(June 10, 2022 - East Brunswick, NJ) -- To memorialize the life of Hammonton Police Officer/School Resource Officer Corporal Richard Jones, the EDP Foundation – the charitable arm of EDP Soccer – has awarded an academic scholarship to Hammonton High School senior Sydney Sorrentino.
Corporal Jones tirelessly served his community as a police officer for 21 years and he had a special impact on many students during his long tenure in the school system as a School Resource Officer. Cpl. Jones had a strong bond with the students and earned their trust and respect. His work made the Hammonton School District a safer place for students, faculty and staff and he was beloved by those he served.
During an emotional end of school year awards ceremony on Tuesday, June 7, 2022, at Hammonton High School, the Richie Jones Memorial Altruism Scholarship closed out the memorable evening as the final award of the Citizenship, Leadership, and Service Awards. It was presented by the EDP Foundation in the amount of $2,500 dollars and awarded to Sorrentino, a college-bound high school senior soccer player from Hammonton, NJ who demonstrated the exceptional qualities of Corporal Richie Jones—volunteerism, community service, positivity, and empathy.
“This scholarship was awarded to a student-athlete who positively impacted the world around them like Cpl. Jones,” said EDP Foundation Board of Directors Chair Peter Gooding.
Sydney was a senior soccer player on Hammonton’s girls’ varsity soccer team, as well as team captain and a 4-year starter. She is an accomplished player receiving many accolades while playing with club teams South Jersey Elite Barons (SJEB) and Player Development Academy (PDA). “She embodies the qualities and principles that Corporal Richie Jones stood for and exemplified his values,” Gooding said.
Some of Sorrentino’s volunteering work included raising money for the community through special events with her soccer club programs. She organized fundraising for the Special Olympics with SJEB, and participated in the SEVA project through PDA, which collects and distributes lightly used soccer gear to those in need. With the In beTWEEN Girls, a non-profit group designed to develop leadership traits and skills in the teenage girls, she raised funds to provide adapted bicycles for children with special needs.
Also, during High School she participated in social service activities, including Hammonton’s Peer Mediation program, Student Council, and the LEO Club. She raised funds for her class through the Mr. Hammonton Pageant. After her mother’s battle with breast cancer, she supported cancer fundraisers, such as the Powder Puff Event, which raises donations for the Hammonton Cancer Foundation. Her father mentored her work with the Township of Hamilton School District’s Secret Santa program for challenged families, and events to support officers that had been injured or killed in the line of duty.
Sydney is headed to Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL this Fall where she will be studying Elementary Education and playing on the Women’s Soccer team.
Pictured L to R: Chief Kevin Friel, Hammonton PD; Jennifer Jasper, EDP Soccer; Barbara Jones, Richie’s wife; Sydney Sorrentino, Scholarship Recipient; and Lieutenant Dave D’Amico, Waterford Township PD
Sydney Sorrentino, 2022 Recipient of the EDP Foundation Richie Jones Memorial Altruism Scholarship
Gooding noted: "The EDP Foundation was inspired by the life and character qualities of Richie Jones, and we are hopeful that this honorary scholarship will serve to recognize his contributions and service. The EDP Foundation takes great pride in recognizing individuals that make an impact on lives of youth soccer players, and Richie was a positive role model to all who knew him. This year’s recipient, Miss Sorrentino, has a clear passion and dedication to supporting her local community just as Richie did."
Hammonton Police Chief Kevin Friel stated, “Corporal Richie Jones was an incredibly dedicated officer that served Hammonton for 21 years and wouldn’t hesitate to assist anyone that asked for his help. The Hammonton Police Department is proud to honor his service and memory by supporting this scholarship. Our department has a great appreciation for how Richie’s life and work has positively impacted the high school students he served and the youth in our community.”
Lieutenant Dave D’Amico, Waterford Township Police Detective recalled, “In 2007, I met Richie when I was assigned as the Waterford Police Liaison to Hammonton High School. We immediately kicked off our working relationship like we have known each other for years. By teaming up together we were able to solve a lot of incidents that crossed the borders between Waterford and Hammonton. We had some great memories and stories; he will be dearly missed.”
Dr. Kimberly Rudnesky, Hammonton High School Assistant Principal said, “It was my honor to work alongside Richie for many years at Hammonton High School. It was my privilege to see the way he cared about students and staff. His efforts have made a lasting positive impact on the school community. With his great sense of humor, he made people laugh every day. With his huge heart, he made people smile and feel a sense of belonging. He truly leaves behind a legacy of goodwill! He will always be missed in the halls of Hammonton High School.”
"I am so grateful that this scholarship could be established in Richie’s name because he believed so strongly in higher education and supporting student-athletes. His love and dedication to the students at Hammonton High School was a priority in his life. I am deeply thankful for the EDP Foundation making this happen and for this recognition. My sincerest congratulations to the recipient, Sydney Sorrentino," added Barbara Jones, Richie’s wife.
Here is a little more about Officer Richie Jones’ story:
Richard W. Jones Cpl. #971, age 53 of Hammonton, NJ passed away Thursday, March 31, 2022. Richard was born and raised in Hammonton where he graduated from St. Joseph High School in 1986. He served his community as a Hammonton Police Officer for 21 years, achieving the rank on Corporal in 2016.
Corporal Jones retired in January 2022 as the Hammonton High School Resource Officer, a position he held from 2005-2009 and 2011-2021. He had a special impact on many of the students during his time at the school.
His passion for riding motorcycles lead him to join the Centurions Motor Cycle Club of South Jersey. In his spare time, Richie loved to hunt and fish but watching his son Brandon’s sporting events brought him the most joy.
About EDP and the EDP Foundation:
Elite Development Program Soccer, or EDP Soccer, manages youth soccer leagues and tournaments across NJ and the entire East Region alongside US Youth Soccer. The EDP Foundation is a non-profit organization, which strives to positively impact and enhance the development of the youth soccer community by connecting players with opportunities to further their academic careers. The organization create scholarship opportunities that support bright, passionate, and ambitious students who are seeking to improve the world in their own way.
To learn more about this scholarship, visit edpfoundation.org/scholarships-altruism. To learn more about EDP Foundation Scholarships and the EDP Foundation’s other EDP Pathway to College™ programs, visit edpfoundation.org/scholarships.
About The Hammonton Police Department:
Access the Hammonton Police Department Citizen Services Program website, please visit hammonton.prophoenix.com. On the portal, you will be able to view the crime map, report an incident or crime, view road closures, request an accident report, and much more. Follow the department on social media and tag #hammontonstrong. Learn more by visiting townofhammonton.org/police.