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Morris County People: Charles Black & Nicholas Saccamano

Michele Kriegman
 1994, 'People Profile: Charles Black and Nicholas Saccamano', Morris County, spring: 25-27.

Twenty-six years ago, Mary Mulholland had an idea to raise money to help educate Morris County children about drugs and alcohol abuse. Of course, in 1968 illegal substances were commonly called dope, and thus the birth of the golf and tennis tournament that has become a fixture in the County’s fund-raising efforts.

In twenty-five years, through corporate and private sponsors and a mix of federal, state and local matching funds, the Dope Open has attracted a total of $4.5 million. Beneficiaries include the Market Street Mission and the Center for Addictive Illness in Morristown, Daytop House in Mendham, Hope House in Dover, Battered Women of New Jersey in Morris Plains and the Morris County Crimestoppers and D.A.R.E. programs.

For the last six  years, two prominent area professionals have chaired the event, and have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars that have a direct affect on our community.

Charles Black, Vice President of Communications at G.P.U. Service Corporation in Parsippany, and Nick Saccamano, Director of Community Relations for Bell Laboratories, will once again co-chair the 1994 version of the 26th Annual Dope Open.

Mulholland, the president and founder of the Dope Open, said, “They’re the reason the Dope Open is so successful, not only in raising  the funds necessary to continue our work of education, prevention and rehabilitation, but also because they are absolutely dedicated to those goals. And their employers have the same commitment.”

Each year, the event adds another touch to maintain its unique appeal. In 1994, one thousand marathoners will kick of the festivities with a ten kilometer “Run for the Roses” through Denville on the Saturday preceeding the golf tournament. On Tuesday, the Dope Open Golf and Tennis Tournament begins in earnest at the Brooklake Country Club in Florham Park, and culminates Thursday night with the Dope Open Dinner for over 450 golfers and tennis raqueteers, and other less athletic philanthropists.

The event’s success is due in large part to the efforts of Black and Saccamano, two individuals who are involved with numerous charitable and professional organizations.

Black, in addition to his 14 years involvement  with the Dope Open and the Morris County United Way, is past president of the board of directors of the County College of Morris Foundation and is listed in both Who’s Who in the East and Who’s Who in New Jersey. He has also been active in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and served as a Liaison Officer Commander with the Air Force Academy.

Saccamano, more than 20 years with the Open, is chairman of both the Morris Capital Campaign Committee and the Advisory Board of the Morris County Fire Fighters and Police Training Academy. He serves on the executive board of the Two Hundred Club of Morris County and the board of directors of McRides.  He is also a member of the Employees Legislative Committee of Morris County and is a corporate member of the Morris County Police Chief’s Association. At the state level, he works with the New Jersey Shore Alliance, the New Jersey Business Transit Alliance Advisory Board, the State Chamber of Commerce, and the Employer Legislative Committee of New Jersey. Adding on his responsibility to other groups in Union, Monmouth and Ocean Counties, he is active in over 30 civic organizations.

What keeps these two professionals so involved in this massive undertaking, year after year? Saccamano probably said it best, “It’s for the children –that they never get involved with drugs or alcohol.”

Here’s to the next quarter century, and may it be as successful as the first twenty-five.

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