SOMERS POINT — Six years after her killing, April Kauffman’s legacy as a veteran’s advocate is still alive.

On Saturday, a member of the community who invokes Kauffman’s spirit of tirelessly working for veterans will receive the April Kauffman Veterans Advocate Award during an annual ceremony at The Clark Eliason American Legion.

Past honorees of the award include Michael Merlino, Donna Clementoni and Dawn Conover Coyle. Last year, Tom O’Donnell, of Manahawkin, who had recently retired as associate dean of student and veterans affairs at Stockton University, received the award.

April, a radio host and businesswoman who was known for her tenacity and championed the cause of health care for veterans, was found murdered in 2012 in her Linwood home. Her husband, Dr. James Kauffman, eventually was charged in her killing, but was then found dead of an apparent suicide Jan. 26 inside his Hudson County jail cell, leaving Ferdinand “Freddy” Augello, 62, of Upper Township, an alleged Pagans motorcycle gang leader, the only man left alive charged in the killing.

A Sept. 11 trial date has been set for Augello in Superior Court in Atlantic County.

Five other defendants are charged with racketeering in relation to the killing, as well as an opioid drug ring Kauffman ran out of his Egg Harbor Township endocrinology practice. Beverly Augello, 48, of Summerland Key, Florida; Glenn Seeler, 37, of Sanford, North Carolina; Paul Pagano, 51, of Egg Harbor Township; Tabitha Chapman, 35, of Absecon; and Cheryl Pizza, 37, of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, have all pleaded not guilty.

Another co-defendant, Joseph Mulholland, pleaded guilty June 21 to second-degree racketeering. As part of a plea deal, he agreed to testify during the trial.

Francis Mulholland, whom authorities pegged as the hitman in the killing, died in October 2013. The two Mulhollands are not related.

Saturday’s event will be held at the Legion post, First Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, starting with a barbecue at 2 p.m., followed by the award presentation at 4 p.m.

Contact: 609-272-7241 MBilinski@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPressMollyB

Staff Writer

My beat is public safety, following police and crime. I started in January 2018 here at the Press covering Egg Harbor and Galloway townships. Before that, I worked at the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pa., covering crime and writing obituaries.

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