Haddonfield resident conquers adversity

Although Charles Adamson was not born into traditional circumstances, it did not deter him from going above and beyond in all aspects of his life.

We are all born into uncontrolled situations that can either define our existence or motivate us to strive for greater. Although Charles Adamson was not born into traditional circumstances, it did not deter him from going above and beyond in all aspects of his life.

On a summer day in Philadelphia in 1963, Adamson’s baby photo was published in a local newspaper with one goal — to find his birth mother or find a willing family to take him in. As a toddler, Adamson jumped from one foster home to another throughout New Jersey until he reached his long-term foster family in Paulsboro as a kindergartener, a family that would later adopt him at the age of 17.

After leaving his home at 19, Adamson demonstrated persistence and a solid work ethic that would later lead him to the successful life he leads today nearly four decades later.

“I basically worked from the bottom up,” Adamson explained.

In 1984, Adamson landed a job Remington & Vernick Engineers, starting as a reproduction assistant and drafter. In 2000, he discovered how to incorporate his passion for traveling into an occupation he loved, and after an 18-hour test, Adamson became a land surveyor, where he would measure land for private entities and municipalities all over the country.

“I always loved doing it because you could work outside,” Adamson said. “I’ve worked in New York City and then the next day surveying the beaches in Cape May.”

Moving his way up the ranks for 34 years, his hard work and persistence landed him a job as the department manager of survey, GIS and tax map group at Remington & Vernick, in addition to a senior associate, a position he proudly maintains today.

“He will defend his department, he is honest at his profession. Supports his group. What he does with charity, he does at work,” longtime friend and coworker Kevin Zelinsky said.

In addition to his occupation, he is the chairman of the company’s charity committee and takes the reins on organizing and orchestrating events. Throughout the years, Adamson, while in charge of donations, has helped raise more than $500,000, all going to small charities.

Among the hundreds of charities he gives to are the Little Rock Foundation in Voorhees, Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation in Voorhees, Voorhees police dog vests, the Canuso Foundation in Haddonfield and Cherry Hill, Big Brother & Big Sister, Habitat for Humanity, South Jersey Eye Center, Philabundance, Alex’s Lemonade stands and his most passionate one, Crossroads Foundation for Foster Kids, where he delivered care packages to the foster kids.

Adamson is also heavily involved in the Lions Club as the director and often can be spotted in Haddonfield helping with special events in and around town.

“I like being out and doing stuff,” Adamson said. “I want to stay busy, I don’t want to stay up and do nothing.”

Zelinsky recalled fondly the time when Adamson spearheaded a company bowling tournament. Having organized the event as head of the charity committee, Adamson turned a weekend bowling event into the talk of the town and, by the end of the evening, raised thousands of dollars for a charity, Caring Hearts Ministry, which provides assistance to families affected by HIV/AIDS, according to Zelinsky.

“As much as he does, that really stood out,” Zelinsky said.

When Adamson isn’t busy helping others, he can be found tailgating at sporting events, cooking, fishing and maintaining his concession stand business at Wedgewood swim club, “Not Just Snacks,” or spending time with his daughters, Sami and Sydney.

Adamson is a family man who uses his ability to connect with others in all facets of his life. Giving back to the community is a passion he will continue to do for years to come.

“He’s the hardest-working and most honest person I know,’’ Zelinsky said. “A real success.”