Bright Side Feature Stories In The Courts

Cape May County Recovery Court to Graduate 49 Participants June 24

The Atlantic/Cape May Vicinage will recognize the successes of 49 graduates from the Cape May County recovery court program during two virtual graduation ceremonies on Wednesday, June 24.

“We’re looking forward to one of the largest graduations from recovery court in Cape May County’s history. We are proud, beyond belief, of our graduates, especially given the significant impacts of the health crisis on the challenges of recovery,” said Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Waldman, who leads Cape May County’s recovery court program.

Invitations for graduation ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. will be extended to graduates, their friends and family, treatment providers, and court staff. The ceremonies mark the culmination of recovery court participants’ three-year journey from addiction to recovery and the continuation of their productive, substance-free lives.

The recovery court team, led by Judge Waldman and staffed by court personnel, attorneys, probation officers, substance abuse evaluators, and treatment professionals, have continued their efforts during this pandemic to support each participant in their individual journeys.

The ceremonies will include encouraging words from Assignment Judge Julio L. Mendez, Judge Waldman, Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey Sutherland, Cape May County Public Defender Jesse Dean, and Recovery Court Coordinator Sherry Phillips. Allie Nunzi, who has supported participants’ recovery through Yoga sessions, will give the keynote address.

Consistent with virtual court sessions throughout the state, the graduations will be conducted using Zoom technology.

“I am proud of each participant. Although they are graduating, each has had his or her own recovery journey. They should take pride in how far they have come and have confidence in how far they can go,” Phillips said

Bright Side Community Calendar Feature Stories

Camden County Holding Virtual Public Meetings to Present Preliminary Designs for Multi-Use, Cross County Trail

(Cherry Hill, NJ) – The Camden County Department of Environmental Affairs, in cooperation with the Boroughs of Audubon, Haddon Heights, Hi-Nella and Somerdale, as well as Winslow Township, will begin hosting a series of virtual public meetings this month to present the preliminary designs for three segments of the County’s proposed 33 mile off-road, multi-use, cross county trail.

The Camden County LINK Trail, traveling through 17 Camden County municipalities from the Ben Franklin Bridge to Winslow Township, was formerly known as the Cross Camden County Trail. The project is the result of a County-wide trail network plan completed in 2015 and a more recent feasibility study completed in 2017 to develop a “spine” for the trail network. The 2017 feasibility study was completed by the engineering firm NV5.

“This trail, once completed, will infuse millions of dollars into the local economy each year and give our residents and visitors opportunities for recreation and a means of transportation between communities that do not exist presently,” said Freeholder Jeff Nash. “We are proud to partner with our municipalities, to provide all of our residents with new recreational opportunities and businesses along the route with new customers.”

In June of last year, the Board of Freeholders authorized a $4,579,540 agreement with NV5 to design approximately two-thirds of The LINK trail over the next three years, with various segments identified in the feasibility study being prioritized for design.

The public meetings will discuss the first three trail segments for which preliminary design has been completed.  These segments and the related public meetings are as follows:

  • June 23, 2020: Presentation of the preliminary design for the trail segment from Merchant Street in Audubon to Station Ave in Haddon Heights along East Atlantic Avenue (approx. 1 mile).
  • July 9, 2020: Presentation of the preliminary design for the trail segment from Somerdale Road in Somerdale to Wakonda Road in Hi Nella (approx. 0.4 miles).
  • July 13, 2020: Presentation of the preliminary design for the trail segment from Cross Keys Road to New Brooklyn Lake at Cedar Brook Road in Winslow Township (approx. 5.3 miles).

Registration to participate in any, or all, public meetings is available at All presentations will be recorded and posted to this page the day following the presentation.  Public comments will be accepted for 21 days following the first posting of the presentation.

Similar presentations will be scheduled for additional segments of The LINK Trail as preliminary designs are completed.

More information related to the Trail, including drone videos for segments covering the entire length of The LINK Trail, is available at

Post has been updated/corrected.

