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On Friday, October 14, the Hopewell Valley community celebrated 20 years of the Healthy Communities/Healthy Youth initiative at the Hopewell Valley Mayors’ Breakfast held at and hosted by Capital Health – Hopewell. This year, the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance honored Lisa Wolff, Hopewell Valley Regional School District Board of Education President as Volunteer of the Year.

The annual Mayors’ Breakfast is a chance for community stakeholders to hear from the three local mayors in the Valley and also recognize individuals or organizations that have made a commitment to support and enhance the lives of young people. In attendance this year, among so many from the Hopewell Valley Community, were also Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes, Assemblywoman Liz Muoio, Senator Shirley Turner and Freehold Pat Colavita.

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Speakers and the honoree were introduced by students at Hopewell Valley Central High School group PANDA (“Prevention of Alcohol N’ Drug Abuse”). And Global Connections Kenya student volunteers were keynote speakers sharing about their work with the organization and the initiatives they have been working on in Kenya.

“Being the 20th Anniversary of celebrating Healthy Communities/Healthy Youth, we wanted Hopewell Valley students to emcee the entire event. I was very proud of our PANDA student leaders who moderated the program and our Global Connections Kenya students who were our keynote speakers,” said Heidi Kahme, Coordinator of the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance.

In introducing the Volunteer of the Year, Lisa Wolff, one student said, “Besides her lucrative list of accomplishments, I would like to take a second to talk about her personality. If you are ever nervous about something Ms. Wolff is the one to talk to!… From a 30 minute conversation, I can tell that Ms. Wolff just cares so genuinely much about the lives of those around her.”

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Mary Galioto
Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe, and a lawyer. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. In her free time, Mary fills her life with excessive self-reflection, photographing mushrooms, and misguided adventures in random hobbies. Mary also works as the PR Coordinator at the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, serves on the volunteer Board of Trustees of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT), serves on the Hopewell Borough Board of Health, is a member of the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance, and holds the elected position as the Hopewell Borough Democratic Committee Municipal Chairwoman.

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