Giving Back

Frederika Link named Sparta's 2014 Outstanding Older American

Sparta's 2014 Outstanding Older American, Ricky Link, outside of Sparta Town Hall.  One of her many volunteer positions is Ambassador scheduler at Town Hall.   Credits: Jennifer Dericks
Sparta’s 2014 “Outstanding Older American” Frederika (Ricky) Link and Sparta’s Mayor Molly Whilesmith, presenting the award.

SPARTA, NJ- Frederika Link has been named Sparta’s 2014 Outstanding Older American.  Known to all as Ricky, she was selected by the Sparta’s  Senior Advisory Committee.

Link has been a resident of Sparta since 2000.  She has a unique story.  She was born in Luxembourg and then moved to Germany, where she was raised.  She lived through World War II.

In 1957 her husband took a job transfer to Canada. They loved living there but decided they would love living in the United States even more.  It was not so easy to immigrate back then.  Her husband had to find a job in the United States that could not be filled by an American.  They had to wait for the Quota to open.  They had to have $1500 in savings in the bank for two years.  They had to be able to write a paragraph in English and finally, they needed a police reference claiming they were of sound mind.

Sign Up for E-News

Eventually, they found their way to New Jersey.  Link worked until her son had children in 2000.  She promptly gave up her job and moved to Sparta to help raise her two grandsons.  While living in Sparta, she joined the Sparta Presbyterian Church where she began her dedicated community service.

She started to volunteer by delivering food from the Senior Center to the Sussex County Food Pantry located in the Presbyterian Church.  That led to working at the Manna House in Newton to prepare food and serve the hungry.  She has done this for the last 12 years.  She prepares food for all of her Church functions, Vacation Bible School, the giant Rummage Sale, and Sunday morning Coffee Hour.  For some of these functions, she even purchases the food.

Link is very generous with her time. She drives many Sparta seniors to church, to the doctors, senior events and also runs errands for them.  She is very caring and keeps a watchful eye on those who need assistance.

At the Sparta Senior Center, Link takes care of the extensive plant family.  She nurtures over 25 plants that thrive under her care.  She also volunteers as a scheduler for our Senior Van.

She arrives at the senior center twice a month, arriving at 7:30am to assist in the preparation for major programs.  She cooks, serves and cleans up without looking for praise.

 Recently she has taken over as Scheduler for the Town Hall Ambassador program.  Each Tuesday and Wednesday there is a friendly face at the Sparta Town Hall to welcome residents and provide information if needed.  Ricky makes sure the Ambassadors are scheduled each month and gladly trains the new ones.

Marianne Dilworth, Senior Coordinator and Recreation Supervisore at the Recreation Department said, “Ricky serves on our Senior Advisory Committee as an active participant.  She is a very hard worker and eager to help out in any capacity. She does all of this effortlessly and at the tender age of 80 years old.  She keeps fit by walking her son’s dogs at least three miles each day. She is an avid hiker and lives with her precious dog and best friend Brandi.”

Ricky has a daughter who lives in Texas. Cathy and her partner Ellyn have two daughters, Gracie and Sophie. Ricky’s son Rick lives in Sparta with his wife, Linda and their two sons, Matthew and Christopher.

According to the Sparta Township website members of the Senior Advisory Committee are appointed by the Township Council to advocate for the senior residents.  Their meetings are held in the senior center at Knoll Heights.  The current members are Fred Schuhmann serving as interim Chairman, Mary Parker, serving as Secretary, Eileen Francis, Dennis Gibson, Dorothy Eckweiler, Florence Meyer, Rose Satterfield, Joan Shaw, Herb Stanske, and Link.  Marianne Dilworth and Councilwoman Molly Whilesmith serve on the committee as Advisory Members.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Sparta Police: Wanted Man Gets Additional Charges

July 18, 2018

SPARTA, NJ -  A man from Hackettstown with an active warrant faces additional charges when officers stopped him because the registered owner of the car had a suspended license.  On July 2 around 2 a.m. Police Officer Ericks Finley stopped a car registered to Shanicqui Nelson on Route 15 police said.

The driver Shaun Reid, 36 was also found to have a suspended license and an ...

Sparta Police: Road Rage and Racing on Route 15 End in Arrest

SPARTA, NJ – A man from Plainfield was stopped for racing on Route 15, going 93 MPH in a 55 MPH zone.  Sparta Police Officer Erick Finley was able to stop one of  two cars racing on July 6 around 11:45 p.m. police said.

Driving a four door Chevy, Santos Vides-Guardado, 21, told Finley that he and the other driver had gotten into an argument that led to the two men racing each ...

Sparta Police: Two Injured in Car Versus Motorcycle Accident

SPARTA, NJ — An accident on Route 15 with a motorcycle and a car sent two people to the hospital. On July 12 Sparta police responded to the crash at the intersection of Route 15 and Wilson Drive around 6:37 p.m. police report.

According to police, while turning left on to Wilson Drive from Route 15 north, Carmen Emery of Highland Lakes cut in front of Richard Keim on a Harley-Davidson ...

No Dog Beach on Lake Hopatcong?

July 9, 2018

Hello Editor, 
 I have spent considerable time trying to find somewhere on Lake Hopatcong to bring my dog for a swim.
What I have found is ridiculous - this lake has approximately 28 miles of shoreline and I found NO PLACE am allowed to bring him.  Am hoping you can make the public aware and maybe someone will know more than me and inform where dogs are allowed?
Many thanks for ...

