Events held Uptown
p . 16-17
News from the Atlantic County Library
p . 27
Wyatt recognized for 50 years of service
p . 30
HMS Honor Roll
p . 31
Wednesday , November 29 , 2023
Volume 27 • Issue 48
Sanaa Johnson Grey balances cheerleading & marching band with ease
by Alexander Heller FOR THE GAZETTE
HAMMONTON — Tucked away in a pleasant corner of Hammonton lives a young woman who ’ s just as energetic with life as she is passionate about it . Her goals might seem out of reach to some , but with the help of her adoring family coupled with her own tenacity , Sanaa Johnson Grey doesn ’ t just have a shot at gaining success , she ’ s seizing it . The ambitious sophomore of Hammonton High School has her eyes set on a future that challenges her constructively while leaving a positive impact on the lives of those in need .
Yet before she does all that , she ’ s methodically planting the seeds of her success in the form of her school work while juggling two major extracurriculars , marching band and cheerleading , during what ’ s arguably the busiest time of the year for most American kids participating in those events . This might seem like she ’ s biting off more than she can
Donna Kramer and Jan Odell shop different stores on Bellevue Avenue .
by Donald Yamasaki FOR THE GAZETTE
HAMMONTON — Hammonton Heart & Soul hosted a presentation for the Parks and Recreation Commission to report information about what they have found out about the town with their research at the Nov . 21 meeting at town hall .
Cassie Iacovelli and Tracy Carr , members of the leadership team for Heart & Soul , were the presenters for the evening . They spoke to the Commission about how the organization came to be , how they have been surveying for information and how the Parks and Recreation Commission is involved . chew , but Johnson Grey thrives , even relishes in this demanding environment . Her success in her school work largely boils down to her ability to carefully manage her life both inside and outside the halls of Hammonton High , yet this wasn ’ t always the case .
“ Last year I wasn ’ t as busy as I was now . I was bad ,” she said . “ The activities I have now help me focus on school , because last year I had a lot of downtime . So I pushed off doing my work more , because I was like , ‘ OK , well I have time , I don ’ t have anything to do today , I ’ ll just do it later .’ Then I would try to cram it all in , and then because I would be tired , I would fall asleep in class , or I failed .”
“ But because of the relationship I built with my teachers last year , they helped me get the credits that I need in order to not get held back because they knew that I was capable of doing the stuff I wanted to do ,” she said .
Johnson Grey ’ s rocky start would ’ ve deterred most from
Kristin Guglietti / THG
The mission of the Heart & Soul organization is to bring members of the community together and make sure that the residents of the town have a voice to make their town a better place .
In 2020 , Hammonton was one of six communities to receive the Transform South Jersey Grant . The grant was for $ 100,000 and was only meant to be used in two years , but the COVID-19 lockdown caused the project to be extended . The grant ’ s purpose is to strengthen communities and encourage solidarity in South Jersey , according to Iacovelli .
See HEART & SOUL , Page 4
See SANAA , Page 12
by Kristin Guglietti GAZETTE STAFF WRITER
HAMMONTON — People came out to support local businesses in downtown and uptown Hammonton during Small Business Saturday on Nov . 25 .
Stores throughout town had various specials and deals . Some were exclusive for the day and some stores said they will have other deals later this holiday season .
For any purchase at Exit 28 Boutique , customers received a Frasier sachet . For $ 150 purchases or more , customers received a coin for 10 percent off purchase at Pine Barren Pallet Works Makers Handmade . For customers who spent $ 300 or more , they received a Frasier holiday set with a triple-milled soap , hand cream and aromatic candle .
Inspire Me Boutique had a 10 percent off coupon and get a free loofa with any $ 15 or more apothecary purchase . There was also free engraving for any of the charcuterie boards and free gift wrapping .
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Dan Russoman / THG
Sanaa Johnson Grey performs during halftime of the Eastern vs . Hammonton football game on Sept . 14 .
Shoppers support small businesses on Small Business Saturday
Heart & Soul met with Parks and Recreation Commission
Arlynn Murnane of Inspire Me Boutique said she enjoys meeting a lot of different people in town .
Tara Pyfrin and her son Andrew shopped many different stores during Small Business Saturday including Inspire Me Boutique .
“ We come out every Saturday my son and I for Small Business Saturday . It ’ s very important to us in the community to give back ,” Pyfrin said . “ We try to get one thing in each little shop as we go down the street . That ’ s our goal each year .”
At Bernie ’ s Antiques & Artifacts the store had 10 to 50 percent off throughout the store .
“ Hopefully people come out to support the small businesses to help us thrive more because we are small and we depend on local and people to come shop . It ’ s not like we ’ re big box stores ,” Bernie Pezzuto of Bernie ’ s Antiques & Artifacts said .
Ohana Juice Bar had a chocolate covered strawberry smoothie and acai bowls , which are also available during the holiday season .
See SMALL BIZ , Page 13
Rotary Club hosts Fun Shoot
Photo courtesy of Jennifer McGraw
( L-R ) Steve Furgione , Franco Catania and Michael Pullia pose for a photo during the Rotary Club ’ s Fun Shoot on Nov . 25 . See article and more photos on Page 8 . one dollar