Last summer, Hillsborough resident Fiona Lenzo found a nice surprise in front of her house. It was an arrangement of balloons placed on her front lawn.
She then looked at her phone and saw she had a voicemail from no other than Hillsborough Township Administrator Anthony Ferrera.
Ferrera, who is a member of the UNICO Hillsborough chapter, left a voicemail to tell Lenzo she had been selected as the next Miss UNICO Hillsborough.
“I was so excited listening to it,” Lenzo recalls. “It was shocking. I didn’t think I would get it. It’s a very huge honor.”
Since Lenzo was unable to fulfill her duties last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, she was told that she be would be honored as Miss UNICO Hillsborough for 2020-21 and get the chance to serve her role and attend events during this year while things are safer.
Lenzo’s first event as Miss UNICO Hillsborough will be at the Hillsborough Rotary Fair Family Fun Day on Aug. 21, beginning at 1 p.m. The event for families with children and young adults with disabilities will be held at the fairgrounds adjacent to the Lowe’s parking lot, 315 Route 206 south.
“I’m looking forward to meeting all the adults and children and helping out,” Lenzo said of the event. “It’s going to be a great day.”
Lenzo is a 2020 graduate of Hillsborough High School and is now attending The College of New Jersey, where she is pursuing a degree in history and education to be a high school history teacher.
She has studied the Italian language for seven years, receiving the Seal of Bi-literacy.
A lifelong resident of Hillsborough, Lenzo has been involved with the Girl Scouts since she was in first grade and has completed both her Bronze and Silver awards.
For her Bronze Award, Lenzo helped run an event for young girls that talked about healthy eating habits and healthy living.
Lenzo obtained her Silver Award by creating a sensory garden at the preschool of the South Branch Reform Church in the township.
As an active member of the Hillsborough community, Lenzo has participated in various service activities such as volunteering at United Way events, helping out at functions put on by the Hillsborough Township Community Assistance Network and donates food to the local food pantry.
She also recently participated in a volunteer internship at the Hillsborough Township’s Tax Assessor’s Office.
“The members of Hillsborough UNICO and I are pleased to have Miss Lenzo represent our local Hillsborough chapter and continue this important tradition,” Nate Santaromita, president of the Hillsborough UNICO chapter, said in a prepared statement.
A true “people person” at heart, Lenzo said she really enjoys helping people and is happy to receive this honor for the work she has done in the community.
“I’m very compassionate and empathetic,” Lenzo said. “I really enjoy helping people. I’m really proud of myself. I try helping out the best I can and this award shows that.”
UNICO National, founded in 1922, is the largest Italian-American service organization in America, with local chapters in 22 states with volunteers that work to support charitable, educational, scientific and literary causes while promoting Italian heritage and combating negative stereotyping. For more information, visit www.unico.org