Golf classic fundraiser supports Community Access Unlimited programs

From left, Elizabeth Public Schools board member Maria Carvalho, Union County Commissioner Sergio Granados, Community Access Unlimited Executive Director Bernadette Griswold, Union County Commissioner Chris Hudak and Elizabeth Councilman at large Manny Grova Jr. attend the CAU Golf Classic at Cedar Hill Country Club in Livingston.

LIVINGSTON, NJ — More than 80 golfers and supporters enjoyed a day outdoors at the Community Access Unlimited Golf Classic on Monday, Sept. 19, to boost services for people with developmental disabilities and youths at risk in New Jersey.

Sponsors for the event at Cedar Hill Country Club in Livingston included Valley Bank, Innovative Benefit Planning and BCB Bank.
The annual golf outing is one of the largest fundraising events of the year for CAU, which works statewide to assist people with developmental disabilities and youths at risk to integrate into the community through services and support coordination. CAU services include housing, education, employment services, behavioral management, advocacy and more.

County leaders shared the impact CAU has had during its 43 years in the community, including on young people who have had assistance with employment training and opportunities.

“For a lot of them, it’s their first taste of the real world. You hear legacy stories of them and where they started, and it’s because of what they were afforded by the agency,” said Maria Carvalho, Elizabeth Public Schools board member. “We’ve built a nice little family with this organization in order for our children to benefit. It’s really hard for a lot of our children. A lot of them come from broken homes, and they wouldn’t be afforded this opportunity if the organization wasn’t around, so CAU has made a world of difference for us.”

Union County Commissioner Chris Hudak highlighted that many county residents have found affordable housing and other vital services through CAU.

“The organization is a tremendous one. [CAU] provides so many people with access to housing, to jobs, good training — and is a fabulous county partner for what they do,” Hudak said.

Among the attendees were people who have done business with CAU and were inspired to support the organization’s efforts.

“We love to partner and support [CAU] because we enjoy supporting the mission and their wonderful work,” said Marilyn Ticktin of CORT Furniture.

Wayne Kenny, president of ABC Fire and Safety, has had a business relationship with CAU for more than a decade to ensure fire safety at programs.

“I support what CAU does, and I donate to them as a nonprofit,” Kenny said.

After playing, attendees enjoyed a dinner and silent auction with prizes, including sports tickets and spa packages.

Those interested in supporting CAU’s mission to create a more accessible world can donate online at and follow CAU on Facebook at

Photo Courtesy of Erin Jerome