LINCROFT, NJ – In 1980 the Monmouth County Board of Recreation Commissioners began recognizing great recreation facilities and programs throughout Monmouth County. Including this year’s winners, the Board has presented 226 awards to outstanding Monmouth County people, programs, and facilities. The 2010 Achievement Awards took place on Thursday, July 8, at the Hall of Records in Freehold. Awards were presented by Board of Recreation Commissioner Chairman Edward Loud and Freeholder Director Lillian Burry.

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(l to r) Freeholder Director Lillian Burry, Verita Hill, Doug Hill, Neptune Recreation Director Dawn Thompson, Neptune Councilman Kevin McMillan, and Board of Recreation Commissioner Chairman Edward Loud. Verita and Doug Hill accepted the Volunteer Service Award for their hard work with Neptune Pop Warner, volunteering over 300 hours annually.

The Volunteer Service Award honors volunteers who have been shining examples of civic responsibility. Recipients of this award have contributed in some way to the delivery or planning of recreation services, park facility enhancement, and conservation of the environment within the County. This year’s Volunteer Service Award was presented to Verita and Doug Hill of Neptune Township who have been running the Pop Warner Program for Neptune Recreation for over 32 years. The Hills’ volunteer over 300 hours annually to ensure the success of Neptune Pop Warner, which includes several titles like the 2009 Conference and Division Championships. Accepting the award were the Hills, joined by Neptune Councilman Kevin McMillan and Recreation Director Dawn Thompson.

The Victor E. Grossinger Award for Recreation & Environmental Education Programming honors unique and innovative recreation or environmental programs within the County. This year’s award was presented to the Borough of Rumson Recreation Department for the Rumson Crew Program. This program is for students grades 6-12 who wish to learn how to row in both a recreational and competitive environment, targeting students who were not previously represented in traditional recreation activities. Crew is a healthy alternative for young people to engage in a structure workout program that can be continued throughout their lives. Each year, approximately 240 students enroll in the program which is funded primarily through fundraisers provided by the Rumson Crew Parent Booster Club. Accepting the award was Rumson Councilman Frank Shanley.

The Charles M. Pike Award for Park & Recreation Facilities is given to outstanding park and recreation facilities which are designed to meet the recreational needs of their community. Waterfront Park in Keyport Borough was presented this award because it provides a chance for the community to come together. Within the bay front park is a public boat ramp, fishing pier, open space for non-structured play, and free public parking. The award was accepted by Keyport Borough President Joseph Sheridan and Borough Administrator Lorene Wright.

This year’s recipient of the Ross W. Maghan Award for Exemplary Park Maintenance was Riverside Park in Rumson. Riverside Park is a simple, well-maintained facility with athletic fields, a walking trail along the edge of the Shrewsbury River, a playground, and an expansive parking lot. Streamlined for ease of maintenance and upkeep, Riverside Park remains in extremely good shape year round. Accepting the award were Rumson Councilwoman Joan Devoe, Borough Administrator Tom Rogers, and Councilman Frank Shanley.

There are many volunteers and facilities within Monmouth County that strive to make their community a better place through recreation and environmental endeavors. Those chosen to be presented with the Board of Recreation Commissioners Achievement Awards fulfilled the application criteria and were viewed by the Board as being exemplary within their communities. Call (732) 842-4000, ext. 4256, to be mailed an application for next year’s awards when they are available at the beginning of 2011.