SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ -The Central District Elks Association, which is comprised of 12 lodges in the area, held their annual "Citizens of the Year" awards dinner this past Sunday, March 20, hosted by the Woodbridge Elks Lodge.
This year The South Plainfield Elks Lodge #2298 did not have to look very far to find a much deserving Citizen of the Year. We were very proud to honor our own member, Sharon Reuter.
Sharon was born in Newark and grew up in Union. She is the daughter of the late Helen & Daniel Ruggiero. Her father, Dan, was a member of the Union Elks. Her sister Kathy, resides in Austin, TX.
She married her husband, Bill, in 1990 and they have a daughter, Carly.
Sharon's charitable endeavors began early. She participated in the first "March of Dimes Super Walk" in 1974 at the age of 12 and walked every year throughout her school years. The family moved to South Plainfield in 1997 and Sharon became active in the Riley School PTO and was a proud "Drama Mama;" assisting in the production of the school's yearly plays. When Carly moved on to Grant School, Sharon was the force behind the revival of the School Store, where the students would earn points to make purchases of education related items. When Sharon went back to full time work and could no longer be active in the schools, she became an Elk in 2004.
You could say she has been a gift to our Lodge and our Community ever since. She became an officer very soon there after and she was such a hard working officer she was appointed "Officer of The Year" in 2006. Sharon gave up being an officer simply because she was very involved with so many committees. The proof of how active she was is that she became "Elk of the Year" in 2010.
Sharon's active Lodge Committees include Drug Awareness, Youth Activities and Soccer. There is so much more that is not listed. Secretary to the House Committee, Acting Secretary to our Lodge when needed, Member of Community Welfare Committee where she not only shops for holiday food baskets but delivers them. Sharon ran a Pasta Night and a Burger Night for Community Welfare. She is also a member of our new Vocational Scholarship Committee. Every year she leads us in the Walk out on Drugs.
In our Community Sharon supports all of the Youth groups possible. She never sits back and asks for funds; she earns the money needed to help. Sharon does all of the shopping and cooking. She is the first one in the kitchen and the last one to leave. She just doesn’t do this once, she does all she can every year.
Cub Pack 224 Breakfast
Girl Scout Breakfast
South Plfd. Marching Band Breakfast raised money for Shirts for the band.
Pop Warner football team Pizza Party
South Plfd Eagles
South Plfd. Cheerleaders
South Plfd. Golf Team
South Plfd. Football Team equipment
South Plfd. Field Hocky Team
Jr. Baseball Team
Pop Warner Cheerleaders Spaghetti Dinner
South Plfd. Band and orchestra and chorus trip to Orlando
South Plfd.. Basketball Team
Summer Drama Workshop Spaghetti Dinner
South Plfd PAL
South Plfd. Band Boosters Breakfast.
Pony Tail Spaghetti Dinner
The S.P. Midget Cheerleaders
Every year she supports Project Graduation for the High School .
Sharon is also the founder of our Dictionary project where we donate Dictionaries to every 3rd grade student in South Plainfield for the last 8 years.
Sharon goes out into our Community and if you need help she is there. It’s harder to explain because we don’t use names.
There is a couple that had a beautiful new born baby with many health problems, Sharon ran a fund raiser and raised $2,149 on a flapjack breakfast.
There was a school in Rwanda in desperate need of funds; Sharon purchased a beautiful art tile to support them.
Sharon was one of the first people to do a fund raiser for Brianna’s Special Needs Van.
A family was in need of a handicap ramp Sharon got it going
There is another family where the 19 year old daughter is taking care of her very sick mother and all she can since her father passed away. Sharon jumped right in to help.
Another outstanding young member of South Plainfield passed away who was very involved with scouts and soccer, so Sharon made a donation in his memory to the Soccer Club.
Recently there were 3 other families in South Plainfield that were desperately in need of help; Sharon found a way to help through the Boyle Foundation.
As of late a group of young musicians were in need of a place to practice. Sharon calls them “The Big Band Practice” She has arranged to let them use our Lodge once a month.
These are just a few of the thoughtful and wonderful things she has done.
In other words if there is anything anyone needs and they can’t see their way clear to do it, simply stand on the shoulders of our Sharon Reuter and she will show you the way.
We are very proud and honored to have Sharon Reuter as a member of South Plainfield Elks Lodge #2298.
Picture: From left to right
Ray Horvath, Exalted Ruler
Carly Reuter , daughter
Sharon Reuter, Honoree
Bill Reuter, DDGER, husband
Dan Uken, PER, Americanism Chairperson