Joey Lockwood, the 11-year old Hammonton boy with autism who loves getting mail, was deluged with birthday letters and packages after a May 5 column about him ran in The Press, said his mom, Colleen Lockwood.

"He got well over 1,000 (pieces of mail)," said Colleen. "People took a lot of time. This has really renewed my faith in the goodness in people."

She said Joey got mail from young and old, and from dogs, cats and birds. People from as far away as Australia and Scotland wrote to him.

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The Lockwoods' mail carrier, Terry Pratt, put Joey's story in a postal workers' magazine, and so he also got lots of letters from postal workers around the country, especially Vermont.

"He got a letter from a dog named Boo Boo Anderson, who sent him a little stuffed black Labrador with a note that said, 'I wanted you to have a dog that looked like me.' A retired Navy captain sent him dog tags with Joey's name on them," Colleen said.

Ann's Hallmark Shop on the White Horse Pike in Hammonton posted the column and paid the postage for anyone who bought a card for Joey, Colleen said. Many schoolchildren drew him pictures and wrote notes.

"It was so much more than I expected," she said, and asked to send a big "Thank you!" to everyone who wrote to Joey.

To see some of the mail Joey got, visit a special page created by Colleen, who is the president of the FACES 4 Autism Hammonton chapter, at Email her at

Phlebotomist recognized for saving life

Cape Regional Medical Center phlebotomist Cori DeMari saved the life of a patient who suffered a cardiac arrest in the parking lot of Cape Radiology in Rio Grande in the fall of 2012 by performing CPR until a physician and ambulance arrived.

She was selected by a group of 12 Service Excellence of the Month recipients to be the hospital's 2013 annual awardee. DeMari and her husband, Bob, live in Cape May Court House with their children, Kayla and James.

O.C. Pops honors patrons

The Ocean City Pops will honor long-time patrons Roy and Pat Gillian at the Friends of the Ocean City Pops Gala Dinner at Greate Bay Country Club in Somers Point, 6 p.m. June 9.

Roy Gillian is a former Mayor of Ocean City, and the father of the current Mayor Jay Gillian. Entertainment includes performances by Clifford Morin's Diem Blue combo, soprano Kara Mulder, and tenor Cody Austin with Pops pianist Jeffrey Uhlig. Tickets are $100. Call 609-398-7501.

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