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SBPA Elects New Officers; 4 Scholarships Offered to Somerville Students

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Longtime downtown merchant Lorraine Sarra has been elected president of the Somerville Business & Professional Association.

Sarra, now retired, sold her women’s lingerie store, Beneath It All, in 2014. Formerly located on West Main Street, the store is now on Division Street under new ownership.

Elected vice president was last year’s SBPA president James O’Gorman, Financial Resources, Route 22; secretary, John Harrity of the Somerville School of Music; and treasurer, Wendy Ewen, manager of the Provident Bank branch at 62 W. Main St.

Elected to the Board of Directors are Jan Lush, Big Little Railroad Shop; Ann Marie Woodward, Fulton Bank; Mike Ivers, Hansel & Griddle restaurant; Paul Sanford retired from Sanford Jewelers; Val Gibson, Seniors Arts & Crafters, and Jessica Dale, JC Maintenance & Cleaning Co.

Sarra has been a member of the SBPA since she opened her store in 1994 and served as treasurer of the organization for 10 years. Her late husband Bill Sarra was executive director of the SBPA for several years before retiring in 2006.

“The SBPA membership has always supported the town,” Sarra said. “We plan to put into place an aggressive membership campaign which will strengthen our resources and help the SBPA do even more for the merchants and community,” she added.

The SBPA is a private, non-profit voluntary membership organization comprised of business owners representatives, professionals, individuals and community groups whose primary  goal is to make Somerville a better place for  the public and its members to conduct business.

Somerville Snow Storm Photo Contest Winner Is . . .


Barbra Lawson's photo of a Cardinal and Blue Jay hunkered down in the snow storm is the winner of the Somerville Snow Storm Photo Contest.

Barbra Lawson’s photo of a Cardinal and Blue Jay hunkered down in the snow storm is the winner of the Somerville Snow Storm Photo Contest.

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Despite biting winds, chest-high snowdrifts and blizzard conditions of historic proportions, intrepid citizen photo journalists shook off the cold to record frozen moments for submission to the Somerville Snow Storm Photo Contest.

Several dozen jpegs were received via e-mail the day of the storm Jan. 23 and in the days following during the epic clean-up.

We’ve selected some of those images to share with you, and we are pleased to announce that Barbra Lawson’s image of a Blue Jay and Cardinal perched side-by-side in the driving snow is the contest winner.

She will be awarded a $50 check from the contest sponsor, The Somerville Business & Professional Association.

Tap into Somerville thanks everyone for participating in the contest.

Greensleeves’ Gingerbread Mansion display voted tops by shoppers in Somerville Merchants’ Window Decorating Contest

543997_177249435750230_296100620_n An oversized gingerbread mansion – complete with miniature solar panels on its rear roof – helped Greensleeves Boutique win the Downtown Somerville Christmas Window Decorating Contest.

The gingerbread mansion was baked and fabricated by Geri Lordi, district manager of Greensleeves and displayed in the store at 59 West Main Street.

Greensleeves received 75 votes. Second place, with 53 votes was awarded to the holiday mannequin display in the windows of Incogneeto vintage clothing, 30 Division St. Third place with 47 votes went to Saffire Salon at 72 W. Main St., which featured a revolving Christmas tree in their window decorated with gifts for their clients and beauty products sold inside.

Ballots were handed out to the crowd at the borough’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony; votes could also be cast on a special Facebook link created for the contest.

The event was a cooperative venture sponsored by the Somerville Business & Professional Association in conjunction with the Downtown Somerville Alliance.

The winner receives a $500 advertising voucher paid for by the SPBA and DSA.

“Considering this was the first time we sponsored the contest, we’re very pleased with the outcome,” said April Sette, executive director of the SBPA. “It was a great event, we got the merchants engaged and they all helped make Somerville sparkle during the Christmas shopping season,” she added.

“We are absolutely delighted to award the advertising voucher to Geri and the staff at Greensleeves,’’ said Beth Anne Macdonald, executive director of the Downtown Somerville Alliance. “Non-profit organizations have limited funds and can’t always spend the money they need to draw attention to their good work. We’re pleased to help out such a worthy organization.”

Greensleeves is a green initiative established in 2010 to provide gently worn clothing, vintage jewelery, furniture, home décor and other items to the public, while providing on-site job training and education to individuals with disabilities.

“As a non-profit, we do not have a marketing budget so this is a great opportunity for us to get the word out regarding some of the great deals we can offer the community and also our mission,” Lordi said. “The Greensleeves’ team very much enjoyed participating in the downtown window contest. Downtown Somerville always provides new and innovative ways to become connected and involved in the community,” she continued. “Greensleeves employees understand and are sensitive to the struggles of others and our mission has always been to foster good will and responsible citizenship.”

The Gingerbread Mansion, complete with solar panels, was put together one panel at a time to represent “Rebuilding Hope in our Communities,” according to Lordi. A modest collection was raised through donations to support victims of Hurricane Sandy and donated to the Red Cross.

Second place winner Stacy LoAlbo, owner of Incogneeto injected an element of humor into her window displays at the vintage clothing shop. One window featured a pink and white theme, including a mannequin in pink wig and ‘50s pink prom dress alongside a white tree trimmed in pink ornaments.
The other window recreated a Christmas party that had gotten out of hand, including a male mannequin with a lampshade over his head, a pair of shoes on his hands, wearing white and green paisley pants and an ugly Christmas sweater loaded with rhinestones.
“I thought the whole contest was great, especially since the borough’s Christmas tree was right outside our store,” LoAlbo said. There were hundreds of people there for the lighting and they all saw this funky window display.”

Kristen Reed, co-owner of the Saffire Salon, said everyone that came in to the store during the Christmas season commented on their window display.

“They really liked it; I thought the contest was a great idea, definitely something different, it helped to light up the whole town up and down the street,” she said.