LIVINGSTON, NJ — Volunteerism in the Township of Livingston was celebrated once again last week when longtime resident Joel Lightner received a citation from the mayor and council on the occasion of his retirement from service on the Livingston Public Broadcasting committee as well as the prestigious Lifetime Award and medal from Livingston Youth and Community Services (LYCS).

Mayor Shawn Klein first presented an official citation from the township to Lightner at the mayor and council meeting on Monday honoring him for his many years of service on the Livingston Television (LTV) committee.

“On behalf of all Livingston residents, we thank Joel for his more than 20 years of dedication and commitment and voluntary service to the committee and to our township,” said Klein, who also acknowledged Lightner for recording all public meetings so that residents can be informed on the township’s current events without leaving their homes.

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Lightner was then invited back up by LYCS, a certifying organization to honor those who go above and beyond for their community, to be recognized with the Lifetime Presidential Award and medal. Recipients of the President’s Volunteer Service Award, an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) that is administered by Points of Light, receive a gold medal and certificate signed by the President of the United States.

The Lifetime Award requires more than 4000 hours of community service. According to LYCS, Lightner has more than doubled these hours of work, coordinating the operations and production of television programs on three TV channels 24/7 throughout the year; serving as the operations volunteer for Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW) which collects food donations from ShopRite and Kings Supermarkets as well as collection points around town; and singing annually in “Livingtones,” which visits nursing homes, assisted residences and hospitals, soothing the sick and elderly with songs and performances.

He also participates in fundraising for charity carnivals and bazars, and is a social event organizer for dances and dinners in the religious community.

“I would like to acknowledge the fact that I’ve had a lot of fine years with TV 34 and Livingston Television,” said Lightner, who thanked his wife and daughter as well as many of the members of the committee for their support during his years of service. “These people have been a moving force with TV 34 and Livingston Television for many, many years and I thank them for giving me the pleasure of working with them.”

The mission of LYCS is to inspire more people to answer the call to service so that volunteers like Lightner can make a positive impact the community and world.

“I feel it is important to recognize those who give their time freely to help their community prosper,” said Susan Ridley, Program Supervisor of Community Services for the Township of Livingston. “It is vital that we come together to support each other in the many challenges we face in this age of technology, global warming, and substance abuse and the epidemic of drug overdose deaths.”