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Township Council Honors Township’s ‘Outstanding Women of 2015’

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Mayor Chris Kelly, far left, and Deputy Mayor Kimberly Francois, far right, with there of the four township women named as “Outstanding Women in Somerset County” by the Somerset County Commission on the Status of Women: (l to r) Joanne Polito, Lisa Frey and Michéle Samarya-Timm.


Three of the four township residents who were named “Outstanding Women” in the county were honored at the March 10 Township Council meeting.

Michéle Samarya-Timm, Joanne Polito and Lisa Frey were given council commendations for their accomplishments. The fourth honoree, Betty Barber, was not at the meeting.

The women were honored for their selection by the Somerset County Commission on the Status of Women.

Samarya-Timm, a health educator with the Somerset County Health Department, was honored for her work in the field, including a cartoon-based food defense course that started in the township and has since spread nationwide.

“It’s always been my pleasure and my privilege to serve the people of Franklin Township and they republic health needs,” Samarya-Timm said after accepting her council proclamation.

Polito, who created the From the Heart Thrift Shop in Somerville, said she accepted the commendation “very humbly.”

“The thrift shop is a very dedicated group of people who show up to sort and fold clothing and make sure everyone is treated with respect,” she said.

Frey sits on the board of trustees for the Franklin Food Bank and is a member of the township’s Domestic Violence Response Team, as well as other organizations.

Frey said she has “really enjoyed volunteering with Franklin Township for the last few years, especially the food bank.”

Barber is a retired dean of Kean University.

The four are among 20 women from throughout Somerset County so honored. A dinner celebrating their accomplishments is set for March 27 at The Imperia, Easton Avenue.

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