ASBURY PARK, N.J., April 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Kevin Hoagland never gives up.
Faced with a devastating injury as a teen, the New Brunswick native went on to start the Central Jersey Spinal Cord Association in his hometown – and raise more than $1,500,000 for research at The Spinal Cord Injury Project at Rutgers University, The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Association.
"Kevin Hoagland is the living embodiment of the adage that in every crisis there is an opportunity," says John Keegan, chairman emeritus of the New Jersey Hall of Fame. "He dedicated his life to those who suffered from spinal-cord injuries by seeking a cure for paralysis. The New Jersey Hall of Fame is proud to honor him as its Unsung Hero this year."
Hoagland, 58, will receive his award May 6 at the Hall of Fame's 10-year anniversary induction ceremony.
"I am honored and humbled to be receiving the Unsung Hero Award from the New Jersey Hall of Fame," Hoagland says. "Thank you to my family and friends for their continued support of my endeavors."
Also to be honored that Sunday night are:
- Mikayla Simanski of VOORHEES HIGH SCHOOL (Hunterdon County) and Mark Steinberg of LIVINGSTON HIGH SCHOOL (Essex County) as the winners of the Arete Scholarship Fund. Each senior will receive a $5,000 scholarship. "Arete" is a concept that Plato, Socrates and Aristotle referred to more than 3,000 years ago, in reference to actualizing one's highest sense of self with a moral excellence of character.
- Essay winners Morgan Beaudoin, a sophomore at JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL (Morris County); and Alyssa Fogg, a fifth-grader LOWER ALLOWAYS CREEK SCHOOL (Salem County). Students were asked to nominate potential inductees to the New Jersey Hall of Fame. Morgan nominated her late grandfather, Dominic Silvestri, who, after being widowed, raised four children. Alyssa nominated two-time U.S. Soccer Olympian Tobin Heath, who grew up in Basking Ridge.
Hoagland is known for saying: "Don't give up. Don't ever give up." And it's clear that he lives up to his favorite saying.
In 1978, at the age of 18, Kevin broke his neck in an accident at home. Since then, he has:
- Founded the CJSCA, to raise funds for scientific research in the U.S. that is dedicated to finding a cure for paralysis. http://cjsca.net/
- Through the association provided more than $750,000 in financial assistance to people with spinal-cord injuries in central New Jersey.
- Served as chairman of the Mayor's Committee For A Barrier-Free New Brunswick.
SOURCE New Jersey Hall of Fame