Chemist Congratulates Sparta High School Chem Olympians

Congratulation to the ladies from Sparta High School who finished first and second in the Chemistry Olympics.

I am very pleased to see women succeeding in chemistry.

Martin Feil,

Newton, NJ
Retired Chemist and Chemistry Teacher

Upcoming Events


Sat, July 21, 7:45 AM

Saint Kateri Parish, Sparta

Sussex County Blood Drive

Health & Wellness


Sat, July 21, 8:00 AM

Newton Moose Lodge, Fredon

Newton Moose Lodge Sunday Breakfasts

Food & Drink


Sat, July 21, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market


Sun, July 22, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Sussex County Views: The Art of Toni Chaplin

Arts & Entertainment


Mon, July 23, 10:00 AM

Sparta Public Library, Sparta

Watercolor Workshop

Arts & Entertainment

Tue, July 24, 7:00 PM

Kinnelon Public Library, Kinnelon

Northern NJ Libertarian Party Monthly Meeting



Fri, July 27, 10:00 AM

Sparta Public Library, Sparta

Watercolor Workshop

Arts & Entertainment


Sat, July 28, 8:00 AM

Newton Moose Lodge, Fredon

Newton Moose Lodge Sunday Breakfasts

Food & Drink


Sat, July 28, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market


Sat, July 28, 2:00 PM

Montville Animal Shelter, Montville

Summer Adoption Event at the Montville Animal ...

Home & Garden Other

Newton High School FFA Students Dominate at State Convention

July 11, 2018

LONG BRANCH, NJ - The Newton FFA Chapter won several of their events at the 89th New Jersey State FFA Convention in May at Monmouth University. The students brought home several awards competing against the best in the state.

Freshman Kirk Avondoglio took first place in the state FFA Creed Public Speaking competition.  The event requires participants to recite the creed in front of a ...

US Junior Amateur: Chinn Earns Medalist and Top-seed honors, Misses Rain Delay, after Second Day of Stroke Play

July 18, 2018

Tuesday’s Second Round Scores, playoff participants (8 for 3 spots)

Wednesday’s Round of 64 matchups

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Kelly Chinn of Great Falls, Va., continued his stellar play Tuesday morning and missed an afternoon four plus hour rain delay on arguably Baltusrol Golf Club’s toughest layout, the Lower Course.

After shooting a five under 66 on the Upper Course Monday, ...

You DO NOT Need 20% Down to Buy Your Home NOW!

The Aspiring Home Buyers Profile from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what’s required to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The results of the survey show the main reason non-homeowners do not own their own homes is because they believe that they cannot afford them.

This brings us to ...

Get Rid of Your E-Waste This Saturday in Sussex County

Team Nest Builder knows it’s easy for e-waste---tv sets, printers, laptops, etc.--to pile up. Here’s your opportunity to rid yourself of it in Sussex County! It’s the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority E-Waste Collection Event! The scoop:


Saturday, July 21st


7 am - 2 pm


Up to 5 Units per vehicle at no charge.  Scale charges for ...

4 Top Tips for Kitchen Remodels

Getting ready to remodel your New Jersey home's kitchen? Team Nest Builder shares these top 4 tips for maintaining your sanity (and budget)!

Expect the Unexpected

Even the best-laid plans go awry during a kitchen remodel--be prepared!  Add a 10% cushion to your finanical plan for problems that may arise. In case something happens, this could save your time and budget.

Make A ...

Get Out and Garden During FREE Open Gates Weekend

Team Nest Builder wants you to discover the beauty and diversity of Morris County’s Community Gardens through the people, plants, and planting techniques that make gardens thrive. It's Morris County Community Garden FREE Open Gates Weekend!

Tour the many gardens, discover how to start one in your town, and learn more about growing your own food. Enjoy food tastings and demonstrations ...

Homes More Affordable Today than 1985-2000

Concerned that your family will no longer be able to afford the most precious piece of the American Dream – your own home? Let Team Nest Builder assuage your fears...

It’s not just a home’s price that determines its affordability--it’s also the monthly cost determined by the price and the interest rate on the mortgage used to purchase it.

Today, mortgage interest ...

Be a Triathlon Volunteer!

Summertime is here and upon us Sparta residents, bringing a variety of exciting events to our area. Well, Pass It Along is BACK with the 9th Annual Triathlon at Lake Mohawk Country Club, located in Sparta, on Saturday, July 28, 2018!

This athletic event draws in several hundred people, both participants and spectators, to Lake Mohawk. Volunteers are needed to assist with the event in ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.



The Sussex County Freeholders July 11 meeting video

NEWTON, NJ - The Sussex County Freeholders July 11 meeting video


Morristown Medical Center Health Pavilion Recognized with 2018 New Good Neighbor Award by the NJBIA

July 19, 2018

Morristown, NJ–Atlantic Health System’s Morristown Medical Center Health Pavilion in Rockaway, New Jersey was recognized with the 2018 New Good Neighbor Award by the New Jersey Business & Industry Association on Tuesday.

The New Good Neighbor Award recognizes the companies, architects, builders and financial entities whose redevelopment projects have benefited their communities ...