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Freehold organizations honored for commitment to borough

By Clare Marie Celano

FREEHOLD – Six organizations that serve the community have been honored for their ongoing commitment to Freehold Borough.

The Freehold Borough PBA, the Freehold Fire Department, the Freehold First Aid and Emergency Squad, the Freehold Borough Little League, Freehold BPOE Elks Lodge No. 1454 and Knights of Columbus Council No. 1672 were saluted by the mayor and Borough Council for their “countless hours of devotion to enhancing the quality of life for the residents of our town,” Mayor Nolan Higgins said.

The organizations were honored during the recent inaugural Mayor’s Recognition Reception.

The winners of the 2015 John G. McGackin Award were feted at the same event. The McGackin recipients were Mike Page, who owns the Court Jester, named Businessman of the Year, and Mary Randolph, named Volunteer of the Year.

The recognition reception was the brainchild of Rich Kane and Judi Guy, both past recipients of the McGackin award, who wanted to restore the importance of the award and honor local organizations for their service. Higgins supported their idea.

Kane, Guy and Councilwoman Sharon Shutzer co-chaired the event and selected the members of a committee that made it a reality in May.

Higgins said Randolph and Page “have volunteered their time and talents to make Freehold Borough the community we are proud to call our hometown. The organizations (being recognized) serve this borough in different roles, yet all share the dedication and commitment which make America’s small towns like Freehold the best places to live and work.”

According to the event program:

• The Freehold Borough Police Department was created in 1919. At present, the department has 28 officers, two special officers and three civilian employees. Patrolman Diego Flores is the PBA president. PBA members involve themselves in community activities and charities such as the Santa Train, the holiday turkey giveaway and National Night Out.

• Freehold BPOE Elks Lodge No. 1454 was established in 1922. The lodge has many charitable endeavors, including helping children who have special needs, and assisting veterans, current active duty military personnel and children in need of camp and school scholarships. The lodge hosts the borough’s annual holiday party for senior citizens.

• The Freehold Fire Department has served Freehold since April 20, 1872 and is comprised of four companies: Good Will Hook and Ladder, Engine and Hose Company No. 1, Richardson Engine Company No. 2 and Monmouth Hose Company.

• The Freehold First Aid and Emergency Squad has provided emergency medical care for the greater Freehold area since September 1941. During this 75th year of their volunteer service, squad members continue to serve by placing their concern for others above their own personal interests. The squad raises its own funds and is a 501(C)3 organization.

• The Freehold Borough Little League was established in 1951 and is now among 27 other leagues in New Jersey that are 60 years old or older. Adult participants are dedicated to teaching sportsmanship, a healthy competitive spirit and team building, and to creating positive memories for the youth of the community.

• It is believed that in 1913, 40 charter members formed the Freehold Knights of Columbus Council No. 1672. The Knights serve the community by helping children’s charities, the developmentally disabled and other worthy causes.

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