NORTHAMPTON TOWNSHIP >> The Board of Supervisors on June 23 recognized and honored Joe Saracino as a Distinguished Citizen of Northampton Township.
Saracino, a long time township resident and State Farm insurance agent in Richboro, has been involved in numerous township organizations over the years as a volunteer and supporter.
In presenting the award, Supervisors’ Chairman Adam Selisker joined parks and recreation department director Nancy Opalka in recognizing Saracino for “tirelessly devoting his time, talent and resources” to the township’s parks and recreation department, the James Kinney Senior Center, the Free Library of Northampton Township, the police department and the fire company and for “dedicating himself to sponsoring many programs throughout the years.”
In addition, Selisker said Saracino has volunteered as a member of the Northampton Township Business Association, St. Mary Medical Center and the US Marine Corps League.
“Joe, at many times, has been a willing sponsor of so many events, sports teams, etc., through the business that he ran right here in town,” said Selisker.
Added Opalka, “Joe has sponsored probably every event, or close to it, since 1988, the year I joined the township. He’s been a supporter for a long time and we so appreciate it and we thank him for being a faithful friend of parks and recreation.”
Saracino, who retired in April, smiled broadly as he accepted the award at the Supervisors’ first in person meeting in more than a year.
“I am totally taken aback by this,” he said. “With it coming at the end of my career, it’s kind of special. I just finished cancer treatments, also, so this means a lot to me,” he said. “You guys should get all the credit. You have so many programs. You do a fabulous job.”
The supervisors also recognized its parks and recreation department by proclaiming July as Parks and Recreation Month in the township.
During the pandemic, “our parks and recreation department stepped up like nobody else had. They literally made lemonade out of lemons,” said Supervisor Dr. Kimberly Rose. “They made sure our township was brought together, from an outdoor Halloween to carols in the park to a bunny shoebox parade. And the way they brought the camps together. They did as much as they could.
“Nancy, Betty and your staff, I don’t even know what to say,” Rose continued. “They have worked out of the box, done everything and we are so proud. They literally have kept our community together in taking care of our kids, our seniors, our sports groups.”
While the proclamation designates July as Parks and Recreation Month, Rose said the township’s Parks and Recreation department “has made sure that every month is a parks and recreation month” in the township.
Rose presented a copy of the proclamation to department director Nancy Opalka and special events coordinator Betty Satterley.
In other news, Selisker announced the passing of former Northampton Township Fire Chief Charles L. Vaughan. Vaughan died June 23 at Abington Jefferson Hospice in Warminster.
“We lost a fantastic volunteer,” said Selisker, the company’s current chief. “Charlie was a life member of the fire company. He served as chief in 1999 and in 2000.”
Before moving to Richboro in 1990, Vaughan was an active member of the Lingohocken Fire Company for 20 years serving as chief there in 1986 and 1987. In 1978 he received a Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce award for his passionate service.
In addition, Selisker said Chief Vaughan was an instructor at the Bucks County Fire Academy. “Almost every firefighter in Bucks County had Charlie in one class or another. He left an indelible mark on the emergency services in Bucks County.”
Vaughan also served as Selisker’s deputy chief for nine years. “He was a close friend,” said Selisker. “The township and the fire department will miss him. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.”
Supervisor Eileen Silver also noted the passing of Patricia Komelasky, the wife of the late township supervisor George Komelasky. She passed away on June 13.
“She was a gracious, classy lady. She volunteered for our community and our county. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family,” said Silver.