The Essex County
Stephen N. Adubato, Sr. Sports Complex
Recognizing the spirit of a 40-year-old organization, The North Ward Center, and the vision of its founder, who built a storefront operation into a community institution.
A former public school teacher, Steve Abubato, Sr. understands that organized athletics helps keep children positively occupied, while teaching teamwork, responsibility and sportsmanship. Created in 1970, The North Ward Center's Youth Development and Recreation Program provides year-round athletic activities for nearly 3,000 children - and hundreds of youngsters will be found on these fields, improving their lives and relishing the joys of childhood. Called "Big Steve" by the 500 students at the Robert Treat Academy and the 680 pre-schoolers who attended The North Ward Child Development Center, Steve and Fran, his wife and partner, created programs to empower the residents of the North Ward and Essex County through quality education. These schools, plus the Casa Israel Adult Medical Day Care and the Newark Business Training Institute, stand as beacons of their hope and commitment.