Bright Side Feature Stories

United Way Gloucester County’s “Live United” Mini-Grant Applications Open for Local Non-Profits

(Thorofare)- The United Way of Gloucester County (UWGC) is looking to provide financial support to small non-profits located in and serving residents of Gloucester County. It is our goal to provide one-time competitive grants up to $1,500 to support the work of agency programs that are making a difference in peoples’ lives here in our community.   

The purpose of the LIVE UNITED Mini-Grant Program is to provide a simple process for funding to great programs that serve residents throughout Gloucester County. The program offers funding support beyond the standard UWGC allocations process as to remain responsive to nonprofit organizational and community needs. The application deadline in July 14, 2020. 

Grants will be awarded on a one-time basis to support community programs. The Grant could be used to supplement/enhance an ongoing program or for a critical one-time need. Preference will be given to applicants with a focus supporting the UWGC community priorities related to education, financial empowerment, and/or health.

Education: Efforts that prepare and/or support school-age children in early education, youth development, which promotes academic success, increased high school graduation rates, life skills, and successful advancement to post-secondary education and/or career pursuits.

Financial Stability: Efforts that promote financial literacy, stability and asset building; provides families and individuals with life skills that support financial responsibility, credit management, job training and employment assistance. These efforts include assistance with basic needs. 

Health:  Efforts that promote access to healthcare or health coverage and/or health education; provide resources for preventative measures; programming designed to combat childhood obesity.

A critical need may also include the purchase of supplies/equipment, and/or provision for staff training that is essential for program operations. Submission is limited to one application for one program per agency.

UWGC will only consider funding applicants that meet the following criteria: Organization must be a non-profit 501(c) 3, must have a physical location and provide services to residents of Gloucester County, and must be a local organization.  Application materials can be found on our website at

For more information please contact: Nicole Morse, Director of Community Initiatives, United Way of Gloucester County at 856-845-4303 x 13 or by email at

Bright Side Feature Stories Recent News

2020 Clean Communities Grants Announced; DEP Awarding $19.4M to Municipalities & Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection is awarding $19.4 million in annual Clean Communities grants to help municipalities and counties remove litter to beautify neighborhoods, improve water quality and enhance quality of life, Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe announced on June 10, 2020.

In total, the DEP is awarding $17.3 million to eligible municipalities and $2.1 million to the state’s 21 counties. The program is funded by a legislated user-fee on manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors that produce litter-generating products.

“Clean Communities grants help municipalities and counties with the important task of removing unsightly litter, often from roadways and around stormwater collection systems, to enhance quality of life,” Commissioner McCabe said. “Beautifying our communities through these types of cleanups help improve water quality and natural resources while also protecting wildlife and their habitats.”

The nonprofit New Jersey Clean Communities Council oversees the reporting requirements for the program. Disbursements are based on housing units and miles of municipally owned roadways.

“Municipalities and counties are strongly encouraged to use these grants to pay for volunteer and paid cleanups, badly-needed equipment purchases, enforcement activities and education,” said Sandy Huber, Executive Director of New Jersey Clean Communities Council. “We are grateful for funding that helps keep New Jersey clean. We are proud to serve as an educational resource for communities, as we drive many of our campaigns to engage the younger generations to help mold positive, long-term behaviors toward discarding litter.”

Area Municipal Awards & Amounts:

  • Bellmawr $22,680.55
  • Brooklawn $4,000.00
  • Deptford $60,071.18
  • Gloucester City $20,911.16
  • Gloucester Twp. $ 116,662.20
  • Lawnside $5,992.30
  • Magnolia $8,621.07
  • Mt. Ephraim $9,106.77
  • Runnemede $16,467.60
  • Somerdale $10,914.47
  • Stratford $13,285.61
  • Westville $8,669.61

Counties receiving the largest grants are:

  • Ocean $196,702
  • Cumberland $172,382
  • Burlington $161,449
  • Bergen $141,166
  • Gloucester $132,249
  • Camden $126,698
  • Monmouth $121,119
  • Atlantic $118,974
  • Salem $114,801
  • Middlesex $100,572
  • Sussex $100,175

Litter comes from a variety of sources, such as pedestrians, motorists, overflowing household garbage, construction sites and uncovered trucks.

