CREST HAVEN - The Cape May Board of County Commissioners and the Cape May County Mental Health Alcohol and Drug Abuse Board recognized the work of three residents who are active in the area of behavioral health at the January 24, 2023, County Commissioners meeting. They are Kyle Lindholm from Upper Township, Katie Faldetta from Cape Assist and The Branches Outreach Center.
“I am honored to publicly acknowledge, on behalf of both Boards, the wonderful work of these two people and this organization”, said Cape May County Commissioner Jeffrey Pierson. "They have all played a substantial role in improving lives in Cape May County.”
Kyle Lindholm was recognized as the County Municipal Alliance Volunteer of the Year. Kyle started volunteering with the Municipal Alliance last year, however; he has volunteered in Cape May County communities for over half of his life. His involvement grew out of a desire to connect youth and public safety entities in the community to foster positive community relationships. Kyle led the development and implementation of the first ever “Upper Township First Responders Youth Camp,” a week-long summer camp that coupled fun activities with life-skills training. He also serves as an example of the impact one individual can make in their community by volunteering with their Municipal Alliance and as encouragement to others to join their local Municipal Alliance. Kyle works as an EMT in Upper Township and lives in Cape May Court House with his wife Dilara, their amazing 10-month-old daughter, Eleanor, and wonderful 9-year-old niece, Ava.
“Kyle is a great example of how community members can make a difference in their town for their youth. He saw an opportunity to develop the summer camp and got it done,” said Pierson. “He is a valuable asset to his town and the youth of Upper Township.”
Katie Faldetta was also recognized by the Board for her contribution to Cape May County.
Katie Faldetta is the Executive Director of Cape Assist, Cape May County’s premiere substance misuse prevention agency. She joined the Cape Assist team in 2003 as Operations Director and moved up the ranks to Executive Director in 2016. From that time until the present the budget of the agency increased from 1.1 million to 2.4 million with a major focus toward strengthening youth in schools and in the community. Katie has participated in the Cape Regional Wellness Alliance’s multi-year grant study of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) – an emerging concept for Cape May County, as well as the entire state of New Jersey. Her team at Cape Assist developed and arranged for county wide school district trainings in childhood trauma and resiliency. These trainings have spread throughout the state and have even been attended by representatives from other countries. She also was a primary driver for the development a sober high school in Cape May County in 2019.
Katie earned a Bachelors Degree in Finance from Salisbury State University and a Master Degree in Non-Profit Management from Regis University. She is also a Certified Prevention Specialist. Katie lives in Northfield with her husband Joe and two sons, Joey and Tony.
“Katie’s talents not only lay in her professionalism and vision, but also in her openness and inclusiveness with all groups in the community. Cape May County is fortunate to have such a dedicated leader,” stated Pierson.
The third recipient of the recognition awards is given to The Branches Outreach Center in Rio Grande. The Branches Outreach Center is located at 201 Hirst Ave. in Rio Grande. It is a multiple activity outreach center which provides a safe, positive environment for the elderly, homeless, and marginalized individuals and families. Guests are offered clothing, meals, company, and compassion. The regular hours of 8:30 to 1:30 (M-F) and Saturdays 10-12 noon are extended during Code Blue. The agency also offers assistance to families experiencing food insecurity through the school system in Lower Township and operates a food pantry for community families. Most of the services offered are provided by volunteers who support the Branches’ mission.
“I have to recognize Sandra Lockhart and Terri Mascione for all of their work over the past several years. They are the heart of the Branches and have helped so many of our residents who have behavioral health issues. The agency has grown significantly and will continue to expand under the leadership of the new Executive Director, Maria Elena Hallion.” said Commissioner Pierson.
“We, as the Cape May County Board of County Commissioners, are privileged to recognize the efforts of these three recipients. Their work makes our County a much better place to call home” said Commissioner Pierson.