Courage is a Journey: A Message from CarePlus President Joe Masciandaro

Last night, at the 2013 CarePlus Foundation Courage Awards Gala, we celebrated COURAGE in truly grand style. It would be hard to top the elegant venue, amazing food, and the opportunity to catch-up with friends old and new. Yet we did top it – or should I say, our honorees did.

The Courage Awards were illustrated to all in a way that none of us imagined. The evening’s presenters, the honorees, and scholarship recipients showed us all what the word COURAGE really means.

A board member who shared her journey of learning and growing as a person: starting out not really knowing much about our organization, then later finding out first hand – when a friend was in crisis – the amazing care that we provide. Mary Ann Uzzi shared, “We really do put the Plus in Care.”

A supporter who generously shares her entrepreneurial spirit in a way that is totally selfless – and is taking us along on her journey. Yet again, Nancy Schuring has donated beautiful Kwiat diamond jewelry for us to share with you as part of our fundraising efforts.

An ally for the homeless that has provided support services to our clients – and so many others in Bergen County and beyond. Julia Orlando took us to a whole new level of respect when she dedicated her Courage Award to her brother whose journey in life has been a struggle with debilitating physical and mental illnesses.

A new friend – who was honored to journey back to his Bergen County home – honored us with sincere, kind words. Writer, activist, actor, Academy Award winner James Lecesne left us with the message, “Love is love, and in the end love conquers all.”

And right he was about that: Love does conquer all. Kyrie Wagner really took us all home with the story of his family’s love and support, and of course, courage along his journey. “My experience at CarePlus has given me the much needed support to grow into a happy and healthy young adult, and today, I still continue to progress within myself.”

A scholarship recipient who has overcome adversity that you and I can never imagine, yet stood before us a woman with a chance to start a new journey where she can help others the same way CarePlus has helped her. Kiantae Hutton: you’ve already made your children proud!

Each of the stories we heard last night showed us that COURAGE is a JOURNEY… a journey that is unique to each and every one of us. CarePlus is so proud to be a part of so many journeys and we are so proud of the support that we receive from each and every one of you.

Thank you to those that attended last night; it was great to see you and share the evening with you. And many thanks to those of you that support us because without you so many of these journeys would be very different from what was shared last night.

Thank you again.


Joseph A. Masciandaro, MA
President/CEO, Care Plus NJ, Inc.