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2010 Session Closes with Senator Menendez, Senators elected

US Senator Robert Menendez gives Keynote address

Director Bagatelle flanked by Lt. Governor Eric Tang and Governor Anthony Covington

In a tight race, the Federal party won the Governorship of the 65th session of American Legion Jersey Boys State. Governor Anthony Covington of Bordentown (Burlington County), Post #26 and Lieutenant Governor Eric Tang of Princeton (Mercer County), Post #168 were successful in their bid as they campaigned for 2 days during this year's session, the announcement was made Thursday afternoon. Thursday ended with a celebration in each city where awards were given and the lessons learned were shared among each group of delegates.

In the last action-packed day of the 65th session, a political election and a foot race were won, Troopers rode the campus by horse, awards were presented, and the closing ceremony was highlighted by Keynote speaker US Senator Robert Menendez. The day began before 6am for some statesman and most delegates left with their parents from Rider University by 5pm.

After an early breakfast, the four Boys Nation Senator candidates gave their speeches at a general assembly before being asked questions by the panel of press and others from the floor. Soon after, delegates were back in their city to finish packing before Family Day picnic began.

Family Day is an annual picnic sponsored by the NJ Boys State Foundation that began in 2003 in which delegates, their family and their city counselors gather together around the Rider campus mall to enjoy the food and entertainment. All are within feet of the Jersey Boys State Band who entertain during celebration as well as the final athletic event of the week, the ALJBS Championship Race. The celebration this year included a TEAMS unit helicopter demonstration and small demonstration by the NJ State Police K-9 and horse units. As well, there was a flag retreat ceremony prior to the main event of the day, graduation in the Alumni Gym.

Prior to the ceremony, Ridgway County (Tyler and Polk cities) received the Harold and Lillian Eaton Award for Outstanding County, led by Senior City Counselors Shane Mata and Tarence Smith, and Mayors Thomas McPherson of Rutherford (Bergen County), Post #109 and Matthew Newberg of Fair Lawn (Bergen), Post #171. The Walter and Evelyn Howell Award for Outstanding City went to Washington City #1, led by Mayor Kevin Alberque of Ridgefield Park (Bergen), Post #40. These cities were honored with special guidons prior to graduation and commended for their hard work by Director David Bagatelle as the graduation ceremonies opened.

Speeches followed from the American Legion NJ Department Commander Bob Looby and Keynote speaker, US Senator and former Boys State delegate Robert Menendez. Senator Menendez addressed the approximate 3,500 people in attendance and then reported the results of the morning's election for Boys Nation Senator: Timothy Connell of Clark (Union County), Post #3 and L. Matthew Dunovant IV of West Orange (Essex), Post #190 will be headed to Washington D.C. as representatives of NJ July 16-24, 2010. Noah Siegel of Closter (Bergen), Post #111 and Jordan Boyland of Glen Gardner (Hunterdon), Post #188 were named alternates. During the remainder of the ceremony, the Gordon A. Vreeland award, given to the Outstanding delegate of the week, was presented to Jeremy Kaye of North Brunswick (Middlesex County), Post #459. Michael Duffy of Pompton Plains (Morris County), Post #242 was awarded the Todd Eaton Award and scholarship. 2006 ALJBS Governor Michael Gaus presented the Smith-LiCausi award to 2010 Governor Anthony Covington of Bordentown and Lt. Governor Eric Tang of Princeton.

For those interested in returning to ALJBS as a member of the staff and were unable to complete the application during the week, click here to apply.

originally posted June 29, 2010