Haddonfield residents in any given year may look forward to traditional borough events such as the annual Fourth of July celebration or the Halloween parade. With the return of many events after COVID and more volunteers aging out or choosing to use their time differently, Mayor Colleen Bianco Bezich has embarked on a campaign to engage more of the population in keeping traditions going.
“My goal is, if I help everyone understand what goes into these events, we can execute them,” Bianco Bezich said. “If there’s something wrong or doesn’t sit well anymore with the community, we should know what it is.”
Communications Officer Joana McDonnell elaborated on the campaign.
“This is part of a bigger push for 2023 that the mayor has to really engage and inform the residents about volunteering and helping organizations like Celebrations that have an aging population to help us with these events … so they don’t go away,” she noted, “because these are events that are tradition here in Haddonfield and they really need help.”
The hope is to hold volunteer recruitment meetings quarterly so residents can stay informed and up to date on what events will be happening and what is needed in terms of volunteers.
The mayor announced a new SignUp Genius link that is serving as a rough draft for events planned by the borough, Partnership for Haddonfield and the Celebrations Association. McDonnell noted that Earth Day and Mayor’s Wellness Day do not yet have confirmed dates, but that a link will be updated with more information in the future.
Seeing events listed and getting an idea of their time commitment or whether or not they are family friendly is something Bianco Bezich hopes will help encourage volunteers when they consider dedicating time. She emphasized that the most important thing to remember is these are events for the community more than advertising or sponsorships.
“This is about community, and it’s Team Haddonfield,” Bianco Bezich noted. “This is not about any one business or individual. These are not ‘Colleen’s events,’ these are the borough’s events. These are not Celebration’s events, these are the community’s events.”
In addition to the volunteer recruitment meetings, the mayor will continue to hold monthly community sessions where organizations, nonprofits and small businesses can come together to discuss what they have planned for the quarter and collaborate rather than compete with each other. While not specifically catered to volunteers, the meetings are open to the public and take place the fourth Friday of every month at noon over Zoom, with the following exceptions:
- May’s meeting will be Friday, May 19.
- There will be no meetings in June, July, August or December.
- Nov. 17 will be the final meeting for the year.
To learn more about ways to get involved, email Joana McDonnell at Communications@haddonfield-nj.gov.
To view the SignUp Genius, visit https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c094bacae2ca6f4c16-borough/146205232#/.