponsors

The UCP (which stands for United Cerebral Palsy) is one of the key providers of services to the disabled, not just throughout Hudson County, but also in Passaic, Essex, and Bergen counties, as well.
The name derives from its founding in 1951 when the group formed an association with national organizations. Over the years, the UCP has gone on to develop programs for people with various disabilities.
The administrative offices and the Pediatric Medical Daycare programs take place in Bayonne. There are also two Growing Tree Learning Centers located in Jersey City, and an After School Program and Saturday Respite that take place in Hoboken.
The UCP also runs the Adult Special Needs Program, the Adult Aftercare Program, the After School Program, and the Saturday Respite at the UCP Center on Kennedy Boulevard in North Bergen.
While many programs are run out of its centers, the reach of the UCP is made greater by its in-home programs.
People in North Bergen, West New York, Bayonne, Hoboken, Kearny, Harrison, and even tiny East Newark are able to get help from the organization.
Lombardo said events such as the meet and greet with the chamber gives the UCP good exposure and allows business leaders to meet the people behind the charity.
“This is a good way for the for-profit world to meet the not-for-profit world,” he said.
Al Sullivan may be reached at

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