A Boulder, Colorado-based, nationally-syndicated radio show has selected Asbury Park Police Officer Connie Breech its eChievement Award for her work gathering toys for needy children during the Christmas season.
The annual Asbury Park Toy Drive is now in its 16th year. Founded by Breech, the program has expanded over the years and toys collected go to area residents only.
Former Mayor Ed Johnson, who wrote the letter of nomination for Breech, said it was one of the easiest things he ever did.
“I have written many letters of recommendation and sometimes they’re a challenge to write, but this was one of easiest I’ve ever written- about what Connie does for other people. In this day and age, everybody seems to focus only on themselves. Connie just does it – and she enjoys it,” he said.
Since 1991, eTown has presented the eChievement Awards to hundreds of people from all over the world who are helping to make their communities a better place – and this year Breech is one of 32 being honored.
eTown is a nonprofit, nationally-syndicated radio broadcast, multimedia and events production company. Its mission is to educate, entertain and inspire a diverse audience through music and conversation in order to create a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable world.
Its eChievement Award Winners are nominated by listeners and interviewed on-air about their extraordinary community work. Stories range from feeding the hungry to cleaning up the environment to housing the homeless.
Johnson and his husband, Jeff Lundenberger, nominated Breech. The two listen to the Brookdale WBJB 90.5 FM [The Night] radio station on a regular basis every Saturday morning.
“It was really Jeff’s idea that he came up with while we were listening to the show,” Johnson said.
And Johnson said they nominated Breech not just because of the annual toy drive alone, but because of all the community work she does on behalf of Asbury Park.
“We nominated Connie because of all the challenges she goes through: spending her time, her own money, and helping coordinate things. She works hard so other people can enjoy their holidays and she makes sure that every kid has something in their hand for Christmas,” he said.
Breech was interviewed three times by eTown officials. The interview will be podcast at www.etown.org. and broadcast Saturday, Dec. 12 on WBJB 90.5 FM [The Night] at 10 a.m.
Breech, who also received a special plaque, said just to be nominated and featured “is an honor.”
“But to get your message out there is good. If people listen you might get donations. But, by the same token, you may be able to get somebody else to do something in their own town. That’s the big thing too- pay it forward and let people know they can make a difference in their own town,” she said.
And Breech called this opportunity “truly amazing.”
“This is not something that is just broadcast locally but it goes nationwide and is broadcast around the world,” she said.
More information on the toy drive can be found at www.asburyparktoydrive.com