What a difference a year makes. As 2016 draws to a close, SJO takes a look back at the stories that featured organizations or people who are making a difference in our communities.
In this post, SJO highlights some of those people – from students spearheading a homeless project, to police and fire personnel outreaching to the community, to residents who created a Free Little Library for their town.
Presented in round-up style and in no particular order, here are 23 organizations or people who were featured on SJO as having made a difference in 2016:
1. Girl Scout Troops #30215 & #30082
Girl Scout Troops #30215 and #30082 hosted an appreciation luncheon for Bellmawr Police, Fire & EMS in July. In November, they held an internet safety event that was open to the public.
2. Bellmawr Baseball’s John Smith
Bellmawr Baseball honored long-time volunteer/treasurer, John Smith, for 50 years of dedicated service before the 10U All Star game on July 5.
3-4. Bellmawr Teachers, Sue DiPrinzio & Gina Heller
5. Bellmawr Hockey Hosts National Tournament
Bellmawr Hockey hosted the national tournament and will host it again in 2017.
6. Camden County Historical Society’s Chris Perks & Rev. Vince Kovlak
Chris Perks of the Camden County Historical Society and Rev. Vince Kovlak of Bellmawr Baptist Church remain steadfast in their efforts to save the historic Hugg-Harrison Glover House.
7. New Covenant Ministries & Its Christmas Eve Outreach
New Covenant Ministries has been bringing Christmas Eve joy to Camden residents for the past 30 years.
8. Msgr. William Hodge of St. Mary’s Gloucester City
St. Mary’s Church Msgr. William Hodge organized Gloucester City’s first St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
9. Mt. Ephraim Teachers Raise Money
Mt. Ephraim’s teachers hosted a “picnic” to raise money for the Mt. Ephraim Education Foundation.
10. Jade Gasper, Alisha Simons & Little Free Library
Residents, Jade Gasper and Alisha Simons, brought a Little Free Library to Mt. Ephraim.
11. Bruce Parry & the Annual Gloucester City Girls Softball Tournament
Bruce Parry and his army of volunteers make sure the annual Gloucester City Girls Softball Tournament happens each July.
12. Bell Oaks Students Help Distribute 2,000 Flags
Bell Oaks students helped to place 2,000 flags on veterans’ graves at New St. Mary’s Cemetery.
13. Bellmawr’s Nesenur Ozturk, Maddie Groves, and Jennifer Macao-Cedilla Help the Homeless
Bell Oaks students, Nesenur Ozturk, Maddie Groves, and Jennifer Macao-Cedilla spearheaded a collection drive to help the homeless.
14. Kyle Wright Organizes Annual Ryan Coyle Softball Tournament
Kyle Wright organizes an annual softball tournament in memory of his best friend, Ryan Coyle. The proceeds from the tournament benefit a scholarship fund for baseball players.
15. Bellmawr Fire Dept. Volunteers Help Out
16. Bellmawr PD/Local PBA 375 Outreach to the Community
Bellmawr Police Department/Local PBA 375 outreached to the community with Water Ice with a Cop and a Magic Show.
17. Runnemede Police Officers Apprehend Human Trafficking Suspect
Three Runnemede Police Department officers: Ptlm. William Ortiz, Ptlm. Robert Alexander, and Sgt. William Sampolski, received recognition for apprehending a human trafficking suspect.
18. Bellmawr PD’s Sgt. Chris Cummings Awarded Medal of Valor
Bellmawr PD’s Sgt. Chris Cummings was honored with a Medal of Valor, along with a Proclamation, in recognition of his heroic actions stemming from an incident that took place at the Tanger Outlets (The Walk) in Atlantic City on September 1.
19. Bellmawr PD’s Jared Walton’s Actions Saved a Couple from Suicide
20. Runnmede-Bellmawr-Glendora Rotary Dedicated a Pavilion
Runnmede-Bellmawr-Glendora Rotary dedicated a pavilion at Green Acres Park in honor of Bartilo “Bud” Palmieri.
21. Summer Rec Program Keeps Kids Busy
Under the direction of Dawn Gillis and Kelly Cook, Bellmawr’s Summer Rec program provides fun activities for the town’s kids. It also employs teens to work as camp counselors.
This year as part of the Summer Rec program, some teens worked under the direction of Mike “Juice” Williams to paint fences around town.