Faces in the News

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CUMBERLAND COUNTY, NJ — Here are your weekly Faces in the News for the Cumberland County region, July 18th-July 24th, 2018:

Bigs of the Year Announced, Information Session Scheduled for August 2

Patricia Hennessy, from Vineland, and Kevin Ludwig, from Millville, were chosen as the “Big of the Year” from both the local Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cumberland & Salem Counties and the State of New Jersey’s Big Brothers Big Sisters organizations.

Big Sister Patricia and Little Sister Chakyra were matched on July 26, 2012. Patty is very supportive of Chakyra’s choice to play basketball and makes every effort to attend her games. Chakyra has become an excellent basketball player and has been described as being “somewhat of a rarity on the high school girls’ basketball team.” 

Chakyra states, “My Big Sister is special because she always hears me out when I am in a situation. We always have great talks and do a lot of fun things together that are very interesting. I have learned a lot from my Big Sister, but the most important lesson was to never give up and to strive for success no matter what the situation is. I’m glad that I met my Big Sister Patty, who has a very special place in my heart and life.”

Big Brother Kevin Ludwig and Little Brother Marcus were matched on January 11, 2011. Kevin would faithfully visit Marcus at school for lunch once a week—talking, playing games and eating together. As Marcus grew older, they began to spend time on the weekends and their friendship grew even stronger. 

Kevin said, “We have developed a warm and close relationship over the last seven years. My time with Marcus has grown from an in-school based, one-hour weekly visit to Marcus being a loved member of the Ludwig family.” 

Marcus loves spending Sundays with Kevin and his family, both having fun and learning more about what it means to be part of a family.

For more information, BBBS is offering a Little Moments Informational Session on Thursday, August 2 at 6 p.m. at the BBBS office, located at 1944 E. Landis Ave., Vineland. Anyone interested in attending must call 856-692-0916 to RSVP.


Toastmaster Installs New Officers

Speak E-Z of Millville welcomed its new officers for the 2018-2019 year. The officers empower members in their professional development journey as communicators and leaders. Division Director Paul Caron installed the officers, as identified in photo. Toastmaster of the Year award was presented to President Dan Connelly. For more information visit speakez.toastmastersclubs.org


Rotary Club of Tri-County Installs New Leadership

With its first full year of service complete, the members of the Rotary Club of Tri-County installed its new president, Nicholas Bernhardt, and his executive board and directors, during a changeover dinner celebration recently. The club’s new leadership was installed by Tom Fletcher, Governor, Rotary District 7640.

During the changeover dinner, members thanked Christopher Volker, executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Vineland, who served as president for the club’s inaugural year. Volker passed the gavel to Bernhardt, employed by LPL Financial/RKB Wealth Management, who will serve as president until June 30, 2019. Members of Bernhardt’s executive board and directors include Melanie Druziako, Gerald Covella, Paula Davis, Erin Mendez, Jessica Albertson, Maria Aviles, Patrick Massaro, Beatrice Hughes, and Mary Gruccio.

The Rotary club of Tri-County meets on the first and third Tuesdays in the Rose Room at Merighi’s Savoy Inn from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. To find out more, come to a meeting, or call Beatrice Hughes at bhughes@cccnj.edu. 


From left: Maria Aviles, Beatrice Hughes, Nick Bernhardt, Chris Volker, Erin Mendez, Jessica Albertson, Paula Davis, and Jerry Covella.


Master Gardeners Work at Veterans Home

Rutgers Master Gardeners of Cumberland County finished up the year of Horticulture Enrichment activities at the Veterans Home in Vineland in June with plantings of Rutgers 250 tomatoes along with sunflowers and several herbs. 

The participating residents were given information about the plants up close, then watched as several master gardeners planted them in the facility’s small garden space outside the activities room. Prior to this the residents created wooden plant stakes that they decorated with patriotic colors. These were placed prominently in the garden for all to enjoy.


Classes for Cancer Survivors and Diabetes Prevention to Start at YMCA

Community members who have survived cancer or who wish to prevent diabetes will be interested in two classes starting at the Cumberland Cape Atlantic YMCA this month. The “Y Diabetes Prevention Program” and “Livestrong at the Y” will both be offered at no cost to participants, but registration is requested. Both will begin the fourth week of this month and are for individuals who are 18 years or older.

“Livestrong at the Y” begins on Monday, July 23 from 9 to 11 a.m. Designed for cancer survivors, the class is a research-based effort to use physical activity and information about well-being to help the participants reclaim their health. They will also function as a peer support group. The class will continue for 12 weeks.

The “Y Diabetes Prevention Program” start dates are Monday, July 23 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Wednesday, July 25 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. This class will focus on helping people who are at risk for type two diabetes make small changes that can lead to a happier, healthier life. Many people do not know that they have diabetes, but through this initiative, they can take a risk assessment. The class will include 25 sessions and run for a year.

To learn more about either of these programs, contact Pamela Heaton at the Cumberland Cape Atlantic YMCA at 856-691-0030, ext. 118 or at pheaton@ccaymca.org.


Graduates of a recent “Livestrong at the Y” class are shown at the Cumberland Cape Atlantic YMCA, where they learned about flexibility, endurance, peer support, and many other topics—and made lasting friendships. A new class will begin this month, as will a new “Y Diabetes Prevention” class. Community members are encouraged to participate at no cost. Call the YMCA at 856-691-0030 for details.


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