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Glen Rock celebrates its rock solid spirit on the 4th of July

Town comes together to celebrate a new year

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Glen Rock Independence Day celebrations started like usual on July 3rd with an amazing GR Pops concert at borough hall. The sounds of Irving Berlin, Gershwin, and many more could be heard celebrating America’s “Under the Stars and Stripes.” In addition to the fabulous music, the Glen Rock Independence Day Association (IDA) drew its traditional raffle winners. This year the raffle was a 50/50. The winners of this were: 

1st place: Charles Wilkes

2nd place: Katherine McGinley

3rd place: Bob VanLangen 

The IDA celebrated its 82nd  parade in grand style.  Like last year, the parade route was scaled down from its traditional route due to COVID. That did not stop the borough from gathering this year and celebrating our freedoms, especially after a challenging year. 

This year, the parade’s theme was: The spirit of Glen Rock is Rock Solid.  The IDA also did things a little differently by having several Grand Marshalls who have stepped forward to help our community. The Grand Marshalls this year are: 

  • Barbara Gomes for leading the Glen Rock chapter of Relay for life, she won $20,000 for Box Tops for the MS/HSA to update the student and teacher lounge/rooms and multiple other fundraisers to help our community.
  • Brian Markey represents the Glen Rock Ambulance department and whose volunteers helped fellow Glen Rockers during COVID every day if needed. They put themselves and their families in potential danger of catching the COVID19 virus while volunteering.
  • Michelle Torpey’s efforts included vaccinating residents at Rock Ridge Pharmacy during the pandemic and visiting homebound residents to vaccinate their children and special needs patients. She also has worked with the borough and local businesses to allow COVID safe Halloween and Holiday events. She also organized, collected, and gave donations from residents such as food, water, PPE, and handmade cards to local hospital staff and all essential workers in our town such as Police, Fire, DPW, postal workers during COVID. She also organized and led many other donation drives to help those less fortunate (i.e., OASIS). Lastly, she helped organize donations and cards for local Veterans and the Veterans Home in Paramus during COVID.
  • Tom Jennings as the lead of OEM and Chief of the Glen Rock Fire Department: He worked many extra hours to help keep our community safe during COVID. He put many hours on zoom calls making decisions for the town’s operations and residents’ well-being. He spent countless hours with officials on ways to keep everyone safe and up to date on protocols during the pandemic.
  • Pat Zengel, a member of Women in Community Service (WICS), helped coordinate Halloween gifts, had cards made and gifts/donations sent to Veterans during COVID, and delivered community meals to those in need. She was a member of the Holiday Committee and helped keep the holiday spirit alive by volunteering this year as Mrs. Claus.
  • Eileen Hillock for securing COVID vaccine appointments and rides for Glen Rock Residents, Community Meals on Wheels Board Member and Co-chair of Fundraising, Halloween activity organizer during COVID, Dog park leader, WICS member, Holiday Committee member.
  • James Lane and George Erlich represent the Crossing guards for keeping our children and residents safe during COVID all year. Especially in bad weather, and they also picked up extra hours to keep children safe walking and biking to schools.
  • Laura Occhipinti and Kim Greene represent the Democrats Vaccines for the Community Program. They organized and secured hundreds of appointments for Glen Rock residents to enable them to get COVID shots and provided transportation if needed.

This years parade included all the fan favorites from our veterans to the Seiks dance routines; fire, police, and Ems equipment, homegrown music from bands created in our high school – from the ’90s to current, born on the 4th of July, and all of our activity organizations marching. 

It was a fun time had by all. Congrats to the IDA committee for another amazing year!

Please see the rest of the parade photos and videos in our Facebook group. 

*Credit to the IDA website for some of this information

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