For Coaching Children, She Wins An Honor In Florence

Posted: March 17, 1991

Even though she's been working with children since she was a child herself, Mary Pieretti of Florence never expected to be honored as Florence's citizen of the year.

Each February the Florence Civic Association honors a resident who has worked at least five years with children, and Pieretti, a Florence native who has been involved in coaching children's sports teams for the last 17 years, thought there were others who were more deserving of the award.

"Was I ever surprised when I heard that I had won," said Pieretti, who started coaching a girls' softball team when she was 16 and is now a coach in a girls' basketball league. "But there are a lot of wonderful volunteer coaches in this community, and we're very fortunate so many people here in Florence want to be involved."

When she isn't coaching youth teams, Pieretti, a graduate of Holy Cross High School in Delran, teaches physical education at Holy Assumption School in Roebling, serves as president of Florence's recreation committee and runs the girls' softball league that she started in 1975.

Pieretti started out as a court reporter, but decided that the profession wasn't for her. She became a nursery-school teacher's assistant and later, when she saw that Holy Assumption had only a limited physical education program, she took over the program and expanded it.

For years, she and her husband, Edward, have coached other people's children, but now that their son Matthew is 8, they're busy coaching their son's teams. They also have a daughter, Chelsea, 2.

"Between the two of them, we expect to be busy as coaches for many years," Pieretti said.

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John J. Fischer is a man who can't say no, especially when it's Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Trenton that's doing the asking.

"But I really do love the work," Fischer said of his connection with Catholic Charities, which has included acting as a trustee and as chairman of the group's annual fund-raising campaign.

For his work, the Delran resident has been named Catholic Charities' man of the year for 1991. He will be honored at the group's annual dinner and dance in September.

"What keeps me going as a volunteer for Catholic Charities are the good things this group accomplishes," Fischer said. "In Burlington County alone, we provide funding for so many worthwhile endeavors, including Delaware House, Emergency Services and Providence House."

Fischer became a Catholic Charities volunteer five years ago after several years as a member of St. Charles Borromeo's parish council in Cinnaminson.

"Once you become involved with one group, one thing leads to another," said Fischer, a financial adviser who operates Asset Allocation Advisors Inc. of Cherry Hill.

Ever since he helped his father run a canoe rental business, Glenn Malsbury of Medford Lakes has been fascinated by turkey buzzards, bog turtles, cranberry bogs and other flora and fauna that can be found in New Jersey's Pine Barrens.

"It was a little hard to avoid," Malsbury said of his interest in the Pinelands reserve. That interest led to his being asked by the New Jersey Pinelands Commission to design a poster to advertise courses the commission offers on the environmentally sensitive area.

Even though his duties as a graphic-arts instructor at Burlington County

College take up much of his time, Malsbury still canoes in the reserve.

Although he grew up in Pemberton Borough, his father's canoe rental business in nearby Pemberton Township often took Malsbury into the Pine Barrens "because back then there weren't so many canoe rental places right by the rivers," he said.

Malsbury has done a poster with, on one side, a sketch of a Pleasant Mills bog scene, and on the other nine Pinelands sketches and information on the region. And Malsbury has drawn other Pinelands scenes for the state agency. Many of those works hang in the commission offices in New Lisbon.

The poster was made to publicize the agency's short courses for the public that are offered each year at Cook College in New Brunswick, said Elizabeth Carpenter, educational coordinator for the commission.

In addition, Malsbury did the title paintings for New Jersey Network's film My Pine Barrens Land, which will be aired at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Copies of Malsbury's poster are available at Pinelands Commission headquarters in New Lisbon. For information call 894-9342.

HONORABLE MENTION: K. Kiki Konstantinos, superintendent of schools of the Lenape Regional High School District, has been named to the Physical Education Hall of Fame of West Virginia University.

A football player at West Virginia, Konstantinos was cited for his contributions to the university and to his profession.

In addition, he was selected as this year's recipient of the university's outstanding alumnus award. Konstantinos lives in Medford.

Barbara Irvine of Cinnaminson has been cited for her role as president of the Alice Paul Centennial Foundation of Moorestown by Women's Way, a regional women's fund.

The foundation was founded to commemorate the life and work of Alice Paul, a leader in the women's suffrage movement.

Irvine, who helped start the Alice Paul chapter of the National Organization for Women, will be honored at a Women's Way fund-raising dinner May 14.

Wendy Schadt of Tabernacle has been named principal of Helen Fort Middle School in Pemberton Township. She is a former assistant principal at the district's Marcus Newcomb School and Pemberton Township High School.

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