Cynthia Rock of Hardyston was honored as the 2022 Sussex County Municipal Alliance Volunteer of the Year at the Dec. 14 meeting of the Sussex County commissioners.
She has been a member of the Wallkill Valley Municipal Alliance for about three years. The Wallkill Valley alliance serves the towns of Franklin, Hardyston and Hamburg.
Municipal alliances are community-based volunteer committees that aim to prevent substance abuse by residents of all ages.
In Sussex County, 11 municipal alliances represent all 24 towns except Hampton and Fredon. Statewide, there are more than 450 municipal alliances with about 10,000 volunteers.
In a proclamation, the county commissioners said Rock’s “dedication and commitment to the mission of the Wallkill Valley Alliance has been demonstrated through her coordination of various alliance programs and her creativity in engaging the community, especially youth, in new and innovative ways to promote healthy choices and substance abuse prevention.”
She joined the Wallkill Valley Municipal Alliance as a representative of the Wallkill Valley Regional High School Booster Club, which sponsors Project Graduation.
That annual event is an overnight lock-in for members of the graduating class after the commencement ceremony. It is aimed at providing a variety of activities as an alternative to the new graduates celebrating with alcohol or drugs.
Slightly less than half of the Class of 2022 participated, Rock said.
For that class, which included her son, the lock-in was at the YMCA from 11 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. She was a chaperone at the event.
”It was a little crazy, but the kids are really great. They had an amazing time. They loved the hypnotist. They loved playing basketball. But most of all, they all loved being with each other,” she said.
Rock plans to remain a member of the municipal alliance at least until her daughter, now a sophomore, graduates high school.
”I like it. I like the people that are involved. I like what it stands for, and I like helping and being involved in trying to keep kids on the right path,” she said.
Rock also is studying fine arts and photography at Sussex County Community College.
”I like it. I like the people that are involved. I like what it stands for, and I like helping and being involved in trying to keep kids on the right path.” - Cynthia Rock, 2022 Sussex County Municipal Alliance Volunteer of the Year