Sweeney backs Camden County consolidation

Camden County Freedom Medal Recipients Recognized

Medals honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

January 20, 2011 -- One woman sweeps her block in Camden City every day, despite the fact she knows the trash will be right back there the next day. Another woman is a spokeswoman for multiple sclerosis and has raised more than $250,000 through fundraising over the last decade. Then there’s a man who has been a role model for more than 50 years, touching several generations through his work with the Collingswood Little League.

Their form of volunteerism varies, but the community impact is unquestionable. These are just a few of the stories of the 16 residents who were honored Wednesday night with the 2011 Camden County Freedom Medal, honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This annual award is reserved for those who work tirelessly and selflessly to improve their community.
“Year after year, the Freedom Medal Committee is charged with the difficult task of selecting these recipients from a long list of nominations,” said Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. “Everyone here deserves this recognition and I am honored to stand here with you tonight. I am proud to be a part of a county where there are so many deserving people who are heroes of their community.”
The 16 residents who received awards during the evening event at the Camden County Boathouse in Pennsauken included: Julia Baker, Camden; Louise Lilley Bell (posthumously), Merchantville; Sheryl Casey, Blackwood; Robert Cooper, Blackwood; Stephanie Fisher, Voorhees; Anne Gundle, Berlin; Robert Klaus, Barrington; Kim Loring, Cherry Hill; John McMordie, Hi-Nella; Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Pratsinakis, Cherry Hill; Deborah L. Samuels, Cherry Hill; Lambert Santos, Cherry Hill; Jean Sedar, Cherry Hill; Asim K. Shafi, Cherry Hill; Samra Sherwani, Voorhees; and Daniel Trainer, Oaklyn.
Freeholder Riletta Cream explained that the honorees are selected by an independent, 10-member committee. Each nomination, which includes a 300-word essay in support of the nominee’s accomplishments, is reviewed by the committee. Dr. Mark Doorley, director of the ethics program at Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, chairs the committee.
The Freedom Medal Committee also includes Juanita Johnson-Clark, of Lawnside, Rowan University trustee; Thomas H. Watkins, financial representative for Lincoln Investment Planning, Inc.; Habib Quraishi, a commissioner on the Camden County Human Relations Commission and a member of the Pakistani-American Society of South Jersey; Aqil Khan, president of the Pakistani-American Society of South Jersey; Theresa L. Smith, dean of enrollment and student services at Camden County College; Gwen Devera, commissioner, Camden County Human Relations Committee; and Joseph Pane, president of JPC, Inc.