Mark Cremonni’s office in 1980 overlooked St. John’s Church, one of the oldest parishes in New Jersey and the site of St. John’s Soup Kitchen. He remembers looking out the window and watching people line up twice a day for meals. Cremonni thought about the luck he had enjoyed and reflected on the juxtaposition between his life and the lives of those less fortunate. He decided to do his part to help.
Answering the Call
Thirty years later, Cremonni is more involved than ever in the soup kitchen. Each month, he leads a group of employees from their office in Short Hills to the church in Newark. The volunteers sweep floors, wash dishes, cut vegetables, shelve the stockroom and serve meals, among other jobs. In addition to the hours Cremonni spends in the soup kitchen, he also serves as head of its finance committee, which is tasked with attracting and managing donations to St. John’s.
Extending the Reach
Cremonni appreciates the support he receives from Bank of America Merrill Lynch for his service. “The bank is fantastic. They couldn't be more generous, more understanding and more open,” he said. With help from the bank, St. John’s opened a Medical Services Unit and a Women and Children’s Center, where vulnerable patrons can eat in peace and safety.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch presented Cremonni with a Volunteer Service Award in recognition of the countless hours he has committed to the needy in Newark. While he shuns the “super volunteer” moniker, it certainly seems to fit.