SWEDESBORO– — At their meeting on Aug. 15, the Swedesboro Council issued a proclamation designed to acknowledge and raise awareness of an incurable disease known as Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressive.
West Deptford resident Zachary Kane, 23, was first diagnosed with the ailment when he was seven years old. Gary W. Whyte of Mountainside began advocating awareness of FOP after learning that the daughter of a close friend had been diagnosed with the ailment.
Fibrodysplasia Qssificans Progressive is a rare genetic incurable condition where the body produces added bone where bone should not form. FOP affects around 2,500 people worldwide, and about 12 in New Jersey.
Whyte has made it his mission is to ask the mayors of all 566 New Jersey municipalities and all 21 New Jersey counties to pass a resolution or proclamation urging FOP awareness. Whyte also hoped to see these proclamations and resolutions put together in an FOP Awareness Campaign Book.
The proclamation commended Whyte and his wife and three sons for their dedication in making others aware of this affliction.
Council urged all local municipalities to issue a resolution or proclamation regarding the matter. “It’s wonderful that this is coming to light,” commented Councilmember Joanna Gahrs. “Now more people will be made aware.”
Elsewhere, in resolutions, Council approved an application from the Kingsway Education Foundation for a raffle license, to be used for an event in February. They also authorized release of the performance guarantee for Botto’s and Sons. Botto’s Italian Line Restaurant recently added outdoor patio dining.
Council moved forward with an ordinance that would restrict the sale of dogs and cats from pet shops. “Gloucester County and various organizations are asking if we want to participate or not,” observed Borough Clerk Tanya Goodwin.
In Public Works news, Goodwin mentioned that the crosswalk at Auburn Avenue and Poplar Street was expected to be operating by the beginning of the school year. In his Environmental Commission report, Council President Sam Casella noted that the town’s kayak event in August had been very successful, with over 500 people attending.
Casella pointed out that Swedesboro would look into the possibility of having two kayak events again next year. Economic concerns forced the borough to drop one of its events for 2016.
For Economic Development, Councilmember Diane Hale reported that a working agreement with the local school system regarding the upcoming Stop on Red Program was moving forward. Hale noted that 75 people attended a recent Movie Night at Swedesboro Lake Park.
Hale added that Economic Development had been working on a new brochure promoting Swedesboro, and the first draft had been submitted to Mayor Tom Fromm.
The Councilmember also announced that shredding events limited to Swedesboro residents were scheduled in town on Sept. 24 and Dec. 10. “These events are usually costly, but the town gets partial reimbursement from Gloucester County, so holding the events was economically sound,” Hale said. “The events are funded by Clean Communities.”
School Board Representative and Councilperson Alice O’Blennis reported that new security cameras were being installed in the schools, and results of the local Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers testing were expected in September.
— by Robert Holt