The Hopewell Valley YMCA has announced its annual benefit will be held on June 18, 2022, at Brick Farm Tavern in Hopewell. This year’s event will honor Joe Lawver with the 2022 Larry Rothwell Social Responsibility Award, and Paulette DiNardo with the Community Leadership Award.

2022 Social Responsibility Award Nominee           2022 Community Leadership Award Nominee


   Joe Lawver                                                       Paulette Dinardo

When Hopewell Valley leaders raised their concerns about growing food insecurity because of the Covid Pandemic, Joe Lawver stepped in to lead the effort to address the need. Building on prior experience volunteering at food pantries and in local government, Joe partnered with the Hopewell Valley YMCA and harnessed the generous response from the community to build a roster of outstanding volunteers, a network of supporting partners, and a strong organization that is the Hopewell Valley Mobile Food Pantry. Today, the pantry serves approximately 100 families each week.

Joe has worked to build a stronger Hopewell Valley in many other ways since he and his family moved here in 1992. He began volunteering at the Pennington Public Library with Eileen Heinzel and Joy Clarkson. Together they ran a summer reading program for several years that regularly enrolled 75 kids. He served on the Library Board and continues as a circulation desk volunteer. At St. Matthew’s, he ran the semi-annual rummage sale, taught Sunday School, and was a member of the PLG. He chaired the Pennington Day board and also served on their grants committee. At Tollgate Grammar School, he coached 4th and 5th-grade boys as part of the Let Me Run program. Most significantly, he served as a Pennington Borough Council Member, Council President, and Mayor.

Joe is a graduate of Georgetown University. He started his career fundraising for schools and universities. After earning an MBA from Emory University, he worked in finance and marketing in telecommunications. For the last 20 years, he has been fortunate to be an at-home parent. Joe is the proud father of Delia and Rowland, and husband to his wife Teri of 31 years. If the weather is nice, you can find hi outside biking, hiking, or skiing. And if it is raining, he is likely downstairs in the woodshop.

For more than a decade, Paulette DiNardo has been serving the Hopewell Valley Regional School District and for the past two years, she has worked tirelessly to support our community during the pandemic. Ms. DiNardo collaborated with the Hopewell Valley YMCA and the local health department to coordinate services for the district and community including arranging nurse coverage during Emergency childcare provided by the Hopewell Valley YMCA and the Y’s before and after school childcare. She also helped orchestrate respite care for students with special needs.

Paulette DiNardo began her vocation of over 30 years in education in her hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1993. She completed her bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, a Master’s Degree in special education from Duquesne University, and post-graduate certifications from Rider University.

It was her personal experience with her two aunts who were not educated properly and institutionalized for the majority of their lives that motivated her to educate and advocate for people with special needs. She has taught children and adults ages 5-45 how to identify their skills, and contribute their talents to this world.

For the past thirteen years, Mrs. DiNardo has worked for the Hopewell Valley Regional School District as a teacher, supervisor of special education, and for the past five years as Director of Pupil Services. She is responsible for coordinating and overseeing all special education, counseling, nursing. She is the homeless liaison for the district working closely with local agencies to support students and families in need. Mrs. DiNardo is a resident of Hopewell Borough; she and her husband Russell raised their two children in this incredible community.

The YMCA will also be honoring the Healthy Living Award recipient, Tom Jackson Wrestling Scholarship winner and the Youth Development Scholarship winner, all to be named at a later date.

The event will take place on June 18, 2022, from 6:30 – 10:00 pm at the award-winning Brick Farm Tavern. Proceeds from the event support the Hopewell Valley YMCA’s Annual Campaign which provides financial assistance to families for critical before and after school programming, summer camp and youth sports and allows the YMCA to offer free Mental Health First Aid classes to the community, Special Olympics programming, and a free teen center for Hopewell Valley teens.



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