Litter is often blown by the wind until it is trapped somewhere, such as along a fence, or in a ditch or gully. People tend to litter when an area is already littered, and when they lack a sense of ownership or pride in their community.

Activities funded by Clean Communities grants include cleanups of stormwater systems that can disperse trash into streams, rivers and bays; volunteer cleanups of public properties; adoption and enforcement of local anti-littering ordinances; beach cleanups; public information and education programs; and purchases of litter collection equipment such as receptacles, recycling bins, anti-litter signs and graffiti removal supplies.

For a complete list of municipal and county grant awards, click the image below:

Bright Side Covid-19 News

NPDC Announces Three Recipients of Financial Support for S.J. Non-Profits

HADDONFIELD, NJ—The Non Profit Development Center of Southern New Jersey has selected three South Jersey non-profit organizations (NPOs) to receive $500 Pandemic Relief grants:

  • Puerto Rican Unity for Progress – Camden County
  • Moorestown Visiting Nursing Association – Burlington County – (specifically for assistance for the indigent and uninsured)
  • Greater Woodbury Cooperative Ministries – Gloucester County

Puerto Rican Unity for Progress (PRUP):

Promotes improved access to economic, social and cultural opportunities and resources for low income individuals and their families with special emphasis on the Hispanic population in Camden City. PRUP will utilize this Pandemic Relief Grant to help feed Camden’s youth during the organization’s summer lunch program.

Greater Woodbury Cooperative Ministries (GWCM):

Is a non-profit charitable organization serving northern Gloucester County, providing emergency food relief and guidance to its clients. GWCM will use the funding from the Pandemic Relief Fund to buy groceries for its Food Pantry which “sees new faces every day as a result of COVID 19.” 

Moorestown Visiting Nurse Association:

Is one of the very few home care agencies qualified to provide a continuum of care for patients of all ages, “no matter how serious the problem, no matter what stage of the illness.” With the Pandemic Relief grant, MVNA will support its services specifically to the indigent community members served during this time.

NPDC Executive Director Nicole Nance announced the grants and explained that “although our primary mission is educational programming to build capacity for the region’s NPOs, our Board recognizes that this is a time of financial crisis for many South Jersey non-profit organizations.”

The grant winners were selected from among 37 organizations that responded to NPDC’s Board-funded Pandemic Relief Initiative “to support NPOs whose reach to at-risk populations is significant at this time of crisis,” said Nance.

The Board fund currently reflects private pledges of $250 each from six Board members, which were turned into three awards of $500 each.


The Non Profit Development Center was founded in 2006 to help South Jersey’s non profit organizations continue to do good…but do it even better. This all-volunteer service organization is dedicated to enhancing the work of the region’s 10,000+ nonprofits and their leaders through technical assistance, information-sharing, education, and networking.

NPDC has served more than 2,500 of the region’s NPO professionals and recognized more than 75 of the region‘s top NPO leaders and organizations at its annual Awards Dinner. In addition, the organization and eight of its volunteer leaders have been honored by former President Barack Obama with the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

NPDC’s 2020 Board of Directors includes:
• Katie Logan/Chair
  TD Bank
• Ryan Kastner/Vice Chair
  Innovative Benefit Planning
• Darren Blough, MSW, BCABA/Secretary
• Paul Boland, MBA, EA/Treasurer
• Jennifer Chew
  Republic Bank
• Les Cohen
  Katrz JCC/ Cherry Hill
• Pamela Collins
  Rev Communications
• Robert D’Intino, Ph.D., MBA, CCM
  Rowan University
• Matt Jakubowski, AAI, CRIS
  Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
• Tracey Sharpe
   Sharpe Consulting
• Glen Walton, CPA
   Bowman & Company, LLP
• Ira Weisman
   Idea Innovations, LLC 
• Michael Willmann, Esq.
  WMSH Marketing Communications