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Commencement Ceremonies Going Virtual

As high schools and universities across the country grapple with what to do about commencement ceremonies amid the pandemic this spring, one New Jersey company, Perlow Productions in Marlton, is offering a viable solution to give seniors their moment in the sun: virtual graduation ceremonies.

A safe alternative to walking with classmates in crowded arenas or football stadiums, virtual graduations provide a fun, streaming celebration replete with photos or even videos of each student, commencement speeches by administrators and valedictorians, and even caps tossed in the air – and the benefit of downloading the entire ceremony for posterity.

The desire to offer a semblance of a traditional commencement runs deep. Many schools have announced plans for drive-through ceremonies with Pomp and Circumstance and speeches played over PA systems, and drive-in ceremonies in old drive-in theaters, with families safely ensconced in their cars and audio broadcast on local public access radio stations.

Virtual ceremonies, including polished multimedia elements, are yet another way to deliver students a sense of closure and families an avenue to feel the pride they’ve imagined for years.

“This is the time of year when caps and gowns are being ordered, when diplomas are being printed, when hotel rooms are being booked. The sudden cancellation of in-person ceremonies is heartbreaking for students and parents alike, but we live in a time when we can substitute online experiences to allay that disappointment a little bit,” said Mike Perlow, founder and president of Perlow Productions. “Is it the same? No, but it can be rewarding and morale-boosting in its own way, and shareable in a way live ceremonies typically aren’t. And many schools will do virtual now, with live ceremonies planned later when it’s safe to do so.”  

Perlow, a former Boston TV sportscaster, said he has fielded inquires from multiple schools in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida, California, Maryland, Minnesota, Washington, and even China. “COVID-19 has impacted virtually everywhere, and schools everywhere want to recognize their graduates during this season – it’s universal. Right now, the need to stay safe and adhere to social distancing is the priority, and that means getting creative in terms of all kinds of activities.”

Perlow Productions, whose typical focus is corporate video production, animation and augmented reality, pivoted when everything started to shut down and stay-at-home orders swept the country. Seeing the quandary schools were facing, Perlow saw a way to help fill a void using the company’s creative skills and technical know-how.

The company began offering three turn-key packages this month, with pricing based on a graduating class of 500 students. All include at least one address by a school official and the pronouncement of each graduate by name along with their photo on-screen. Additional options include a “procession” accompanied by Pomp and Circumstance and candid photos of the graduates, additional speeches and presentations, integration of video clips, and secure streaming online and on social media pages of the full virtual graduation production. Traditional moments, including the shifting of tassels and tossing of caps, can be added via video as well.

Perlow will work with schools to further customize the commencement experience based on their individual needs or wishes and larger or smaller class sizes. “Almost nothing is out of the realm of possibility,” he said.

Perlow Productions is a corporate video production, animation and augmented reality company based in Marlton, N.J. It creates highly strategized, branded video content for a wide array of industries and organizations. It also produces interactive videos, event live-streams, and one-of-a-kind aerial video tours.

For more information, visit

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Mt. Ephraim’s Philly Pretzel Factory Donates 20,000 Pretzels to Local Healthcare Workers During COVID-19 Pandemic

Today Philly Pretzel Factory in Mt. Ephraim will be donating 2,750 pretzels to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center as part of the stores store’s #PretzelItForward campaign.

The goal is to donate 20,000 pretzels to local healthcare workers as they remain on the front-line throughout this the COVID-19 crisis.  

“During this time of uncertainty, our community has rallied around our small business and we can’t thank them enough; to pay it forward we created the Pretzel It Forward campaign,” said Bob Tilton, owner of Philly Pretzel Factory in Mt. Ephraim. “I set a goal for our store to donate 20,000 pretzels to hospitals and medical offices who are on the frontline battling COVID-19 and we’re happy to meet that goal today. If we needed to, we would donate another 20,000 pretzels to help these groups.”

Health care workers from Jefferson Methodist (Image provided)

Organizations the store donated to include Cooper University Health Care, Temple Health,  Virtua, Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, Inspira, Jefferson Comprehensive Breast Center, Camden Veterans Clinic, and Gloucester EMS, among others. 

Temple Hospital healthcare workers (Image provided)
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Medical Examiner’s Office Asks for Public’s Help With Identifying Unclaimed, Deceased Individuals

The Gloucester/ Camden/ Salem County Medical Examiner’s Office is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the following deceased individuals who remain unclaimed.

