More than 35 recipients throughout the state’s Fifth Congressional District received the US House of Representatives Congressional Certificate of Recognition on July 22 at the Hackensack Performing Arts Center. Also known as the American Hometown Hero award, the honor was bestowed by Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-D5) to seven Sussex County residents.
“We are so lucky to have so many unsung heroes in our communities, whose quiet power of service goes on every day without the recognition they deserve,” remarked Gottheimer. “They just do it because they care. Today is truly their day.”
The seven Sussex County honorees include Dianna Morrison, a 50-plus year resident of Sussex Borough who was instrumental in the relocation of the Harvest House free lunch program, helps nonprofits successfully receive grants for community advancement, and helped her town receive a donated playground.
Ellen Meixner, a 43-year resident of Vernon and 2021 Senior of the Year, has faithfully supported elderly residents throughout the pandemic by providing much-needed meals and transportation to doctor appointments and shopping. Meixner also volunteers with Vernon CARES and is highly active in the Sussex County Senior Olympics.
Raymond Cordts’ award was presented posthumously. Known as Mr. Sussex County, Cordts was an accomplished clarinetist of the Metropolitan Opera and the NJ All-State Band. He served as president of the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce and was active in non-profit organizations like SCARC and the Boys Scouts of America.
Chris Wyman, of Vernon, is a US Navy veteran who served during the Vietnam War. He has been awarded the Appreciation and Recognition Award from the US Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service for his work with the Double V Rod and Gun Club assisting disabled veterans. Wyman currently presents a program titled Honoring a Veteran at area schools and libraries. He is also an accomplished photographer.
Lastly, three NJ State troopers, Anthony Pall, Kevin Foulds, and Julio Rodriguez were chosen as 2022 Hometown Heroes for their actions in saving the life of a drowning victim in Stillwater Township on May 12, 2022.
All recipients were highly praised for their efforts by town mayors and town officials and by Congressman Gottheimer, whose words are engraved on the certifications of honor.
“Your commitment to your community and to improving the lives of others is exemplary. You have displayed excellence in service and leadership.”