Joe Branco, Jolly Good Fellow

Winner of GA's first-ever Mensch Award of 2012: Joe Branco

As you may know, last Friday night a benefit was held for the victims of the December 17th fire in their building on First and Jackson Streets.

The party raised more than $5,325 for the four gals who'd lost everything.

My people call this act of kindness a mitzvah. 

Last Friday, it took a village to raise a mitzvah; many hands and many hearts.

GA extends props to the entire Friday night mitzvah crew: the doers and the givers.

A doer who's already received widespread recognition is the event organizer, Rory Chadwick. Rory's the owner of Midtown Authentic, a consignment shop for high-end   handbags (yum, yum) and GA's choice for President of Hoboken's Chamber of Commerce. That is, when it's current do-nothing President Mike Novak resigns in shame.

Go, Rory!

What I really wished to do was recognize another doer, an unsung mensch and  all-around Jolly Good Fellow, Joe Branco.

In fact, so mensch-y was he, GA's chosen him to receive the first-ever Mensch Award of 2012.

Mind you, it's a cyber-award with no cash value. But it's given to men/women of integrity, which also has no cash value; it can't be bought.

So what did Branco do?

Joe is the owner of Room84, and generously loaned his space for the benefit, hosted it, gave out drinks to attendees and partnered with the (future) President Chadwick to solicit donations from local businesses... all-in-all, Joe helped make the event a success.  And you know, it's not the first time he's loaned out his space to the community, so...

...special thanks to the first-ever GA Mensch Award Winner, Joe Branco.

GA will leave Rory to thank the many others who helped pull this off.

Rory, check in sometime to let us know how the girls are doing.

Readers, if you have anyone  you'd like to recommend for a GA Mensch Award (male or female) please contact me at
Mensch (מענטש) a Yiddish word that means "a person of integrity." A mensch is someone who is responsible, has a sense of right and wrong and is the sort of person other people look up to. In English the word has come to mean "a good guy." Menschlichkeit (מענטשלעכקייט) is a related Yiddish word used to describe the collective qualities that make someone a mensch.