MORRISTOWN, NJ.  Charlie Lia, a college bound senior from Morristown High School, has been awarded The Peck School’s 2017 Award for Distinction in Community Service. The annual award honors a member of the greater Morristown area who shows a commitment to serving others and improving the community and who exemplifies the values closely held by The Peck School and reflected in the school’s mission.

The awards committee selected Lia for the annual toy drive he founded in 2014 called “Wesley’s Toy Box” in honor of his late pediatrician Dr. Wesley Boodish. Dr. Boodish was literally a lifesaver for Charlie Lia when he was admitted to the pediatric center at St. Barnabas Hospital at the age of five with a life threatening case of pneumonia.

When Dr. Boodish died in 2014, Lia was so moved to create a legacy that he contacted the pediatric center and with their blessing created the toy drive. Each year the Wesley’s Toy Box drive has increased its reach and Lia’s goal is to supersede 300 toys when he completes the fourth year of the drive at the end of this year. This fall, Lia will attend the University of Michigan where he will begin studies to pursue his own career in medicine.

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“We were excited to celebrate Mr. Lia’s charitable work at a special all-school assembly this week. He sets such a great example for our students, and we look forward to continuing our support of his efforts,” noted Peck’s Director of Advancement, Joan Myers.

The Peck School maintains close connections to many past award winners, including their 2008 Community Service Award recipient Maggie Doyne and her Kopila Valley School in Nepal. Peck has held several fundraising drives for the school, and the two schools have arranged both teacher and student exchanges. Doyne was recognized for her work on an international scale in 2015 when she was named CNN’s Hero of the Year.

The Peck School Community Service Award is presented to a member of the greater Morristown community and is not limited to a person(s) or group affiliated with Peck.