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Star Citizens: September, 2012

by Editorial Staff--Suburban Family Magazine

AJ Mattia
Washington Township
Mattia (pictured), a seventh-grader, sustained the amputation of his left leg this past summer following a battle with osteosarcoma, but pediatric cancer can’t slow this kid down. He’s teaming up with the Go4theGoal foundation to raise funds and awareness in support of pediatric cancer. In addition to encouraging district staff members to participate in a “Dress 4 Pediatric Cancer Day” on Friday, Sept. 28, Mattia is also launching his own personal effort “Lace Up 4 Pediatric Cancer” and selling bright, gold shoelaces for a $5 donation to the cause.

Adam Breskin
Cherry Hill
This 18-year-old from Cherry Hill volunteered months of his time clearing overgrown brush and trees from the Unexpected Wildlife Refuge in Newfield, planning new trails and replacing signs for visitors. For his efforts, he earned the Eagle Scout award, the highest rank a Boy Scout can achieve.

Tarteel Idais
Mount Laurel
Ten-year-old Idais, a fifth-grader at Hartford Upper Elementary, was named one of Epicurious magazine’s Healthy Lunchtime Challenge regional winners. The contest, in conjunction with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move organization, picked 54 children that submitted healthy lunch options. Idais prepared a salmon dish alongside a fruit smoothie.

Pankuri Jha
After traveling to India and helping young children to learn English and math, Pankuri Jha decided to embrace the children’s willingness to learn and express themselves. Jha began publishing Baal Chaupaal, a literary magazine full of poems, essays and stories by children of India, New Zealand, and the U.S. Partnered with the Ark Foundation, an organization in India that promotes a universal education method for children, Baal Chaupaal hopes to advocate children’s literacy and expression on both global and national levels.

Donna Cristino
Cristino has turned preserving her grandmother’s memory into a lifelong commitment. After losing her grandmother, Rose, to breast cancer at a young age, she has dedicated herself to volunteering for The American Cancer Society. Now, upon founding her own beauty product line called Jing Ai, she donates five percent of all proceeds to a grassroots organization that raises money for breast cancer research and awareness.

John Hoffman
This local lawyer, previously the director of the Division of Investigations for New Jersey’s Comptroller, has been hired as the state’s executive assistant attorney general. Hoffman will serve directly under Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa.

Nancy Longenecker
Longenecker, a musician and former radio host, was awarded the Citizen of the Year Award by the Medford-Vincentown Rotary Club for the work she does to bring music to the community. She organizes the Friday night concerts at the Gazebo in Medford, performs herself at Medford Leas, and she’s also active with the Medford Arts Center.

Gail Sweet
Sweet retired after 28 years of service with the Burlington County Library System, the last 12 of which were as the director. She was there to witness the transition from the card catalogue to computerized barcodes, and most recently helped oversee the renovation and expansion going on at the Westampton campus, which includes an indoor/outdoor cafe and 250-seat auditorium.

Karanveer Pannu
Pannu helped supervise a crew of nearly two dozen volunteers from Boy Scout Troop 48 to clean up the Stafford Trail. They managed to rake and clean up the entire trail, which hadn’t been maintained properly for years. They also helped mulch part of the trail, laid new stones in the dry stream bed, and placed new trail markers.

Arthur Carmichael
Cherry Hill
Carmichael was honored in a Camden County ceremony awarding him the Congressional Gold Medal for his time serving with the Montford Point Marines, the nation’s first unit of African American Marines in World War II. Carmichael, 88, is also a veteran of Korea and Vietnam.

Eastern High School Alumni Association
The Alumni Association held a unique reunion on Sept. 16, a Glory Dayz 5K, that helped raise funds for Alex’s Lemonade Stand. The association called on alumni and the rest of the school community to come together for the event, which featured alumni Ali Gorman and Adam Taliaferro.

Leo Pratte
Pratte, director of disaster relief services for the Southeastern Pennsylvania chapter of the Red Cross, left the comforts of South Jersey to assist with hurricane relief in Louisiana following Hurricane Isaac. He helped to organize volunteers, supplies and more to help affected residents.

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 7 (September, 2012).
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