Sparta man's dedication to NJ Sharing Network honors the love of his life

THE SPARTA INDEPENDENT | Laurie Gordon
Dan Sarnowski (left), and Ali Niles (right) pose with Valentine Samuels (center). Samuels was the recipient of one of Betsy Niles' kidneys.
SPARTA — Dan Sarnowski, of Sparta, recently received the Chairman’s Award for his exceptional commitment as a member of the NJ Sharing Network Foundation Board of Trustees. Sarnowski is the chair of the NJ Sharing Network's Annual 5K Celebration of Life steering committee, a member of the Donor Family Council and helps run the Betsy Niles Scholarship Fund. His dedication to the NJ Sharing Network is uncanny and it's all in the name of the love of his life: a woman named Betsy Niles.

Betsy and Dan

“Betsy and I actually were proof that internet dating works (at least once).” Sarnowski said. “We met via Matchmaker.com in August 2001. We had a few dates that went okay and the more we met the more we learned that we liked the same things (salt water, sailing, hockey) and disliked the same things (golf, tennis) and we became committed to each other.” Sarnowski said they discussed getting married but decided, “why ruin a good thing” He added, “We often referred to each other as “BTH” and “BTW” (better than a husband, better than a wife). We had a fully committed relationship for 10 years and those years were the best years of my life.”

Tragedy

On March 30, 2011, Niles was walking to the train station in Upper Montclair where they lived together. It was just a three block walk to catch the train into Manhattan where she was working. She was crossing an entrance into the parking lot for the train station when she was struck by a van pulling into that lot. The driver of the van had been driving East on Bellevue Ave and was blinded by the sun when he turned to pull into the lot. Continue reading


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