Cherry Hill East chapter of Athletes Against Bullying honored at NJ Statehouse

The organization received a proclamation for its efforts in “…extinguishing bullying from schools and the community at large.”

State senators Jim Beach (far left) and Steve Sweeney (far right) present a proclamation to Athletes Against founder David Golkow and members Tyler Parsons, William O’Kane and Jake Cerota at the New Jersey Statehouse in July.

By JOHN HAPP

Special to The Sun

Earlier this month, the Cherry Hill High School East chapter of Athletes Against Bullying was honored at the New Jersey Statehouse with a proclamation. State Senator James Beach, a Democrat representing the Sixth Legislative District that covers parts of Burlington and Camden Counties including Cherry Hill, presented the award. Representing AAB were founder and 2016 Cherry Hill East graduate David Golkow, and rising seniors Tyler Parsons (president), William O’Kane (vice president and chief operating officer) and Jake Cerota (vice president and head of marketing).

Senator Beach, Assemblyman Louis Greenwald and Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, who both also represent the sixth legislative district, sponsored the joint legislative resolution. The resolution “salutes and congratulates Athletes Against Bullying for their efforts in extinguishing bullying from schools and the community at large.” Each student was given a copy of the resolution, and in addition a copy will permanently be displayed at Cherry Hill East.

AAB was formed at Cherry Hill East in 2014 and at Cherry Hill West last school year. It includes at least one representative from each of the school’s sports teams. The advisor to the group is Jen DiStefano, a student assistant counselor at Cherry Hill East.

AAB is the largest student-run club at Cherry Hill East with almost 300 members. The club was very active throughout the school year starting with a social experiment in the fall. AAB and the drama department, unbeknown to the general student body, acted out a “bullying incident” inside the school halls and courtyards. It was very successful and later the video of the incident was used as a training session for the organization to discuss the proper way to approach a bullying session. During the winter they went to the Beck and Rosa middle schools and spoke to both the boys and girls basketball teams. In the spring, as a fundraiser, they held their first ever flag football tournament.

The club later donated some of the proceeds to the Jamie Moyer Foundation after the 2008 World Champion Phillies pitcher came and spoke to the organization about making a positive impact on others. Later in May, the officers took a trip up to Rider University to present our club at its ninth Annual Statewide Conference for Building Character.