Local's Bill Is One Step Closer to Going National
Ava Holly Lewis is attempting to pass a bill that would designate May 20 as a national day to recognize all causes.
A bill sponsored by a local resident that would establish a national day of recognition for all charities is one step closer to becoming reality.
Bill SJR55, proposed by Galloway Township resident Ava Holly Lewis, passed the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee last week and now stands ready for a vote before the full Senate, according to an email Lewis received last week.
The hope is that the bill will be voted on before the senate breaks for summer recess in June. The Senate is also considering the budget, which takes precedence over all other issues at this time.
“I can’t believe it’s gotten this far,” Lewis said. “(State) Sen. (Jeff) Van Drew said it would take a few years. We started last May.”
The bill quickly got the approval of the county and the township, followed by the state Legislature.
“We already have 11 senators behind it (nationally),” Lewis said.
The bill would designate May 20 as a day to recognize all causes nationally. Lewis chose May 20 as the designated date because it was her mother’s birthday. Her mother died of brain cancer, and she lost her father shortly thereafter.
Lewis’s close friend Ted Prior also died of brain cancer on Sunday. Prior was a well-known Elvis impersonator from Galloway who also performed in Ocean City. His funeral is scheduled for Thursday morning.
Visitation is set for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, May 19, at Parsels Funeral Home in Absecon with a service immediately following, according to Neil Regina, The funeral home is at 324 New Jersey Ave. Memorial donations in Prior's memory can be sent to: eeFuerst Foundation for Brain Cancer Research, 75 Iroquois Dr., Galloway Township, NJ 08205.
“This is the week it’s all hitting home,” said Lewis, whose mother’s birthday is Friday.
Lewis has been collecting signatures to fax to state Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-37). At this time, she has about 100 signatures and is looking for more.
“We want to make sure they know we’re not just sitting back,” Lewis said. “We want to be heard.”