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Ridgewood Couple Named Humanitarians Of The Year

The Ridgewood A.M. Rotary is honoring Bea and Jim O'Rourke as 2017 Humanitarians of the Year.
The Ridgewood A.M. Rotary is honoring Bea and Jim O'Rourke as 2017 Humanitarians of the Year. Photo Credit: Contributed

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. — Bea and Jim O’Roure of the Ridgewood A.M. Rotary are being honored April 20 for their tireless work in the community. 

The couple has helped many thousands of people through their work with the poor, in education and through social justice causes, as 2017 Humanitarians of the Year. 

The O’Rourkes will be honored at a celebratory dinner at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 20, at the Stony Hill Inn in Hackensack.

Bea served as the New Jersey District Office Manager for Ridgewood resident Andy Maguire when he was elected to Congress in the 1970s. She is more recently known for her years at the Northwest Center for Food Action, raising $600,000 to open a new center in Mahwah and expanding its services to the needy in northern Bergen County. 

Bea was honored as a Fellow by Leadership New Jersey in 2005 for her role in promoting social justice and services for the marginalized and underserved in our state.

After years in business, Jim returned to teaching English and poetry, serving in Wallington for 26 years and appearing on public television to talk about the arts. He is noted statewide as a poet and serves on Bergen County and New Jersey efforts to foster poetry writing among high school students. 

 Although retired from teaching, Jim’s love of the classroom continues, as he frequently serves as a substitute teacher in Ridgewood schools. Jim also has been active in area arts groups for years as a performer, singer, and most recently as a member of the Orpheus Men’s Chorus. 

He and Bea have been a recognized force in good government efforts and aid to the poor for decades.

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