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HomeTowne TV Honors Community Service Award Recipients

Jesse Patterson, Roger Smith, Paula Mooney and Mark Di Ionno received the Fred Honold Community Service Award.

HomeTowne TV celebrated another year of providing news, information, and inspiration to local communities at its annual holiday gathering Thursday evening at the Beacon Hill Club.

Members of the Summit Common Council as well as Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick and Assemblywoman Nancy Muñoz joined the public, members of HomeTowne TV and its all-volunteer Board of Trustees in honoring this year's recipients of the Fred Honold Community Service Award. 

Station Manager Jesse Patterson was recognized for working tirelessly over the past decade to film and edit thousands of shows while at the same time building relationships within the community. Patterson, described as "the heart and soul" of HomeTowne, has also won numerous awards for the local access station.

Roger Smith, who organizes HomeTowne's annual membership fund appeal, was honored for his dedication. Under Smith's direction, contributions have tripled, easing the financial burden on the non-profit organization. In accepting his award, Smith graciously credited all those who assist him in his efforts. He also thanked supporters of the station, and in true fundraiser fashion, encouraged those who haven't contributed to consider doing so.

Former Millburn-Short Hills Mayor Daniel Baer wrote a comedic ode to pay tribute to Executive Vice President of Branding and Marketing Paula Mooney, who was honored for her work in re-branding HomeTowne and bringing the station's mission and message to the masses. HomeTowne President Fred Honold also commended Mooney for orchestrating every gathering hosted by the station. 

Pulitzer Prize finalist and Star-Ledger columnist Mark Di Ionno was introduced by HomeTowne TV's John Serruto. Serruto received a JAM Award for Video Excellence for his interview with the award-winning columnist. In his remarks, Serruto referred to Di Ionno's novel 'The Last Newspaper Man,' which explores the origins of tabloid journalism, as a "tremendous read" he recommends to all.  

"It is all New Jersey and it keeps your interest and only somebody who speaks with their heart and their soul can keep my interest like this and Mark Di Ionno does," said Serruto.

Di Ionno, who was raised in Summit and continues to reside in the Hill City, said of the countless times he's been interviewed, no one has been as well-prepared as Serruto was. He praised HomeTowne TV for providing the public with valuable content about their communities, paraphrasing Thomas Jefferson's belief that information is the currency of democracy.

Muñoz presented the honorees with resolutions recognizing their contributions and commended HomeTowne TV for doing an outstanding job in bringing "honesty and truthfulness to the public."

For more information about HomeTowne TV, to make a donation, become a member or volunteer, visit the station's website

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