Happenings in Leadership

Having launched of the mission of Gateway Community Resource Center in mid-September 2022 and begun provision of free programs to the public, the Gateway Leadership Team of five gathered with their guests at Verde Ristorante in Denville January 12 to celebrate their success.

The smiling faces give evidence that this crew enjoys working with one another in support of Gateway’s unique mission.

They look forward to a fundraising gala event in the Fall open to the public when marking the first full year of operation. Many, many more smiling happy faces are anticipated on that occasion.

How proud we fellow volunteers are that our Marilyn Ward, President of the Loaves & Fishes Community Food Pantry Board and Gateway Communtiy Resource Center President, was proclaimed by the Boonton Town Council as its 2022 Citizen of the Year.  We can think of no one better within our town of 9,000 who qualifies for such acknowledgement.  A Boonton resident since 1964, Marilyn served as special education elementary teacher in Boonton Schools for 30 years before retiring.  During those years she served as an officer of the NJEA union and representing Boonton’s public school teaching staff in contract negotiations with the Board of Education.

Upon retirement she then took up a second career with late husband Jim to operate a flower shop in Blairstown for 10 years.

Her second retirement was not the beginning of her voluntary leadership as Elder of Boonton’s First Presbyterian Church.  For decades she was, and continues to be a chief advocate for the support of missions beyond its doors.  Culminating a lifetime of public service, it is her efforts of the past four years that have been cause for Marilyn’s public acknowledgment as community sees and participates within the Loaves & Fishes Community Food Pantry and Gateway Community Resource Center to bring services that help, educate and enrich.

Marilyn is the source of our motivating vision, chief articulator of its formation and tireless advocate and recruiter for engaging others in the cause.  She is a pied-piper of volunteers.  We love you, Marilyn!

Within the recognition moment, Rev, Jen Van Zant, pastor of FPCB delivered a citation of acknowledgment for all of her services across decades as a Boonton resident and elder of the church.