SUMMIT, NJ - The Chatham High School Health & Wellness Club made and delivered more than 200 Valentine’s Day cards to the Overlook Auxiliary for Covid-19 patients at Overlook Medical Center.

The students’ aim was to provide these patients with letters that included kind words of encouragement and support and provided positive messages. Both the Auxiliary and Overlook Medical Center were very grateful for the Valentines and noted admiration for the club members’ commitment to service and "giving back." 

The CHS Health & Wellness Club said, “This CHS Health & Wellness Club strongly values the importance of making outreach to our surrounding communities and participating in ‘pay it forward’ activities as a way of giving back to others. Small acts of kindness can reflect empathy, compassion, and love, which we believe are very much needed during these very difficult and unprecedented times."

They also said, “We want to sincerely thank Overlook Medical Center Chief Nursing Officer Mary Pat Sullivan for taking the time to come meet with us and the Overlook Auxiliary Board, specifically Stacy Beckett (Auxiliary Co-President) and Karen Canniffe (Auxiliary Vice President of Membership), for allowing us to be a part of such a special opportunity.” 

The Chatham High School Health and Wellness Club was originally founded by Kate Johnston, Anabella Falkenberg, Hannah Sherman, who are currently Juniors at CHS. These students then requested Mrs. Christine Mahoney, who is the Student Assistance Counselor at the high school, to be their club advisor.

The vision and purpose for starting this club was to bring Chatham High School students together to find ways to promote positive student mental health awareness throughout the school.  

Health & Wellness Club advisor Christine Mahoney said, “Although there have been challenges for this club to partake in certain activities due to the Covid-19 social distancing restrictions, these student club members have been extremely resilient. All of them have been extremely creative in brainstorming  alternative ways to fulfill their goal of helping others, despite some of the challenges that they were presented at times.”

The Overlook Auxiliary is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization founded in 1916 that cultivates a compassionate and comforting environment throughout the entire Overlook Medical Center community with active volunteering and imaginative fundraising. Comprised of more than 250 active members, the Overlook Auxiliary supports important medical center programs like the Breast Center at Overlook, the Pediatric Eating Disorder Center, Atlantic Hospice, Family Medicine, the Oncology Center, and other community organizations like Health Start (an agency with a location at the Overlook campus) and Camp Clover (a camp for children who have suffered loss). It also funds annual nursing scholarships for deserving candidates and has contributed funding for large projects including the Caregiver's Center, the Emergency Department, and the Pediatric Playroom. The Overlook Auxiliary runs two signature fundraisers to benefit Overlook Medical Center - the annual Phantom Ball, a successful “no party” fundraiser, and a biennial Kitchen Tour which features several of the area's fabulous, private kitchens. In addition to the Overlook Auxiliary’s annual special events, the Auxiliary’s major fundraiser is the Gift Shop & Bloom, located in Overlook Medical Center. The Gift Shop & Bloom is an affordable, yet upscale gift shop and floral boutique serving the medical center and public alike. For more information on the Overlook Auxiliary, visit oaux.org or call 908-522-2004.