WESTFIELD, NJ – On Valentine’s Day, resident Doug Lynch has a message for the community: Please help in his effort to raise funds for his close friend, Dan Weiniger, a Westfield resident who is preparing for open heart surgery on Monday.

On Friday at 5 p.m., Lynch launched a fund drive on GoFundMe.com to raise money to purchase a whole house generator to be installed at Weiniger’s Westfield home. The fundraising goal is $8,736. By Saturday afternoon, over $1,200 had been donated.

The generator will provide a guaranteed source of electricity needed to recharge daily Weiniger’s new left ventricular assist device (LVAD), which will be implanted during Monday’s operation at Morristown Memorial Hospital. The LVAD will help Weiniger’s heart pump blood more effectively.

Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

In the last few years, the region has lost power several times for prolonged stretches due to hurricanes and an ice storm. For this reason, the generator is crucial to Weiniger’s well-being.

“If the power goes out, it’s literally life and death,” said Lynch.

To donate, visit http://www.gofundme.com/DanWeinigersLVAD.

Fourteen years ago, Weiniger, now 53, underwent successful quintuple bypass surgery and was doing well until he suffered a heart attack last week, which caused severe damage to his heart.

“Dan is now in heart failure, and another bypass is not an option. Neither are new drugs or stents,” reads the statement on GoFundMe.com.

Lynch met Weiniger through Westfield’s chapter of Business Networking International, of which they have both served as presidents.

Weiniger, who is married to Jan and is the father of 14 year-old Eliza, owns and operates Home Video Studio in Westfield, where he specializes in transferring VHS recordings to DVDs.

“What he does is help families preserve their memories in a more permanent state,” Lynch said. “Dan is one of the kindest people I know.”

Lynch, who owns A-1 Basement Solutions in Scotch Plains, said that Weiniger is in the coronary care unit at Morristown Memorial awaiting surgery Monday.

“I consider it a great honor to do something for him,” said Lynch. “Also, I’d ask everyone who reads this to keep Dan in their prayers.”