Lawrence Township Council honors longtime volunteer Janet Bickal for her work

L-R Kathy Meeker-Cohen, Janet Bickal and Ruth Barringer. Meeker-Cohen is the current Lawrence Historical Society president and Bickal and Barringer are former presidents.

Mayor John T. Ryan and the Lawrence Township Council feted long-time Lawrence Township volunteer Janet Bickal with a proclamation.

Lawrence Township Councilman Christopher Bobbitt read the proclamation at a meeting on Sept. 20.

Bickal has been active in several groups ranging from the Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic to the Friends of the Lawrence Library and the Lawrence Historical Society for more than 50 years, according to the proclamation.

“Volunteers are essential to the well-being not only of our community but to the United States and all of society,” the proclamation said.

“Volunteers provide a variety of services to meet the needs of our township, many of which cannot be measured in terms of monetary value.

“Those individuals who volunteer their time and services for worthy causes should be recognized for their unselfish contributions to the residents,” the proclamation said.

Bickal, who has three adult children and who taught English at Mercer County Community College, “has devoted her time and talent in serving the community in several ways for half a century,” according to the proclamation.

She volunteered as the newsletter editor for the Friends of the Lawrence Library; as a volunteer reader for Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic; and as a Medicare counselor for the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).

Bickal is a former president and secretary of the Lawrence Historical Society, where she also established and led tours of the 1761 Brearley House for second grade students, according to the proclamation. The house is owned by Lawrence Township.

She also served on the board of trustees for the Friends of the New Jersey State Museum.

The Lawrence community is “richer by far today due to Ms. Bickal’s dedication to the preservation of our vast historic culture. The Township Council extends its best wishes and heartfelt appreciation to Ms. Bickal for her many distinguished accomplishments,” the proclamation said.

After Bobbitt finished reading the proclamation, Bickal offered her thanks for the honor.

“It has been a wonderful 53 years in Lawrence. I enjoyed all of those things, once I retired,” she said.