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Governor's Office of Volunteerism
P.O. Box 456
Trenton, NJ 08625

Tel: (609) 633-9627
Fax: (609) 777-2939

Lieutenant Governor Guadagno Recognized the 2016 Governor’s Jefferson Award Recipients

On June 6, 2016, Lieutenant Governor Guadagno recognized the 2016 Governor’s Jefferson Award recipients at an awards ceremony at the Newark Museum.  The 22 honorees, selected from 583 nominees, are among the 1.5 million New Jersey volunteers who provide more than 170 million hours of service each year.  The Lieutenant Governor acknowledged the import of their work:  “Whether working as individuals or as part of teams, volunteers have demonstrated the very meaningful impact of compassion and service to others.  We celebrate and congratulate this year’s medalists who personify these qualities and serve as role models for their fellow citizens.” 

Gail Houlihan is one of the exemplary volunteers who received a Governor’s Jefferson Award.  Her mission has been to ensure that foster children find a permanent home in which they could grow in and thrive.  In pursuit of this, in 1978 she helped establish New Jersey's Child Placement Review (CPR) system, which relies on volunteers in the Family Courts to ensure that children in foster care have permanent families. Houlihan also serves as a volunteer on the CPR board in Burlington County and is an emeritus member of the statewide CPR Advisory Council, which she chaired for two terms.  At the time the CPR was established, it was the first such system of its kind in New Jersey and the second in the country. 

Houlihan said the award is not just for her, but for those who have worked with her to serve children in New Jersey.  "Receiving the Jefferson Award has been an honor I never expected," she said. "I accepted it with the knowledge that I was representing the hundreds of volunteers who have served, and who are currently serving, as Child Placement Review Board members in every county in New Jersey."

Profiles of all of the honorees can be found on and The Star-Ledger. To nominate a volunteer for 2017 or to learn more about the NJ Governor's Jefferson Awards, visit