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  • Writer's pictureMohammed Fuad

2023 Year in Review

As 2023 wraps up, The Gazette is highlighting the top stories and photos from the calendar year. Here are the top stories that happened in 2023 from each issue.

Betsey Karl/THG Members of St. Mary of Mount Carmel Parish and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Society walk in the procession of the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16.

Jan. 4

‘Tip’ DiDonato Dies at 91: Longtime DiDonato Family Fun Center owner and Nice Going Award winner Dominic “Tip” DiDonato died at 91. Friends and family remembered DiDonato’s positive impact and influence on the community, as well as his accomplishments.

Jan. 11

Karl Frantz recalled fondly: Longtime Hammonton High School (HHS) coach and teacher Karl Frantz was remembered fondly by friends, family, colleagues and former students and players.

Jan. 18

Rodio earns 1,000th win: St. Augustine Prep basketball coach Paul Rodio notched his 1000th career win as head coach. Rodio was surrounded by friends, family and former players and reflected on his journey to the big milestone.

Jan. 25

Stockton University’s Kramer Hall honors Dr. King: Kramer Hall honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr with a day of service, taking t-shirts and making them into reusable bags.

Feb. 1

NHS Inductions at Hammonton High School: Hammonton High School students were inducted into the National Honor Society during a ceremony at the high school.

Feb. 8

Salvo creating scholarship for HHS students: Lifelong Hammontonian and educator Stephen B. Salvo creates a scholarship for HHS students. Salvo talks about the thought process behind creating the scholarship.

Feb. 15

HMS wrestlers win CAL title: Hammonton Middle School (HMS) wrestlers won individual titles as HMS captured the Cape Atlantic League title.

Feb. 22

Six wrestlers headed to Region 8: Six HHS wrestlers advance to the Region 8 tournament with top three finishes at the District 30 championships.

March 1

Rehmann Remembered: Former Adams, Rehmann and Heggan (ARH) President Chris Rehmann died at 82. Friends, family and local people remembered Rehmann for his positivity, integrity, interests and his community involvement.

March 8

Friends, family celebrate Sacco’s long coaching career: Longtime St. Joe football head coach Paul Sacco was honored at Adelphia Restaurant in Deptford as friends, family and former players celebrated Sacco’s 41-year coaching career, which came to an end on Dec. 2022.

March 15

Mica McCullough new MainStreet Director: Mica McCullough was introduced as the new MainStreet Hammonton Director on March 9 after the Greater Hammonton Chamber of Commerce meeting, replacing longtime director Cassie Iacovelli.

March 22

HMS’ Rudnesky, LoSasso introduced by HH and SA: Hammonton Home and School Association introduced Dr. Kimberly Rudnesky and Justin LoSasso as HMS’ new principal and vice principal, respectively.

March 29

Altar Rosary Soc. Members weaving for Palm Sunday: The Altar Rosary Society of the St. Mary of Mount Carmel Parish palm weaves ahead of Palm Sunday.

April 5

Frederico honored at Legion Luncheon: American Legion Atlantic County Commander and Hammontonian Don Frederico was honored at the Atlantic County American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary Testimonial Luncheon.

April 12

Flores crowned Mr. Hammonton 2023: HHS senior Jesus Flores was crowned as Mr. Hammonton 2023 during HHS’s “The Mighty Gods of HHS” themed Mr. Hammonton event.

April 19

Frankie LaSasso rings the bell: Frankie LaSasso celebrates his final chemotherapy treatment by ringing the bell at the Philadelphia Phillies game on April 12.

April 26

Kramer Hall turns 10: Stockton University at Kramer Hall celebrated its 10-year anniversary outside the campus with meals and activities. The celebration featured speeches by alumni, Stockton University President Dr. Harvey Kesselman and Chairman of Kramer Beverage Charles Kramer.

May 3 Issue

Seany Shoe Hands run, walk held at Hammonton Lake Park: The fourth annual Seany Shoe Hands 5K and 1 Mile Hero Walk for Autism was organized by the Hammonton Police Department to raise money for children with autism and cognitive disabilities.

May 10

Oldest, youngest members of veterans organizations: Oldest and youngest members of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Disabled American Veterans (DAV) told stories of their military experiences and being apart of military organizations that support veterans.

May 17

SJA holds ‘The Rising’ fundraiser: St. Joseph Academy held their second annual “The Rising” fundraising event to honor The Samuel A. Donio Foundation for Education with The Heart of a Wildcat Award.

May 24

Friel, AMI/AtlantiCare honored at Chamber banquet: The Greater Hammonton Chamber of Commerce held their Annual Installation and Awards Banquet. The banquet honored Hammonton Police Chief Kevin Friel and AMI/AtlantiCare with the Nice Going and Business of the Year awards, respectively.

May 31

Ceremony remembers those who gave their lives: A sizable crowd was on hand as the town held their Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony, featuring speeches by local veterans.

June 7

St. Joseph brings home fourth-straight title: St. Joe’s softball team won its fourth-consecutive South Jersey Non-Public B title by defeating Gloucester Catholic.

