The most recent Freehold Borough resident to receive the John G. McGackin Award was recognized in front of family and friends at the Oct. 1 Freehold Borough Council meeting.
The award, which was created in memory of Mayor Jack McGackin, was presented to William Anderson, for his commitment and dedication to the Borough. During the Council meeting, Councilman Kevin Kane addressed the audience and mentioned some of the Committees Anderson has served on throughout the years. The list included being a 13-year member of the Freehold Borough Monmouth Hose Company where Anderson is currently serving as a First Lieutenant, a 12-year member of the Sons of the American Legion where he was a past commander and is currently serving as a Senior Vice Commander, a 10-year member of the Halloween Spooktacular Committee where he is currently the co-chair and an 8-year member of the Olde Freehold Day Committee.
“More importantly Billy has been active on all of these committees and not just as a committee member, but as an active committee member. Over the past few years he has been personally battling some significant health issues and it hasn’t slowed him down a bit. Billy is more active than he ever has been and it is it a great, great honor to be able to present this award to Billy Anderson,” said Kane.
Upon receiving the award Anderson addressed the audience and took time to thank those who helped him receive the award, as well as those who helped him get back on his feet from when he was battling an advanced stage of cancer.
“What makes all of these organizations and committees so special is the people I volunteer with. We have a lot of great memories and I have made friends that I know will last a lifetime. There are so many volunteers in town that I never considered myself to be anything other than part of the group. But an unfortunate turn of events put me on the other side that I never thought I’d be on. A few years ago I was very sick and was going through treatment for an advanced staged cancer. It was then that the members of the local departments held a benefit for my family and me. The event was something I could have never imagined and I think that truly showed what a community is all about,” said Anderson.
Anderson wrapped up his speech by explaining what volunteering means to him.
“From making new friends, to fighting fires, to supporting our veterans and doing what I can to help to make our town a better place, volunteering has very much changed my life and helped me in ways I never thought possible.”