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Star Citizens: August, 2012

by Editorial Staff--Suburban Family Magazine

Thomas Hudson
Cherry Hill
Cherry Hill East sophomore Hudson (pictured at far right) has always made a point to donate to the Larc School, a non-profit special education school in Bellmawr that his 12-year-old neighbor attends. However, he decided to go above and beyond by creating a sensory garden at the school for students to experience with their different senses. Hudson managed to raise the $3,000 needed for the project and completed it earlier this summer as part of his Eagle Scout project.

Crow Woods Gardeners
The Crow Woods Gardeners of Haddonfield, an all-volunteer community of more than 100 gardeners led by President Paul Schmeck, are starting a new initiative of giving back by partnering with the Food Bank of South Jersey. They are going to donate all excess produce to the food bank, with all the donations going to people in need. The idea came from gardener Brenda Zadjieka, who has herself delivered up to 100 pounds of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and more to the food bank since the partnership.

Samantha Marker
Mount Laurel
Mount Laurel librarian Marker was recently honored with a Rising Star Award from the New Jersey Library Association thanks to her efforts in expanding the teen programs at the library. Among the many programs she has helmed as the teen librarian, Marker created a Teen Advisory Board to institute fun physical activities like Humans vs. Zombies, as well as creating the Mega Mega Teen Tunes concert event and leading a 65-student summer volunteer group.

Saadiq Wicks
Fifth-grader Wicks is not the type of kid to let a few bullies get him down. Despite being picked on for a stuttering problem he’s lived with from a young age, Wicks is sharing his story to inspire other young people with the same issue to overcome their obstacles. Wicks created “L-L-Let Me Finish,” a group that’s raising money for children to attend a camp he himself goes to that supports children with a stutter. Through T-shirt sales and other fundraisers, he and his mother hope to hold workshops and forums to help raise awareness.

Skylar Rae Noyes and Elizabeth Maguire
These two young girls each individually raised funds for the Perkins Center for the Arts, and were recognized in early August. Skylar, 11, raised $400, enough to send one disadvantaged child to summer camp, through lemonade stands and odd jobs. Elizabeth made her birthday party into a charitable event, asking guests to donate to a cause in lieu of gifts; this year, she collected $175 for Perkins.

Medford Police Officers
Police officers from the Medford Township police department gathered to run the 19th leg of the New Jersey Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics in June. The statewide run is a top fundraiser for the Special Olympics; the local run began in Marlton and ended 20 miles away in Lumberton.

Angela Donato
Washington Township
Donato has made it her mission to educate the community on the dangers of distracted driving. After losing her sister in a head-on collision caused by a texting driver, Donato has given presentations to students across the state, hoping that they hit home for others and help at least one person to put the phone down. Recently, she worked with state Sen. Fred Madden and Assemblyman Paul Moriarty to increase penalties for cell phone use on the road.

Keith Hummel
Keith Hummel retired in June after 14 years as Voorhees Police chief. During that time, he increased the department’s efficiency by installing mobile data computers in all police vehicles, which gave them access to the police department’s internal system. Hummel’s leadership over the years has also promoted an increase in department projects such as Adopt-a-Cop programs and the development of a crime prevention unit which connects businesses and residents with the police.

Linda Bolger
Cherry Hill
Bolger obtained a grant from the Friendship Train Foundation to provide free swim lessons for dozens of inner-city children at Woodcrest Country Club. The kids had a rare opportunity to learn swimming, safety and enjoy free food, thanks to the efforts of Bolger, a Cherry Hill resident and Eastern High School teacher.

John Volpa
Volpa, who retired in July after 27 years at Indian Mills Memorial School, was honored as Volunteer of the Year at the Pine Barrens Festival on July 27. He was recognized for his volunteer contributions to the community, including organizing groups to improve the walking and bike trails in town.

Marissa Ionno
Gloucester Township
Ionno launched The TAILS Network, a Facebook page that’s home to pictures of adoptable shelter cats and dogs, in mid July, and has already caught the attention of 1,500 people and climbing. The online page seeks to raise awareness about these needy animals and actively works to find homes so that they are not euthanized.

Ted Lowden
Chief Thaddeus “Ted” Lowden of Evesham Fire-Rescue was honored by the New Jersey Fire and Emergency Medical Services Institute with the C. Kenneth Anderson Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his 37 years of service to his community and of his ongoing role of state and national leadership and dedication.

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 6 (August, 2012).
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