Exceptional volunteer efforts in the wake of Superstorm Sandy earn special shorewide honors for Patrick J. Strucke of Toms River.

Patrick J. Strucke (r) with FoodBank Executive Director Carlos Rodriguez (l) (Marion Lynch)

The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties will bestow Junior Humanitarian of the Year honors on him at their Humanitarian Gala, April 26 at Eagle Oaks Country Club in Farmingdale.

The third-year student at High School East occupies a dais with Asbury Park Press Publisher and President Tom Donovan, the Marowitz family that operates Franks Big and Tall Shops, Rumson restauranteur and Board member Emeritus Jim Filip, and the Red Bank-based Lunch Break agency.

The emcee is NJ 101.5's premier music host, Big Joe Henry. Tim McLoone and The Shirleys provide the entertainment.

According to the Neptune-based FoodBank, Patrick demonstrated uncommon commitment at the storm shelter in his school, part of a team that tended the needs of vicitms for nine straight days.

After it closed, he transferred his energy to the People's Pantry Relief Center in the township.

But that's only part of the story for the footballer and Student Council member. Patrick also served as a student aide for the Multiple Handicapped Summer Program at Central Regional High School in Bayville, has been a regular participant in the Crop Walk for Hunger.

Proceeds from the Gala help support the FoodBank's efforts to ease hunger in Monmouth and Ocean Counties. In 2013, the organization says, it distributed more than 8,000,000 pounds of food to more than 260 hunger-relief and hurricane-relief sites.

Co-chairs of the event are Maria Farhat Tanzola, Toms River, and Colts Neck residents Mary Spano Gleckner and Gina Petillo.

See more about it on their web page, view their Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter.