By: Caitlin Doran
Our annual Gala & Auction, in addition to being a festive event and an important fundraiser, is an opportunity for us to acknowledge members of our community who have gone above and beyond for our lake. This year, we’re excited to honor Senator Steven V. Oroho and volunteers Laurence Orlans and Gay Ann Bucci. Read on to learn a little bit more about our honorees, their connection to the lake, and their contributions to our programs and initiatives!
Senator Steve Oroho will retire this year after serving his fifth term representing the 24th Legislative District - which comprises all of Sussex County, and parts of northern Warren and Morris Counties - in the New Jersey State Senate. In 2020, he co-sponsored the Lakes Funding Bill, which was signed into law in 2021 and provided $10M in support to public lakes in New Jersey. In January, he co-sponsored a similar bipartisan bill, which if passed, would secure another $17M in support for public lakes.
In the State Senate, Senator Oroho serves as the Minority Leader and sits on three committees: the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee as well as the Senate Higher Education Committee. He is also a member of the Legislative Manufacturing Caucus. In the State Legislature, Senator Oroho takes a particular interest in budgetary and economic development issues.
Senator Oroho first ran for public office in 2001, winning a seat on the Franklin Borough Council. He moved up to the Sussex County Freeholder Board (now Board of County Commissioners) in 2005, upon his successful election, and served one term before winning the election to the State Senate in 2007 and has been re-elected four times. Before entry into public office, Senator Oroho had extensive professional experience in the finance departments of top New York City firms including work for Price Waterhouse, W.R. Grace and Company, as well as Young and Rubicam where he held the position of Senior Vice President of Finance. Senator Oroho is presently a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ with Nisivoccia Wealth Advisors and a licensed certified public accountant.
Senator Oroho is married, and the father of five children and ten grandchildren. He resides in Franklin Borough, Sussex County.
Laurence “Larry” Orlans grew up in Newark, NJ, and visited Lake Hopatcong for the first time when he was 16 years old. He attended a picnic, which was held on the lawn at Hopatcong State Park. After college and dental school, he served as a Dental Officer in the U.S. Air Force Dental Corps, and then practiced dentistry for forty years in Dover and then in Randolph, New Jersey before retiring and moving to the lake as a full-time resident.
Larry is very proud to be, along with his late wife Mary, a founding member and supporter of the Lake Hopatcong Foundation and enjoys participating in as many of the Foundation’s activities as possible.
A love of boating led Larry to his longtime role as First Mate on the Foundation’s educational pontoon boat, Study Hull, a position he’s held with pride since the vessel’s purchase. Larry is also very passionate about the safe enjoyment of Lake Hopatcong, and has been the Vice Commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 15-10 and presently serves as their Operations Officer.
Gay Ann Bucci grew up surrounded by stories of her family's experiences as concessioners at Bertrand Island Amusement Park in the 1940s and 1950s. When Gay was in high school and college, she would have the opportunity to make her own memories working alongside her aunt and cousins in the Creamy Whip stand. Her time at the Park included hard work, but so many good times with extended family and friends.
Gay is a retired educator, who taught fifth grade and third grade for thirty-seven years with the Denville Township School District. She is a graduate of The College of Saint Elizabeth (now Saint Elizabeth University) and Seton Hall University with degrees in Elementary Education and Educational Leadership.
Gay first became involved with the Lake Hopatcong Foundation in 2016 as a volunteer for our annual field trips and has since found a home on our Education Team. It has given her the opportunity to continue to use her teaching skills to bring awareness of the importance of protecting the Musconetcong Watershed and Lake Hopatcong. Rare is the day that Gay misses one of our organization's field trips for fourth graders in the spring or an educational cruise aboard the Floating Classroom in the summer. She has been an asset to the Foundation as we work to educate the next generation of environmental stewards.
Along with being a proud member of the Lake Hopatcong Foundation, Gay serves on the Board of Trustees for Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum. She also leads and plans events for a women's group at her local church. Although Gay is a life-long resident of Rockaway, her love of all things Lake Hopatcong will always have a special place in her heart.
Help us thank and congratulate Steve, Larry, and Gay Ann, by attending our gala on July 20, or by taking out a congratulatory ad in our ad journal. We are truly grateful for all their help advocating for our lake and educating the next generation of lake stewards!