By: Follow South Jersey Staff
CHERRY HILL, N.J. — The Camden County Board of Commissioners will hold the 2023 Camden County Freedom Medal Ceremony on Thursday, January 19. The ceremony will honor 10 Camden County residents for their selfless contributions to improving their community, according to a press release from the county.
The award was created by in 2001 and is presented to civic leaders who demonstrate ideals and actions that reflect the principles of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Since it began 22 years ago, more than 1,200 Camden County residents have received this prestigious honor.
“This process has always brought forth incredible stories of selflessness and sacrifice and this year’s group of recipients are no different,” Commissioner Jonathan Young said in the press release. “These 10 individuals have surpassed all expectations and have proven their love and support for Camden County and its residents.”
Each year the Board of Commissioners sets out to identify county residents who exemplify the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Specifically, residents who have made a specific contribution directed to his/her community that, over time, has made a significant, tangible improvement benefitting the people of the community. These accomplishments must be based strictly on volunteer work, excluding any remuneration.
The 2023 Camden County Freedom Medal will be presented to the following residents:
- Jim DeSimone, of Collingswood, an LGBTQ+ activist.
- Anton Dyer, of Pennsauken, a coach and youth sports organizer.
- Peter J. Fontaine, of Haddonfield, a leader in sustainability and environmental improvement.
- William and Gloria Jensen, of Audubon, founders of a nonprofit organization devoted to serving the adult special needs community.
- Tom Martin, of Haddon Township, advocate for the homeless and founder of Camden County’s pop-up libraries
- Adolfo “Pepe” Piperno, of Cherry Hill, founder of the Domenica Foundation, which sponsor scholarships to Catholic schools for children from low-income Camden families to attend.
- Nicole Roberts, of Pennsauken, community volunteer and the first African American woman to be elected to the Township Committee and to serve in the role of Deputy Mayor
- Miguel Rubert, of Camden, volunteer with organizations such as Holy Name Parish, the Hispanic Youth Council of Camden and the Guadalupe Family Services of Camden.
- Gurmeet Singh, of Lindenwold, volunteers his time, prepared meals and financial assistance to vulnerable community members.
- Queen Stewart, of Voorhees, founder of Create Urgency, a social media campaign encouraging people to follow their dreams while documenting her battle with breast cancer.
The 2023 Camden County Congressional Award will also be presented at the ceremony in January. This year’s recipient is Mary Ann Wardlow, the mayor of Lawnside.
More information on this year’s recipients is available at www.camdencounty.com/2023-camden-county-mlk-freedom-medal/.
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