Mark Mannuzza, second from right, was recognized by the Board of Education for his outstanding volunteer work, particularly in helping the family of ailing School No. 8 first-grader Isabel Dominguez. 

volunteer receiving certificate of recognition

Board member Ahmed Shehata handing a certificate of recognition to Mark Mannuzza. At right is Superintendent Danny A. Robertozzi, and at center is Isabel Dominguez and her mother, Diana Arubla.

By Gary Miller

The Board of Education honored Linden resident Mark Mannuzza at its June 26 meeting for his outstanding volunteer work for the school district. His generosity particularly stood out in his recent work to help the family of School No. 8 first-grader Isabel Dominguez, who has leukemia.

“I can’t say enough about what Mark Mannuzza does,” Superintendent Danny A. Robertozzi said at the meeting. “He’s a parent in our district, his children went through our schools, he’s been a lifelong Linden resident. Besides all the work he’s done for Isabel, there’s a lot of other work he does, but I don’t want to embarrass him too much.”

Board member Ahmed Shehata said that Mannuzza helped pay for a venue for a fundraising dinner for Isabel on May 1, and organized a car show from which the proceeds were donated to the Dominguez family.

Mannuzza, an LHS Class of 1981 graduate, accepted the board’s certificate of recognition, with Isabel and her mother, Diana Arubla, by his side.

“God put angels in our lives, and he is one of them,” Arubla said. “He is always letting me know that he is right there for me. I feel so blessed. I know I just met you, but I love you, and my family is so grateful for you.”

Mannuzza, whose daughter Staci is a teacher at School No. 8, said his work to help Isabel’s family is part of a group effort. He told of helping Arubla to get her car fixed when it broke down as she was returning with Isabel from chemotherapy treatments. He was going to pay to get it fixed, but business associates of his donated the parts and labor to replace the car’s motor.

“So there are a lot of good people in this world,” he said.

Shehata also spoke on Mannuzza’s behalf.

“As a kid and even as an adult, I’ve always aspired to be like some politician, some athlete or some celebrity in Hollywood. Now, I aspire to be someone like Mark,” he said. “Mark Mannuzza is the definition of spreading love the Linden way.”

four posing for a photo

At a fundraising dinner for the Dominguez family at Amici's Ristorante on May 1 are School No. 8 Principal Michelle Rodriguez, Mark Mannuzza, Ahmed Shehata and Superintendent Danny A. Robertozzi.