8/27/2019 - Hackensack Mayor and Council Recognize Exemplary Citizens for Contributions to Hackensack Community

Hackensack Mayor and Council Recognize Exemplary Citizens for Contributions to Hackensack Community

At the start of Tuesday’s Hackensack City Council meeting, following the promotion ceremony for seven HPD Sergeants, the Mayor and Council took time to recognize a few exemplary citizens. The first recipient was Abdel Naranjo, an employee of Spotless Car Wash, who on July 16, 2019, jumped into the Hackensack river without hesitation to help a woman and her daughter after their SUV crashed into the river.

“Mr. Naranjo did an incredibly brave thing, putting his body at risk to help two strangers safely get out of the river. He didn’t even think twice. It’s not something that just anyone would do, and we are so lucky to have a person like Mr. Naranjo in our community,” said Mayor John Labrosse.

Mr. Naranjo accepted his proclamation alongside his wife, who said that he would do it again in a heartbeat.

The next recipient was Hackensack resident Margo Cooper, a professional operatic coloratura, who was the first African American to perform at the Ridgewood Presbyterian Church in Queens, New York, and has performed in numerous concerts in New York, and Ohio. Additionally, her ancestors were freed slaves who made a famous quilt which currently resides in the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“Mrs. Cooper’s family history is an important part of America’s history, and she has been an active participant in Hackensack issues for many many years,” said Deputy Mayor David Sims. “I am proud to honor Ms. Cooper’s personal accomplishments breaking down barriers in musical performances, and honor her ancestors for their bravery.”

The last honorees of the evening were Michael, Alexia, Christopher and Isabella Foca, siblings who are active and successful local wrestlers whose family has mentored many wrestlers throughout Northern New Jersey. Michael is a 2018-2019 Division 3 Academic All-American wrestler and Alexia placed 4th in the 2018 NAIA Division 1 All-American competition. Christopher won the Beast of the East National Wrestling Tournament at 182lbs, 1st Place Doc Buchanan National Wrestling Tournament at 182lbs, District 7 Champion at 182lbs, Region 2 Champion at 182lbs, 2019 NJ State Champion at 182lbs, 1st Team All-County Honors and was voted "Big North" Wrestler of the Year, in addition to many more records and titles. Isabella Foca was recognized for her mentorship and leadership skills for the next generation of wrestlers at Rednose Wrestling School.

“My family has been active in Hackensack wrestling, and I have seen how the Foca family has mentored so many young wrestlers, especially girls wrestling, which is finally gaining momentum in collegiate athletics. I am just very appreciative of the Foca family’s contributions to our community, and congratulate Isabella, Christopher, Alexia and Michael on their many achievements on and off the mat,” said Councilwoman Stephanie Von Rudenborg.


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