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11/19/2008
RJ Miles selected by Councilman Weiner to receive Volunteer Service Award - Community News

By Jesse Chadderdon
Community News
Posted Nov 19, 2008 @ 07:45 AM
Last update Nov 19, 2008 @ 09:47 AM

Wilmington, Del. —
New Castle County Council honored longtime volunteers in each council district Tuesday night, including former Governor Russell Peterson.
Peterson, who served as governor from 1968 through 1974, was honored for decades of environmental work, including the 1972 passage of Delaware’s Coastal Zone Act that provides protection to the state’s 115 mile coastline of inland bays and waterways.

He was also honored for his work as president of the National Audubon Society and his involvement on several environmental boards and committees, including the World Wildlife Fund, the Alliance to Save Energy and the Global Tomorrow Coalition.

In 2007, officials designated a 13,500-square-foot Education Center at the Russell W. Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge to honor his service.
Peterson was honored by Council President Paul Clark, while each of the other 12 council members designated community leaders in their districts with similar honors.

Councilman Robert Weiner (R-Chatham) honored civic leader Richard “RJ” Miles, the president of the McDaniel Civic Association and founding member of the Graffiti Brigade, which works in cooperation with police and the Department of Transportation to battle graffiti in Brandywine Hundred by painting over it – an effort to dissuade further vandalism in the community.

Miles also is a member of the Board of Directors for Crime Stoppers Delaware and is vice-president of the New Castle County Police North District Advisory Council, a group that spearheaded a community block watch program in several Brandywine Hundred Communities.

Councilman Joseph Reda (D-Elsmere) selected David and Nancy Collin of Pike Creek for their work with the Friends of the Kirkwood Highway Library. Nancy currently serves as president of the organization, while David is the treasurer.

Under their leadership, the friends were able to raise nearly $1 million of private funds that has gone to supplement the county and state money that has been put up for the new state-of-the-art library currently under construction.

Hockessin’s Ken Murphy, the president of the Hockessin Planning Partnership and a member of the village’s Design Review Advisory Committee, was honored by Councilman William Tansey (R-Greenville).

After serving as president of the Greater Hockessin Area Development Association from 1998 through 2006, Murphy has become affectionately known as the “Mayor of Hockessin” according to Tansey, balancing the preservation of the community’s character with the need for progress. He also serves on the Governor’s Livable Delaware Council.

Dorothy Medeiros, currently the director of St. Helena’s Parish Social Ministry, was the choice of Councilman John Cartier (D-Penny Hill).
Medeiros helped spearhead the relocation efforts of several hundred families living in the Brookview Town Homes, which were slated for demolition in 2006. Medeiros worked as an advocate and liaison for those who needed a voice most, said Cartier. She later helped in similar efforts at the condemned Courtyard Apartments, also in Cartier’s district.

Most recently, Medeiros has taken a lead in the redevelopment efforts in Edgemoor Gardens, which is participating in the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh’s Blue Print Community program.

A volunteer for dozens of organizations over the past two decades, Edward Lipka was selected by Councilman Timothy Sheldon (D-Pike Creek) to receive the Volunteer Service Award.

Lipka began his service “career” in 1984, serving on several service committees for St. Hedwig’s Church, where he is a member. He is an active member of the Brookhaven-Sheffield Civic Association and is vice-president of the Friends of Brandywine Springs Park. He also is a volunteer for the Wilmington & Western Railroad.

Lipka also has taken on several mentoring roles, first with Junior Achievement and more recently through a program at Ferris School for Boys. He is now a mentor and counselor at the Hilltop Lutheran Neighborhood Center in Wilmington.

Other New Castle County Volunteer Service Award Winners include: Bebe Ross Coker (Councilman Penrose Hollins); The Friends of Iron Hill Park (Councilwoman Stephanie McClellan); Ellen Combs Davis (Councilman William Powers); Camilla Pfeil (Councilman George Smiley); Margaret Crosby (Councilman Jea Street); The Friends of the Glasgow Park (Councilman David Tackett); Catherine Ciesielski (Councilman William Bell).

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"Councilman Robert Weiner is legendary for his energy, knowledge and drive. He is one of the guiding forces behind the passage of the environmentally protective New Castle County United Development Code. He has been a force for good government in New Castle County for more than two decades."

Christine Whitehead
Former Vice President, Civic League for New Castle County

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