SOMERVILLE, NJ – Joe Horner, admired and respected for his long years of dedication and service to the central New Jersey community, will be honored March 7th as the Elk of the Year by the Somerville Elks Lodge 1068.

Horner is owner of Central New Jersey Airport in Hillsborough and Active Waste Disposal.

Those who know him will tell you that he’s a hands-on, go to guy who knows how to get the job done. He doesn’t seek the spotlight, preferring to work behind the scenes, whether it’s a veterans’ salute at the airport, a fund-raising motorcycle run, a Rotary fair or other function designed to help an individual or to benefit the broader community.

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Hard work is what energizes Horner, beginning in high school where he worked at a small service station in Raritan before he was hired by an area car dealership where he was parts manager, followed by his sanitation business and ownership of the airport.

His charity knows no limits, extending beyond Somerset County to Central America, where he and his wife Teri have traveled with their church for a week or more the past ten years to help build houses, plant gardens and install water filtration systems in Ecuador.

His friends and casual acquaintances speak of him in glowing terms:

“Joe,he truly has a gift of seeing the best in people, finding and putting people in the right places, and most important, bringing them to the next level or full potential.”

“Joe never, ever forgot where he came from.”

“Passion, I think is Joe’s most premiere gift. His focus, thoughtfulness, relentless pursuit for perfection, vision and thoughtfulness for giving are qualities for Elk of the Year.”

Non-profit organizations like the Rotary, the Elks and others holding their own fund raisers and local scouting events all rely on Joe to handle their refuse removal. His response is always the same - “Don’t worry about it, I’ll take care of it.”

His charity is worth thousands to those organizations who otherwise would have to pay for those services. He has been recognized for his charity and hard work by the Patriots Path Council, Boy Scouts of America; the Hillsborough and Branchburg Rotary Clubs; the state of New Jersey, local fire departments and others.

People are inspired by Horner, happy to work with him on any number of events he’s involved with during the year.

His quiet confidence and hands-on approach gets things done behind the scenes - logistics, vendors, displays, permits and other considerations that ensure the success of the event.

Part of the Elks motto are the words Brotherly Love and Charity. Horner is the embodiment of those virtues and more.

The dinner will be at the Somerville Elks Lodge, 375 Union Ave., Bridgewater, from 6-11 p.m. Reservations must be made in advance.

For reservations or questions call Lynn @ 732-266-2033.