June 14

St. Joseph brings home state title: St. Joe’s softball team wins the program’s first state championship by defeating Morris Catholic.

June 21

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of Leo Park: Former and current Lions Club members, as well as Hammontonians, reflected on the history and eventual creation of the park. They also talked about what their positive contributions did in a period where the town was struggling.

June 28

Blueberry Festival a success: The 37th annual Red, White and Blueberry Festival was held.

July 5

Rocco’s celebrates 40 years: Brothers Steve and Dave Ruberton reflect on the history of Rocco’s Town House as it celebrates its 40th anniversary.

July 12

Hammonton takes District 16 title: Hammonton Little League’s All Star team brought home the District 16 championship in way of a 1-0 forfeit victory to advance to the Section IV tournament.

July 19

Mount Carmel Feast defies the rain: The 148th annual Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was held on a rainy Sunday. The July 19 issue also produced the first-ever colored front page in The Gazette’s history.

July 26

All Stars win Sectional title: Hammonton Little League’s 12U All Stars defeats Haddonfield 13-10 on the heels of a three-run rally in the top of the eighth inning to give them their Section IV championship since 1987.

August 2

Town council honors Hammonton Little Leaguers ahead of tournament: Hammonton Little League’s 12U All Stars were honored by town council as they look ahead to the New Jersey Little League state tournament in Secaucus, N.J.

August 9

Hammonton enjoys National Night Out: Local law enforcement and the community were brought together for a night of fun during Hammonton’s National Night Out.

August 16

The wait is over: A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at HMS as the tennis/pickleball courts are officially open.

August 23

Fringe Festival returns, and Hammonton loves it: The New Jersey Fringe Festival returns to Hammonton.

August 30

Flag-raising ceremony kicks off Puerto Rican week: The Puerto Rican Civic Association celebrated 64 years during Puerto Rican week that featured a flag-raising ceremony outside town hall.

Sept. 6

Heart and Soul developing community endowment: Hammonton Heart & Soul develops an action plan that will help raise money to set up a $100,000 community endowment.

Sept. 13

Cayla Kalani enjoys being a Phillies ball girl: Hammontonian Cayla Kalani talks about her unique job as a Philadelphia Phillies ball girl. Kalani shares stories of being front and center of the Phillies’ biggest moments during their 2022 run to the World Series, as well as being a role model for younger girls.

Sept. 20

Hammonton edges Eastern: The Blue Devils win a close one against Eastern Regional during HHS’s homecoming behind a 208 yard rushing night by Kenny Smith.

Sept. 27

Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off with event: Allies in Caring celebrated the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, featuring traditional dances, poetry readings, art exhibit, kids crafts and a soccer tournament.

October 4

Pine Barrens Makers Fest holds second event: Pine Barren Pallet Works owners Carlina Sacco and Pat Bilazzo hold the second annual Pine Barren Makers Fest.

October 11

Blue Mass celebration at SMMCP: Fallen soldiers and first responders were honored and celebrated during a Blue Mass celebration at St. Joseph Church.

October 18

Sons of Italy celebrate Columbus: Sons of Italy celebrate Columbus Day in an event that featured speeches by Assemblyman Michael Torrissi Jr. and Congressman Jeff Van Drew.

October 25

Rivals clash in CAL playoffs: Both St. Joe and Hammonton field hockey teams renewed their rivalry during the CAL semifinals as Hammonton edged St. Joe to advance to the CAL championship game.

November 1

The Gazette’s election season coverage: Both Kristin Guglietti and Jennifer McGraw collaborated to deliver coverage on all of the candidates for the local town, county and state elections.

November 8

Alpacas come to Green Day: The annual Green Day Festival was a success as it featured activities, lessons on sustainability and furry animals.

November 15

Tri-Vets honored at Veterans Day Ceremony: A Veterans Day ceremony was held at HMS to honor the Hammonton Tri-Vets that featured speeches by local town officials.

November 22

HEF ThanksForGiving Gala a success: The Hammonton Education Foundation held their second-annual ThanksForGiving Gala to raise money to benefit students.

November 29

Varsity Hawks roll to second-straight title: The Hammonton Hawks varsity team defeated the Ventnor Pirates 36-22 to win their second-straight Jersey Shore Youth Football League championship.

December 6

Santa lights up town tree: The annual Downtown Tree Lighting was held as a sizable crowd crowded Central Avenue to watch dance performances, take part in carriage rides, listen to Christmas songs and stories, and Santa’s arrival in a fire truck.

December 13

Sam Mento III reflects on time as BOE President: Longtime Hammonton School Board President Sam Mento III reflects on his time as School Board President and what his plans are as his final school board meeting approaches.

December 20

Schaffer donates kidney to save her father: Hammontonian Tami Schaffer donates her kidney to her father, Art Schaffer.

December 27

Judge Frank J. Raso announces retirement: Frank J. Raso announces his retirement as judge for the Town of Hammonton and talks about his retirement plans.


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