BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ -- Council members often laud the efforts of dedicated township volunteers, but often these volunteers come and go without fanfare. Not this week.
The mayor and council honored longtime volunteer Julie Lloyd with a proclamation describing the numerous contributions she made to the townshiip’s ambiance and environment, as well as its business community, because, “the Mayor and Township Council believe that it is appropriate to recognize volunteers who devote their time and talents to the community.”
After the mayor read the proclamation, there was a standing ovation for Lloyd from the council, officials and Lloyd’s friends and supporters who filled the seats and lined the back of the room. Mayor Angie Devanney carried the proclamation down from the dias, then handed it to Lloyd and gave her the first of a number of hugs -- the others came from Councilwoman and Downtown Beautification Committee member and advocate Jeanne Kingsley, followed by Councilman Manuel Couto. Other council members stayed on the dais applauding.
Lloyd tried to speak, but was overcome with emotion, She thanked everyone, and said, You guys are so awesome. If it wasn’t for you collaborating and working together, we wouldn’t have gotten all this done … I’m so thankful.”
Later, in an email she wrote, “I am so thankful to my husband Jason and my kids who knew how much the Downtown Beautification Committee’s (DBC) mission meant to me and provided lots of support over the years that I served as chair. I am also very thankful for the strong team we built. The DBC got so many things done because people were selfless and always operated from the perspective of what would be best for the people of Berkeley Heights. Our team worked together and collaborated with other members of the community to make great things happen.
“But without the guidance and support of Councilman Couto and Councilwoman Kingsley we wouldn’t be here today. I met Councilwoman Kingsley on the soccer field and told her I wanted to get more involved. She advocated for me and over the years has been my mentor: she has shown me what a commitment to serve really means. Thanks again to our DBC team -Gail Nelson, Midge Vidnese, Christin Babic, Nicole Quiroga, Donovan Hall, Ann and Ben Bartholemew. -and all of Berkeley Heights for your support.”
After the traditional family photograph - with and without politicians - the ceremony was over, but the applause and a few cheers from the audience capped the event. Congratulations continued as Lloyd walked back to her seat and people stopped her for a quick hug, as the crowd began to leave.
The mayor said, “We’ll give you all a minute to leave. We understand. Go celebrate, have fun.” Then it was back to business, beginning with Township Council reports.
The text of the proclamation reads:
WHEREAS, Julie Lloyd and her family have been residents of Berkeley Heights for 16 years; and
WHEREAS, Julie Lloyd has been a member of the Downtown Beautification Committee since 2013 and of the Peppertown Park Renewal Committee since its inception in 2017; and
WHEREAS, Julie Lloyd has been instrumental in establishing the branding for the township, creating downtown design standards and creating and promoting community events such as BH Walks, Wellness Week and the beloved Restaurant Week; and
WHEREAS, Julie worked tirelessly to help beautify the township by adding welcome signs to main roads entering Berkeley Heights, wrapping unsightly traffic signal boxes, ordering historical and seasonal banners, implementing Fill-A-Basket for Springfield Avenue businesses; and
WHEREAS, in order to fund some of these initiatives, Julie helped with creative fundraisers such as the ornament design contest and the 1809 wood sign sale; and
WHEREAS, her efforts to promote collaboration with Sustainable Berkeley Heights, Berkeley Heights Business & Civic, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and other local organizations, enhanced the impact of volunteer efforts; and
WHEREAS, Julie Lloyd stepped down from her posts on the Beautification Committee and Peppertown Park Committee on December 31, 2019 and;
WHEREAS, The Mayor and Township Council believe that it is appropriate to recognize volunteers who devote their time and talents to our community.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Mayor and Township Council of the Township of Berkeley Heights does hereby, for itself and for all the residents of the Township, publicly thank Julie Lloyd for her many years of volunteerism, dedication and service.
Approved this 21st day of January, 2020."