West New York celebrates the woman who gave you life and love


“Come every year, I really love it,” says West New York resident Ana Pita, of the town’s 
Mother’s Day event.  “I get to see everybody that I don’t get to see all year and we get to dance and try all the good food.”

Alma Zerboni of West New York calls it a pleasure to be a mother.

“It changed my life forever,” Zerboni says, of her six children and 10 grandchildren.  “I’m very glad, I’m very happy with them, I’m very proud.”

“The best part is to see how they grow up — being wonderful kids, very educated and very happy,” says Margarita Zarza of West New York, who has a son and daughter and three grandchildren.

“Una bendición, it’s a blessing,” says Columbia Velasquez of West New York.

“It’s a blessing to have children,” adds the mother of five (three girls and two boys),  grandmother of four and great grandmother of five.

With four boys and two girls, Zerboni knows a thing or two about being a mother and offers this advice…

“Love (your) kids, hug all of them all the time and then talk to them and be close all the time.”

Mayor Roque has great memories of his own mother and says she made him what he is today.

“A mother is the person that brings you into this world, gives you love, gives you joy, gives you 
a purpose,” Roque says.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Jillian has a passion for news, giving voice to the voiceless and telling stories that make an impact. A New Jersey native, she spent the past two years as a multimedia journalist/one-man-band at WTAP-TV, the NBC affiliate in Parkersburg, West Virginia, where she covered everything from meth busts to fracking to the homeless to a young man struck by lightening. She was her news director’s “go to health reporter” and also covered many education and political stories. She frequently interviewed the mayors of Parkersburg, Vienna and Williamstown, WV and Belpre and Marietta, Ohio. She interviewed OH Gubernatorial Candidate Ed Fitzgerald and OH Congressional Candidate Jennifer Garrison, as well as WV Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and WV Senator Joe Manchin. Jillian was a regular fixture at the local police, sheriff’s departments, prosecutors’ offices and courthouses. Many looked forward to her ‘Mom of the Month’ series. Her story about two women who lost their children to heroin was widely recognized, along with her much loved piece on the Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis band camp. In her free time, Jillian enjoys yoga; working out, live music, spending time with friends on both coasts and the Mid-Ohio Valley. Follow on Twitter @JillianRis


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