Sharon Reel joined Impact100SJ in 2019. Her friend, Nancy Gulick, who she has known for a long time through the Haddonfield schools, was already a member of Impact 100SJ. Nancy sent an email to Sharon about the group and she joined immediately.
Sharon joined the Haddonfield Rotary in 2014 after a visit to India as a member of a group giving oral polio vaccines to children – the Polio Immunization Program in Mumbai, Agra, Jaipur and Delhi. After visiting the residence of Mahatma Gandhi, they toured the Missionaries of Charity founded by Mother Teresa. Team members collected items of clothing at home to leave with the sisters.
The Jaipur Foot Factory manufactured artificial limbs for ‘below the knee’ amputations. An International Rotary Project supported corrective surgery and provided artificial limbs to needy individuals.
In February 2014, they administered oral polio vaccines going door to door with a local nurse. The parents were notified, and the nurse made sure to register the children that received the oral polio vaccine. The area was a poor section of Delhi. This experience in India was a time in Sharon’s life she’ll never forget!
Sharon joined Impact 100SJ because it’s so similar to Rotary. Since becoming a Rotarian, she has been chairman of the grant committee for the Haddonfield Rotary Foundation and was secretary of the Foundation for seven years.
Similar to Rotary, Sharon is thrilled to be a member of Impact 100SJ since she believes you can have more impact on the lives of others as a group rather than as an individual.
Also, Sharon finds the grantees’ site visits to be very interesting and has learned a great deal from being on the Community Health & Well-Being Grant Committee this year. The most recent visit to the Alice Paul Institute inspired her to join the Nonprofit Outreach Committee. Sharon will become a liaison for one of the grant recipients in the coming months.
Sharon is also a member of the annual gala committee for Symphony in C, one of three training orchestras in our country located in South Jersey. The gala raises money for concerts and local music education mostly in Camden.
She attended Mary Washington College in Virginia as a math major. During her junior year there she switched to Douglas College at Rutgers University in NJ. She then became a speech and hearing sciences major. Her practical experience included supervised hours at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital.
After college graduation, she worked for the IMF (International Money Fund) in Washington DC for a summer. Then, Sharon attended Bradley University for graduate school in Illinois to earn a Master’s in speech and hearing sciences. Her first position was with our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Camden, working in the rehabilitation department as a speech therapist for five years. For 30 years, she worked as a speech and language pathologist in public schools in South Jersey. Along the way, she worked with children and adults in her own private practice.
Sharon’s first husband passed in 2008 (with whom she had three children). She remarried in 2019 and now she and her husband live in Cherry Hill. Her oldest daughter, Krista, is a music teacher in Kentucky, married to a musician, and they share two children. Gregory is in Chicago and works in finance and Erica is a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle and is married.
She loves to swim, travel, read and especially loves the arts. Sharon is also a Eucharistic Minister at her church in Haddonfield. As a Eucharistic Minister, Sharon volunteered at Cooper Hospital for two years prior to the pandemic distributing communion to patients in the hospital. Staying involved with church and community activities is a great way to stay active and engaged. She hopes to remain an active member of Impact100 for years to come.