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2017 Nominees Announced

The Cumberland County Women’s Hall of Fame will induct two women into the Hall at its annual gala event in April 2017. They are:

Sue “Sioux” Fenili, Vineland. for her longtime contributions to environmental issues and a stellar teaching career in Vineland and Millville schools. She founded Kids Against Pollution devoted to cleaning up their environment, and it became the “first glass recycling operation in New Jersey” in 1970. With the money earned, they bought equipment for water quality testing and discovered effluent going into the Maurice River from the Landis Sewerage Authority. She serves on the board of Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River and has been on the Vineland Environmental Commission since 1970, developed Arbor Day activities, and she recently initiated an Anti-Litter Initiative for children and students that has been presented to the Vineland Board of Education for potential inclusion in lesson plans. Her classroom in Millville – Room 115 – was “the place to be” where she installed a real pond and “fun things happened.” She mentored an autistic child and founded Our Wild Side to encourage kids to be “stewards of our Earth.”


Dr. Mary L. Gruccio, Vineland, for her extraordinary career in education, her integrity, and her success and for being a role model for women in the top echelon of their careers. Her entire teaching career has been in the Vineland School District, which she has served for more than four years as Superintendent. Widowed at a young age when her children were just two and six, she was a cancer survivor and a single parent working full-time when she earned her Doctorate in Education. She developed two publications about Vineland and the Vineland schools, leads the School District’s strategic planning committee, developed a Parent’s Resources Center, served on the Governor’s Committee for Parent Involvement for five years, is on the Board of Directors of The United Way and The Dream Foundation and served on the Cumberland County Board of Chosen Freeholders. For her entire professional life, her position has been “How will this help our children?” according to her nominator, and she is a “strong, talented, dynamo of boundless heart.”


“The Hall of Fame is truly honored to celebrate the lives of accomplished women throughout Cumberland County,” said Louise T. Bertacchi, Founder and President of the Hall. “This year’s winners, and the others already in the Hall of Fame, have had extraordinary impact in our community.”

The gala event honoring these two women is open to the public at the Centerton Country Club on Wednesday, April 26, beginning at 6 p.m. For reservations or more information, contact Louise Bertacchi at LTB431@comcast.net or Kim Litchendorf at Klitchendorf@cumberlanddairy.com, or call 856-825-5929. The guest emcee for the induction will be Dr. Dina Rossi Elliott, Superintendent of the Joseph F. Scarpa Technical Education Center of Cumberland County.

The Women’s Hall of Fame honors local women of outstanding achievement who have made significant contributions to a profession, the community and/or women’s issues. The Hall also gives scholarships to young women graduating from Cumberland County’s high schools and going on to higher education.