Freehold Borough officials make plans for celebration

FREEHOLD – With hopes that the annual Independence Day celebration will be held this year, officials in Freehold Borough have authorized license agreements for a community event at Freehold Raceway, Park Avenue.

During a recent meeting, Borough Council members authorized the agreement with FR Park Racing, LP. The Independence Day event is scheduled for July 2 (rain date, July 6).

Municipal officials said that with the ongoing coronavirus crisis, it is too soon to know if the event will have to be rescheduled, but they said they are hopeful the celebration will be held in July.

Under the terms of the agreement, FR Park Racing has been granted the right to host a fireworks display and a family friendly concert. Freehold Borough retains the exclusive rights to provide all food and beverages for the event.

The borough will be responsible for conducting the fireworks display, including contracting with a fireworks vendor, and providing security and logistics for the event, according to a resolution.

At the same time, the council authorized a license agreement with D&M Fireworks for the 2020 fireworks display.

In other business, the council members passed a resolution honoring Wilma Ham Greason, who was born and raised in the borough and has a lifelong connection to the community.

Greason died on Feb. 29 at the age of 86.

According to the resolution, Greason was the first African American member of the Freehold Borough K-8 School District Board of Education, joining in the 1960s and serving as president for 12 years, including during the construction of the Freehold Learning Center elementary school.

Greason also served as treasurer and financial officer for the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Freehold, during its construction and oversaw all financial aspects of the project. After construction was completed, she served as the church’s organist for 40 years.

Greason was a graduate of the Court Street School, Brookdale Community College and Rutgers University, according to the resolution, earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degreee in counseling from Rutgers.

Professionally, she worked for the New Jersey Employment Services and Marlboro State Psychiatric Hospital, where she held several supervisor positions.

The council’s resolution states that Greason provided much time and support to events and programs in Freehold Borough which benefited residents, including her time as a board member of the Greater Freehold Area YMCA.

“Her influence and positivity are her legacy,” the resolution reads.

Greason is survived by two children, Walter David and Wilma Diana; daughter-in-law, Janiece Sharnel; three grandchildren, Vaughn Lawrence Duende, Shaylah Elizabeth, and Samad Kweli; godchildren, Christine Hollingsworth and Deborah Whitt; sister, Lillie Ham Hendry; brother, David Ham; and many nieces, nephew and friends, according to an obituary from the James H. Hunt Funeral Home, Asbury Park.