SOMERS POINT — Veterans in Atlantic County presented an award Saturday to Donna Clementoni, formerly from Egg Harbor Township, for her dedication to veterans’ issues.
The second-annual award was bestowed in honor of the late April Kauffman, a Linwood native who was an advocate for military veterans in Atlantic County before her 2012 murder, which remains unsolved.
Atlantic County Veterans Services Officer Robert Frolow said Clementoni, who recently moved to Barrington Township, was very deserving of the recognition. Clementoni was honored Saturday at the American Legion Post 352.
“She’s been active in the veterans’ community for a long, long time,” Frolow said.
“She’s very active in a new employment educational program we’re putting together. She’s involved in a golf outing (to benefit veterans) at the Mays Landing Country Club. She’s out there every day doing something for veterans.”
Clementoni visits local employers to present certificates of recognition to businesses whose employees are deployed to active duty, Frolow said.
The award presentation was to be a surprise Saturday, even though Clementoni sits on the selection committee, Frolow said.
“Since she was so busy moving, we thought it was a golden opportunity,” he said.
Atlantic County is home to nearly 15,000 veterans, Frolow said. The county expects to see a wave of soldiers returning from Afghanistan in coming months, he said.
“The idea of the award is to recognize the person in the community who exemplifies the pride and energy that April had,” Frolow said. “She was a tough veteran’s advocate. You could never tell her no. And Donna is right there, too. She’s a great recipient.”
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