Giving Back

Livingston Kiwanis Club Donates to West Essex YMCA, Other Groups

Livingston Kiwanis Club Donates $10,000 to the West Essex YMCA. (From left): Kiwanis Members Stuart Blumenfield, Celeste Werfel, and Fran Friedrich, Executive Director of the West Essex YMCA Helen Florez, and Kiwanis members Barry Friedrich and Jim Wahler. Credits: Jackie Schatell

LIVINGSTON, NJ - The Livingston Kiwanis Club recently honored Livingston’s West Essex YMCA with a check for $10,000 toward the Y’s Annual fundraising campaign that will help provide membership and program assistance to more than 5,000 children, families and seniors.

The donation helped bring the total collected in Livingston by the West Essex YMCA to $141,605 toward the Association’s goal. Overall, recently, the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges exceeded its $950,000 public Annual Campaign goal by more than $30,000, and has a goal of attracting $1.5 million in all throughout the year.

In 2014, with The Kiwanis Club celebrating 85 years of service in the Livingston community, it has raised and given away more than $1 million.

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The Livingston Kiwanis Club is responsible for numerous past and present contributions to numerous organizations and activities. They support the first-aid squad, fire department, library and many other community organizations, and work with children with special needs. The Club also sponsors the Livingston High School Key Club, encouraging children to take on leadership roles.

Below is a just a partial list of the groups that the charitable Kiwanis Club supported in the latter part of 2013 through 2014.

In November 2013, The Kiwanis Club donated $150 to the Good Grief Program, which provides education, advocacy and year-round peer support groups for children, teens and young adults coping with the death of a parent or sibling.

In December 2013, The Club donated $250 to The Children’s Theater of Livingston, which brings theater to Livingston students in grades 2-8.

In January 2014, the Kiwanians donated $250 to the Horizon School in Livingston, which serves students ages 3-13 with multiple disabilities from throughout New Jersey.

Also in January, the Club donated $5,000 in proceeds from the group’s annual Golf Outing to the Livingston Fire Department and the Livingston First Aid Squad. Both received checks for $2,500. The First Aid Squad will use the proceeds to help defray their expenses in purchasing medical supplies for their four ambulances. The Fire Department will use the proceeds to purchase fire prevention literature for distribution to both local schools and the public during prevention programs conducted throughout the year.

In February 2014, The Kiwanis Club participated in Cycle for Survival, a charitable event close to the hearts of many Livingston residents because it was started by late Livingston resident Jennifer Goodman Linn. The Kiwanians raised and donated over $2,500 in support of rare cancer research, and the event raised close to $11 million dollars. Overall, Cycle has raised over $51.5 million for rare cancer research and contributed to 85 clinical trials and research studies. 100 percent of the money raised goes directly to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for research. The team of Celeste Werfel, Vivian Olshen, Jim Wahler, Bruce Van Ysseldyk, Bruce Ferrara and Ken Nevola took turns on the bike for four hours. To contribute to the Livingston Kiwanis Club team, click here.

Also in February, the Club donated $250 to Write on Sports, which teaches middle school kids the basic elements of good journalism.

About The Livingston Kiwanis Club

The Livingston Kiwanis Club, which was chartered on March 12, 1930, is made up of a group of community volunteers, “Kiwanians,” who work to help children and the community via charitable events and fundraising efforts. Nationally, Kiwanis clubs and members undertake nearly 150,000 service projects each year, contributing more than $107 million and 6.2 million volunteer service hours.

The Livingston Kiwanis Club is responsible for numerous past and present contributions to numerous organizations and activities. Aside from the generous donations mentioned above, the group does so much more.

They sponsor the Livingston High School Key Club and West Orange High School Key Club benefiting thousands of Livingston and West Orange High School students, the annual Livingston 4th of July Swim Karnival, and the annual Kiwanis Karnival, as well as a free special day at the Karnival for children with disabilities. They support the Child ID program in conjunction with the Livingston Police Department, the Livingston Little League, and Lacrosse and Football programs. They also provide a Livingston High School college scholarship program. They also participated in last year’s Livingston Bicentennial Celebration.

The Club also donates to various local organizations including: the West Essex YMCA, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts Council of Essex County, Special Olympics, Children’s Miracle Network Telethon, The Alzheimer's Association, Essex County Court Appointed Advocate program, Essex County Court Appointed Advocate program, Livingston Public Library’s Children’s Department, Foster and Adoptive Family Services and the and the Interfaith Hospitality Network for the Homeless. They also give holiday presents to children at St. Michael’s Hospital and annually host Santa for children at St. Barnabas. In addition, they have done a weekly wine and cheese cart for families of cancer patients at St. Barnabas.

For the town, the club started the subscription drive for community swimming pool, constructed two hard surface tennis courts at Memorial Park, the jogging and walking track at Memorial Park, and the scoreboard at Livingston High School Community Field. In addition, they participate in the Livingston Township fire prevention program, annual Blue-Red softball game for children with disabilities, and Meals on Wheels program delivering meals on the holidays. They also raised funds for the Gazebo in Memorial Park in Livingston, for the purchase of Transportation vans for the community, and Autism research. The Club also purchased Defibrillation units for First Aid Squad and Police Department. They donated a bicycle for the Livingston Police Department, a Mobile vision In-Car video to the Livingston Police Department, an emergency oxygen unit for Livingston Town Hall, Multiple Livingston First Aid Squad vans, Fire Hydrant markers for Livingston Fire Hydrants.

They even provided funds for a cow named, “Little Chief,” for an orphanage in Tuva, Russia to provide fresh milk for the children


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