Home Sicklerville News MLK Day 2020 in Gloucester Township

MLK Day 2020 in Gloucester Township

800+ residents join together for Day of Service

Mayor David R. Mayer speaks at Gloucester Township’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service event at Charles W. Lewis Middle School Monday, Jan. 20.

Going on nearly a decade of service to benefit the local and extended community across both Gloucester Township and Camden County, more than 800 residents gathered at Charles W. Lewis Middle School Monday, Jan. 20 to complete more than 20 service projects in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

However, unique to Gloucester Township is the partnership between the municipality and the school district, with Gloucester Township and Gloucester Township Public Schools working jointly over the past several years to recognize star students that make an impact in the lives of others year-round.

Prior to residents heading to their service projects, students, parents, community members, local government officials and more gathered within the auditorium of the middle school to highlight 11 students, one representing each school within the district.

According to Aaron Rose, principal of Loring Flemming Elementary School and also a member of the MLK Day Committee, led the presentation portion of the day’s festivities, reading off his/her’s achievements.

According to Rose, each school’s principal and administration works together to select the year’s honoree. As expected, the main criteria usually commended are acts of service and helping others.

“We want to make sure it’s someone that is providing service and we ask that they be embodying the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King Dr., so that’s essentially the basic idea of what we’re looking to honor each year here,” Rose said.

Prior to eight years ago, when the township and school district first partnered up, the two hosted separate events. In recent years, the move to celebrate the day together and combine volunteers has helped to make the event grow while also adding to its importance.

As in previous years, Mayor David Mayer also attended the event to thank students that, despite having a day off from school, came out to complete various service projects.

“I specifically want to thank our young people here today because you are role models for the other children and students in our community,” Mayer said. “I know you could be sleeping today because school is closed and it could be a day off, but you chose not to do that. You chose to be here and to make a difference, and I thank you for that.”

Mayer also recognized the 11 special students honored during the ceremony for their efforts year round, saying students across Gloucester Township should aspire to make as big of an impact as those 11 have in the past year.

“We don’t just perform service one day a year here in Gloucester Township,” Mayer said. “It happens every day. You see it through the students that were acknowledged here today; so I have a challenge for all the young people here today. My challenge is for you to bring one friend next year to this event… inspire them through your work to come here next year.”

After the ceremony, Mayer said each year he looks forward to meeting new people from across the county that come specifically to the Gloucester Township event as a way to help others.

“It grows every year and it’s really a testament to the citizens of this community, and even those outside this community because people from outside Gloucester Township come here as well,” Mayer said. “But we have people here that inspire others to give back and to serve their communities and that’s how this grows.”

During the day, athletic teams, community groups and resident volunteers completed various projects, benefitting the Camden County Animal Shelter, the Cathedral Kitchen in Camden, The Unforgotten Haven, the Camden County Women’s Shelter and much more.

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