Friends and Supporters Celebrate Eva's Village 35th Anniversary on April 23, 2017
Hundreds of guests including volunteers, supporters, alumni , clergy, elected officials and staff gathered in the courtyard of Eva’s Village to celebrate 35 years of service to our community. Together we honored the mission of Eva’s Village and the legacy of Eva's founder, Msgr. Vincent E. Puma, whose vision guided the growth of the social service organization from its beginning as a simple soup kitchen in April 1982, to the 20 anti-poverty programs offered today.
Held on the first day of Volunteer Appreciation Week, the ceremony honored individuals who worked to establish the original soup kitchen, volunteers past and present, and trustees for their outstanding service. The program concluded with the unveiling of Msgr. Puma's statue, when guests adjourned to the Community Kitchen for a delicious spread prepared by chef instructors and students from The Culinary School at Eva’s Village.
Highlights included recognition of Eva Hernandez, S,M.I.C. — Eva’s Village namesake — honored for her work as the first director of Eva’s Kitchen in 1982, when 30 hungry guests were served the first meal of franks and beans. Tuffy Ali, who is a graduate of Eva's Recovery Program, shared his recovery story, which began when he met Msgr. Puma in Eva's Kitchen 27 years ago. Governor Christie also spoke, commending Eva’s Village for the positive impact our programs have in the Paterson and Passaic County communities. The Governor encouraged guests to fight against the stigma associated with substance use disorders.
Read more about our anniversary celebration in the press: