Ever wonder what motivates someone to volunteer? To give freely of their time… in order to improve the lives of others? To solicit financial support and recognition on behalf of those less fortunate? Meet our very own Gina Petillo, a Parker Family Health Center (PFHC) volunteer, Board Member, and Fundraising Chair.

Gina began volunteering when her two daughters were in grade school: first, as a Girl Scout Troop Leader, and later as a fundraiser with the local PTA. Soon thereafter, Gina’s friend, the mother of a Down’s Syndrome child, asked Gina for assistance selling raffle tickets for an ARC of Monmouth County benefit. Gina jumped on board as a committee member for the charity and has since committed her skills to several philanthropic organizations throughout the area.

In 2004, Dr. Cheslock, President of PFHC, and a social acquaintance of Gina’s, asked Gina to consider volunteering as an administrative assistant at the Parker Clinic. Initially, Gina was instrumental in creating patient forms and questionnaires needed by the clinic for daily operations. Ten years later Gina can still be found volunteering at the center every Thursday morning as she continues to assist with policy and procedural updates for Parker Family.

By 2007, Gina, now both a volunteer and a Parker Family Board Member, stepped up her commitment to Parker Family by becoming the very first Parker Family Fundraising Chair. As Parker Family had recently been named one of the event’s beneficiaries, Gina’s opening role as fund chair was to represent Parker at the gala opening of the Prudential Center in Newark, an event hosted by local celebrity Jon Bon Jovi. Since that night, Gina continues to chair all major fundraising events for Parker Family, including the 2009 “Ride for Parker Family Health Center Event” held at the Monmouth County Horse Show, the 2010 Jon Bon Jovi concert presented at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, and the 2009 and 2012 Bobby Bandiera Hope Concerts performed at the Count Basie Theatre. In addition to all outside fundraising events, Gina manages the Parker Family Health Center Annual Golf Outing. Currently in it’s fifth year, this year’s event will be held on June 23rd at Beacon Hill Country Club in Atlantic Highlands.

Today, Gina dedicates her services to Meridian Health, the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean County, and Parker Family Health Center. Per Gina, “These three charities embrace people who need care. Whether it is medical care or food support, I dedicate my time to assist in their mission.” When asked what gives her the most satisfaction from her volunteer efforts, Gina replied, “Knowing that I have helped touch someone’s life and, hopefully, have given them a better quality of life.”

For Gina Petillo, volunteering is a win-win situation. “A special benefit of giving my time to help those in need has led me on an incredible journey!  To be involved on a daily basis with wonderful, caring individuals who share my ideals and whose friendships I will always treasure.”