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Cliffside Park Mayor, Family Named Fort Lee Chamber's 'Persons Of The Year'

Cliffside Park Mayor Thomas Calabrese is one of several members of the Calabrese family who will be honored as "Persons of the Year" by the Fort Lee Regional Chamber of Commerce. Photo Credit: Anthony Locicero
Former Cliffside Park Mayor Gerald A. Calabrese, Sr. Photo Credit: COURTESY: Fort Lee Regional Chamber of Commerce
Gerald Calabrese, Jr. Photo Credit: COURTESY: Fort Lee Regional Chamber of Commerce

FORT LEE, N.J.– Members of the Calabrese family of Cliffside Park will be named "Persons of the Year" by the Fort Lee Regional Chamber of Commerce Nov. 5.

This includes former Mayor Gerald Calabrese Sr. (awarded posthumously), Gerald Calabrese Jr. and current Cliffside Park Mayor Thomas Calabrese. 

“The Fort Lee Regional Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to honor the Calabrese family as Persons of the Year,” said Doug Feltman, president of the Fort Lee Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Not only for their over 50 years of government service to Cliffside Park, but also for their community involvement in Bergen County.”

Gerald A. Calabrese Sr.

  • Served as mayor of Cliffside Park for more than 50 years, making him the longest-serving mayor in state history. A Democrat, Calabrese also was a county freeholder and chairman of the Bergen County Democratic party. 
  • Affectionately known as "Gerry," Calabrese guided the Cliffside Park High School basketball team to state championships in 1941 and 1943. 
  • Following his graduation, he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He went on to become an All-American guard at St. John's University. 
  • Calabrese played professionally with the Syracuse Nationals (now the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers). 

Gerald Calabrese Jr.

  • Calabrese has worked in both the real estate and banking fields for the past four decades. 
  • For the past 30 years, he has served as the Cliffside Park Democratic Organization's chairman. 
  • He is a real estate broker and president of Century 21 Calabrese Realty Group, which employs 125 agents in three offices. 

Mayor Thomas Calabrese

  • Adhering to a motto of “working around the clock,” Cliffside Park Mayor Tom Calabrese for decades has fervently supported the business communities of both Fort Lee and his hometown, the chamber said in a statement. 
  • Attends grand openings and anniversary galas for local businesses while servicing dozen of other restaurants and taverns in Fort Lee and beyond as a sales executive for Fedway Associates, a liquor distribution firm, according to the chamber. 
  • As mayor, he is transforming key business areas of the community, the chamber said in a statement. 
  • He’s been instrumental in obtaining millions of dollars in state and federal grants to beautify both Palisade Avenue’s northern business district and other areas of town, including those near the border of Fort Lee, the statement reads. 

The gala takes place at the Palisadium, 700 Palisadium Drive, Cliffside Park. Cocktail hour begins at 6:30 p.m.; dinner will be at 7:30 p.m. 

Tickets are $150 per person.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call the chamber office at (201) 944-7575. 

Journal ads are also available. 

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