VERNON — U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer announced Hometown Hero awards were given to Vernon Township Senior Citizen Director Jane Damstra and Franklin's Gabby Cox.Gottheimer (NJ-5) hosted his second Hometown Heroes Awards Ceremony in Maywood. At HackensackUMC Fitness & Wellness, Gottheimer presented awards to 24 of New Jersey’s Fifth District’s standout neighbors, friends, coworkers, and individuals who have volunteered, served, or worked to help others in North Jersey.Each of these awardees were nominated by Fifth District mayors, community leaders, police chiefs, neighbors, coworkers, friends, families, and others in their community. “Today’s awardees are bound by a shared sense of duty – to their families, their communities, and their country. They put the needs of others ahead of their own. None of these people stood up because they sought recognition, they did it because they wanted to do what was right,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “As families across North Jersey prepare for Independence Day celebrations this week, it’s important to take a moment to recognize the spirit, bravery, and compassion that make America the greatest country in the world. The 2018 Fifth District Hometown Heroes reflect all of that and more. Thank you to the Fifth District mayors, police chiefs, faith leaders, neighbors, coworkers, families, and friends who submitted nominations for this year’s awards. I couldn't be more proud to honor these Hometown Heroes today.”Damstra was nominated by Vernon Township Mayor Harry Shortway."Under her leadership, the dedicated staff served 1,938 more meals last year than in 2016, and added 146 new participants. Jane and her staff put on events and activities for Vernon seniors including a St. Patrick's Day Celebration, a Summer Picnic, a Halloween Party, and a Christmas Party," Gottheimer said. Cox was nominated by Gottheimer's staff after the Franklin Borough school fourth-grader was diagnosed with leukemia."I am incredibly proud of each and every one of you," Gottheimer said. "You embody Jersey values. Please keep being a shining example for our North Jersey community. New Jersey is lucky to call you its own."