Last week was a bit of a whirlwind for 82 year old Marie Krieger of Lacey Township. On Wednesday, September 12 she was honored as one of 16 statewide Volunteers of the Year by the Governor's Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse and the next night she was presented with a proclamation from the Township Committee for her achievement.
"I like to keep myself busy and once I retired, I needed something to do," said Krieger, who has lived in Forked River since 1975. "Volunteering does something for you. I'm glad to do it."
The Governor's Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (GCADA) presented the Volunteers of the Year with a framed certificate during a ceremony at the organization's 21st Annual Summit in New Brunswick. Krieger also received a joint legislative resolution from her state legislators, Senator Christopher Connors, Assemblyman Brian Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove.
Krieger was nominated for Volunteer of the Year by Heather Scanlon, Lacey Township Municipal Alliance Coordinator. Nominees must serve as a volunteer or member of a municipal alliance and must promote the alliance's work in at least one of the following areas: advocacy; prevention within the area/s of assessment, capacity building, planning, implementation of strategies and evaluation; and/or public awareness., according to John L. Hulick, MS CPS, GCADA Executive Director.
Krieger was selected to receive the Volunteer of the Year award on behalf of Ocean County by the County Alliance Steering Subcommittee, of the Freeholder-appointed Local Advisory Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.
"Along with community leaders and stakeholders, the volunteers involved with the Municipal Alliances play an integral role in achieving community change necessary to create and sustain healthy and safe communities throughout New Jersey," said Hulick. "The volunteers assist in organizing community-wide events and programmatic activities in each of the 385 communities involved with the Municipal Alliance Program."
Hulick said it is important to honor the dedication and commitment of these volunteers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.
GCADA was established by the Legislature as an independent body to review and coordinate the state's efforts "regarding the education, prevention, treatment, research and evaluation for, and public awareness of, alcoholism and drug abuse," according to the GCADA website.
The Lacey Township Municipal Alliance receives a grant from GCADA to provide programs and activities to assist in preventing the abuse of alcohol, drugs and tobacco.
Krieger joined the Alliance eight years ago and has contributed by cooking at various events, including the group's monthly themed senior citizen luncheons.
"I love to cook," said Krieger. "I get 100 or more seniors out. I make soups and they just love it. It makes me feel good."
Krieger helps at most other Municipal Alliance events and handled all the food at their recent 5K race. She also serves as a member of the community task force that was formed to coordinate efforts to fight drug and alcohol abuse in Lacey.
Scanlon presented Krieger with a bouquet of flowers at last week's Township Committee meeting as she received the proclamation that stated:
Marie's attitude, sense of humor, determination and ability to inspire teamwork has helped garner interest in the various programs that the Municipal Alliance has to offer such as the fight against drugs and alcohol in our youth...the Township of Lacey would like to recognize Marie Krieger for her contribution, her inspired dedication and for the tremendous example that she sets for the senior community and our youth in Lacey Township and volunteers such as Marie Krieger are vital to our future as a caring and productive nation.
Krieger said even though her daughter thinks she does too much, she is thankful that she has the good health that allows her to be involved.
"I'm happy to have received the award," she said. "I hope to continue to do what I'm doing and enjoy it all.