Photos by Ed Carattini
After the Essex County PBA Conference hosted its first cigar night last year, it became a goal to continue the tradition of getting members from across the state together for a carefree night out with quality food, drinks, and company while also raising money for important causes.
And on Oct. 1, the second Essex County PBA Conference Cigar Night did not disappoint, as PBA members filled the dining rooms, hallways and even the outdoor patio of Nanina’s in the Park in Belleville.
Essex County Conference Chairman Joe Savittieri and Co-chair P.J. Sandomenico were pleased to see members enjoying the lavish spread of Italian cuisine and hand-rolled cigars while sharing the kind of carefree conversation that is so important for officers to have off the job.
“It’s extremely important to have a night like this, because we deal with so much stuff on the road from people who aren’t compliant with us, to dealing with administration,” Sandomenico, who’s also State Delegate for Nutley Local 33, explained. “None of that matters tonight. Everyone’s out here enjoying a good smoke, good food, and good company.”
Cigar enthusiast or not, there was a little something for every one of the nearly 300 members who gathered for a well-deserved night out, including the opportunity to contribute to the Essex County Conference Scholarship Fund, as well as the Survivor and Welfare Fund.
NJ State PBA President Pat Colligan also attended the event to support one of the largest county conferences in the state.
“The bottom line for me, my whole career, is the brotherhood and sisterhood,” Savittieri, who also serves as Montclair Local 53 State Delegate, insisted. “Getting the funds we need to take care of our members in times of need is important. And something like this makes that possible.”
Partaking in such a successful event reinforced Savittieri’s gratitude for the members he works closely with and the blue family in law enforcement he knows he can always count on.
“My executive board and delegates from the whole county step up,” Savittieri proudly noted. “Tonight, everyone that’s here did something to make it a successful night. I’m grateful for that.”