New Jersey Orators Founders, Others, Recognized By Township Council


New Jersey Orators founder Jim Hunter speaks during the Oct. 25 Township Council meeting.

The Township Council presented several commendations at its last meeting, including one honoring the founders of New Jersey Orators.

Jim and Karen Hunter founded the youth organization more than 30 years ago, and in that time it has become a preeminent molder of township youth in the township and throughout the state.

Township Councilwoman Kimberly Francois (D-At Large), presented the commendation to the Hunters, who are moving out of the township.

“They are a family that has been iconic in this community,” Francois said. “I think we all felt they were permanent fixtures here and we had them for the rest of our lives.”

Francois said the Hunters have “touched tens of thousands of youths’ lives with their oratory program. Not one child they have touched has not succeeded in life.”

Jim Hunter said he and his wife, who he said played a major role in the organization, are “very sad that we have to leave.”

“We will always remember the friendship and the amount of opportunities that were given to us,” he said.

“You have inspired many kids in this township, including me,” Mayor Phil Kramer said.

10-25-16-meeting-4Members of Boy Scout Troop 156 were commended for their help in Operation Secure Shred, a county sponsored document shredding program that touched down in the township on Sept. 10.

Operation Secure Shred collected paper from more than 600 cars, said township clerk Ann Marie

“So you can see what a big help these volunteers were,” Deputy Mayor Ted Chase said.

The Scouts honored were Alex Cocuzza, O’Brian Dennison, Austin Hill, Jonathan Hood, Sam Makowski, Kaden Shea, William Smith, Zachary Szabo with leaders, Dave Cocuzza, Norm Hill, Doug Hood and Randy Szabo.

Mary Ann Regan, Bruce Medley and Saffie Kallon, of the township recreation department, were commended for their work with the Franklin Recreation Department’s Therapeutic Recreation Friday Nigh Drop-In Program, which won a state recreation service award.

The program offers a variety of fitness and other activities.

10-25-16-meeting-3The commendation thanked the team for “your dedication in serving all populations in Franklin Township” and making the township a leader in inclusive recreational services.

The program provides socialization for its participants, which “makes this program special,” township recreation director Alice Osipowitz said.

Red Ribbon Week, during which anti-drug and addiction programs are run in schools through the Franklin Township Municipal Alliance for the Prevention of Substance Abuse, was also recognized by the council.

While the majority of township youth do not have problems with addiction, said Osipowitz, whose department oversees the program, “there are far too many people who fight addiction every day.”


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