During its annual Italian Heritage Month event, the Essex County Board of County Commissioners honored Donato DiGeronimo, a retired Battalion Chief of the Montclair Fire Department, for his contributions to the community.

DiGeronimo, now a Verona resident, is a 33-year veteran of the Montclair Fire Department, according to an Essex County press release. Born and raised in Montclair, he graduated from Montclair High School and Montclair State University. He is also a founding board member of the Montclair Business Improvement District.

Commissioner and Montclair resident Brendan Gill presented DiGeronimo with the honor at the Oct. 6 event.

Essex County Commissioner Brendan Gill and Commissioner Board Honoree Donato DiGeronimo. (COURTESY LLOYD HOLMES)
Essex County Commissioner Brendan Gill, right, and Commissioner Board Honoree Donato DiGeronimo. (COURTESY LLOYD HOLMES)

“Tonight, we are thrilled to honor Italian-Americans who have worked hard, are successful and — most importantly — have given back to their communities," District 4 Commissioner Leonard Luciano said at the event.

DiGeronimo is very active in the Montclair Italian-American community and has been a member of Montclair UNICO since its inception, the release says. In 2001, he was named Person of the Year by the Montclair Chamber of Commerce.

DiGeronimo is also a member of the Montclair History Center, the Montclair 100 Club and the Montclair St. Sebastian Society.

Other honorees included Dan Fabrizio of South Orange (retired school teacher); Edie Peters Liguori of Belleville (president of the FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association); and Maria Pagan of Newark (retired special education teacher and member of Trike Masters Inc., Motorcycle Club).