These deaths are not related to the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

The deceased individuals are:

  • George Allgier
  • John Ash
  • Ward Ashton
  • Bridget Carroll
  • Arlene Davis
  • Terry Garrity
  • Donald Holtze
  • Irene Krezmein
  • Robert Landers
  • Carolyn Moffa
  • John A. Murphy
  • Joseph Stewart
  • Charles Thilo
  • Frank Waters

If the Medical Examiner’s Office does not receive a response to this notice regarding any of the deceased individuals on or before May 2, 2020, arrangements will be made for immediate burial without further notice.

Anyone that is a relative, or knows of a relative of these individuals, is asked to call the Medical Examiner’s Office at (856) 218-4190.

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United Way of Gloucester County Announces “Live United” Mini Grant Recipients

United Way of Gloucester County (UWGC) has announced that nine local nonprofit agencies in the community will benefit from “Live United” mini grants. These grants are for nonprofit organizations that provide services to Gloucester County residents.

The funds were generated by the members of the Live United 365 Small Business Circle, who donate a dollar a day to support these grants.

“The mini grant program has proven to be a great way for United Way to address community needs and build partnerships with other nonprofit organizations to make a difference in the lives of Gloucester County residents,” said Michael Gower, Executive Director of United Way of Gloucester County. “We are grateful to the Live United 365 Small Business Circle members that made these grants possible.”

The recipients of the 2019 “Live United” mini grants are:

  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Gloucester County – “Teach us How to Fish” program to train four staff members on the latest program innovations
  • Clarifi –financial counseling for low-to-moderate income residents
  • Emmanuel Cancer Foundation – gas station and supermarket gift card assistance program
  • Greater Woodbury Cooperative Ministries – assisting families in need with preparing for the Thanksgiving holiday
  • King’s Things – to purchase two new refrigerators to increase quality and quantity of perishable items
  • People for People Foundation – assist six Veterans with grants of $250 to help with basic needs
  • SHADOW Equestrian – to provide thermal sleeveless vests for young special needs riders
  • Sketch Club Players – for educating youth in performing arts and to be a well-rounded member of society
  • South Jersey Dream Center – to obtain barcode scanners to help with the processing procedure for the food and clothing distribution efforts.

“As a small business that supports the business community it’s not always easy to support our nonprofits who do so much to help everyone,” said Les Vail, President and CEO of the Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce.” The United Way 365 campaign has provided that opportunity for companies like us to support those organizations who give back.”

Members of the 365 Small Business Circle also include Lisa Carney Retail Agency, Graphics Solutions, Bellia Print and Design, Clear Path by Cindy, Nancy Kowalik Real Estate Group, HFM Investment Advisors, Telecorp Inc, Cipriani Remodeling Solutions, Cepha Inc, Death of the Fox Brewing Company, PCH Technologies, Botto’s Italian Line, Graham Communication, TummyTee, ASL Transportation Group, Sweetsboro Pastry Shoppe, Montecino and Ciaccia CPAs, Your CBD Store of Gibbstown, the Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce, Formal Flash Photography and DJs Available.

United Way of Gloucester County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to Building Better Lives by funding impactful programs and initiatives. This local United Way is the leader in building community capacity to foster individual well-being.

With a focus on education, financial stability and health, UWGC supports over 25 programs and initiatives for Gloucester County residents.

To learn more about United Way of Gloucester County or to donate, visit For information about the mini grant program, contact Nicole Morse, Director of Community Initiatives at 856-845-4303 ext. 13 or To learn more about the Live United 365 Small Business Circle, contact Margie Brining, Director of Donor and Agency Relations, at 856-845-4303 ext. 12 or

Updated: October 9, 2019 at 10:52 a.m.; October 14, 2019 at 8:05 p.m.

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Magnolia Girls Softball Community Flea Market, Craft Show & Hoagie Sale Sept. 14

Magnolia Girls Softball, 321 Warwick Road, is hosting a Community Flea Market, Craft Show, and Hoagie Sale on Saturday, September 14, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to help raise money for the league.

All vendors and crafters are welcome.

Pre-registration is required and will not be accepted the day of the event. 

Space will be provided and you provide the table, tent, chairs, etc. Space sizes are about 9 ft wide x 18 ft long — perfect for an eight-foot table.

Reserve a space for $20, sell your items, and keep the profit.

Ways to Reserve a Space:

1. Call/Text 856-477-3815
2. Send an email to: 
3. Register online:
4. Download and mail the completed application with payment:

Italian, American, and Turkey Hoagies will be available from 9:00 a.m. until sold out. Pre-order by calling or texting 856-477-3815 or emailing