Press Releases

Coopermans Pledge $250,000 to ECLC of New Jersey's Program for Adults with Special Needs

The Coopermans have been longtime supporters of ECLC of New Jersey!

Thanksgiving is still two weeks away, but ECLC of New Jersey is already deeply thankful for an expected gift.

          Leon and Toby Cooperman of Short Hills have generously pledged to give a $250,000 challenge grant to support ECLC's campaign to raise $5 million for the P.R.I.D.E. program for adults with special needs.

            Contributions of up to $50,000 made this year will be doubled by a matching $50,000 from the Leon and Toby Cooperman Family Foundation. This $50,000 match will be repeated for the next four years for a potential total of $250,000!

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            The Coopermans support many nonprofits, and ECLC is especially close to them. For 25 years, Toby Cooperman was a Learning Disability Teaching Consultant at ECLC's Chatham school and now serves on the Board of Trustees.

            "We believe in the P.R.I.D.E. mission and want to ensure that P.R.I.D.E. continues for many years to come," said Toby and Leon Cooperman about why they're supporting our campaign.

            This wonderfully generous couple has signed the Warren Buffet Giving Pledge, a commitment in which affluent individuals have pledged to give away the majority of their wealth.

            The two come from modest beginnings and attribute their self-made success story to hard work, persistence and a little luck. They grew up in New York City and met at Hunter College. After graduation, they embarked on divergent career paths. Toby earned a master's degree in special education, while Leon took off to start a Wall Street career at Goldman Sachs, where he rose to become general partner and Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. He retired after 25 years, and in 1991 founded a private investment firm, Omega Advisors, which has $7.4 billion under management.

Gift Supports $5 Million Campaign     

            The challenge grant supports a fund-raising effort started last year by another Short Hills Family. In December 2014, ECLC's Executive Director, Bruce Litinger, along with his wife, Renee, and children, Jonathan, Lindsay and Julie, launched an endowment for P.R.I.D.E. In less than a year, they have raised $432,000.

            "We are so grateful for all the support in the past year," said Bruce Litinger, "and hope this generous gift from Toby and Leon energizes our campaign. We need to raise $50,000 before the end of the year to meet their challenge, and I am counting on all our friends and supporters to get us there."

Why is ECLC Fund-Raising for P.R.I.D.E.?

            The P.R.I.D.E. program was started eight years ago for graduates of ECLC’s special-needs schools in Chatham and Ho-Ho-Kus for students with autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities.

            The schools place a strong emphasis on transitioning from school to work, but for some students, the workplace was not an option. Some graduates were languishing at home, isolated from their peers and the community. So, P.R.I.D.E. was launched to help those young adults continue growing and enhancing their independent living skills.

            P.R.I.D.E. began in September 2008 as a pilot program with 17 alumni. Today, P.R.I.D.E. serves 142 adult clients at two fully equipped centers. The program is so successful that ECLC school graduates from many years ago are returning to enroll in the program. Clients range in age from 21 up to 42. This speaks both to the success of P.R.I.D.E. and, sadly, to the lack of other suitable options for adults with special needs.

            While demand for placement in P.R.I.D.E. continues to grow, government funding is decreasing. The Endowment will help to:

  • Supplement day-to-day operating costs
  • Start new centers when current centers reach capacity
  • Purchase equipment, such as vans, computers and more
  • Provide emergency funding for compassionate reasons related to client and family aging issues

Supporting P.R.I.D.E.

            If you want to join this special campaign to sustain the P.R.I.D.E. program, please consider making a donation at the ECLC Website. Checks should be made out to the "ECLC Foundation" and sent to:

ECLC Foundation
P.R.I.D.E. Endowment
100 Passaic Avenue, Suite 1
Chatham, N.J., 07928

For more information, contact ECLC Foundation Director, Heather Alonge (973-635-1705 X17).

About ECLC

            Established in 1970, ECLC of New Jersey offers "Education, Careers and Lifelong Community." It is an accredited, nonprofit and serves children and adults, including those diagnosed with autism, Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities. ECLC operates schools in Chatham and Ho-Ho-Kus, educating nearly 300 students, from ages 5-21. All students graduate ECLC with a clear plan for their future!  ECLC offers employment services through an affiliate, Community Personnel Services, based in Chatham, or opportunities for placement in the P.R.I.D.E. adult day/evening program, which has centers in Florham Park and Paramus. Learn more about ECLC.

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Berkeley Heights

Pieces of Time: Applause Rings Out In Two Columbia Middle School Classrooms

February 23, 2018

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Thursday night, the mass murder of students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, seemed to be on everyone’s mind at the Board of Education meeting.

The board observed a moment of silence following the Pledge of Allegiance for the 17 people killed and 14 wounded in the shooting, as well as ...

Local Advisor Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Roth IRA

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the Roth IRA. First made available to American investors in 1998, a Roth IRA is an individual retirement account that is funded with after-tax dollars and provides tax-free growth and income for retirement.

In honor of this significant milestone, Walter Pardo, CEO/Certified Wealth Strategist at Wealth ...

New Providence High School Presents The Addams Family -Tickets are Now On Sale

February 23, 2018

The Addams Family, who first came to life in the 1960s television series, will come back to life and take the stage at New Providence High School in March in a comedic musical twist on the classic story and characters.  Morticia, Gomez, Wednesday, Grandma, Fester, and Lurch, along with new characters and a full cast of Addams Ancestors will bring the creepy, kooky, all together ooky ...

WFP Tax Partners Walks You Through 4 Step Tax Return Process

Over 80% of Tax Returns Have Errors or Missed Deductions. You're Probably Paying More Than Your Fair Share in Taxes

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - Tax returns certainly give a clear picture of the past year, but WFP Tax Partners believes it's wise to strategize for the current year to have a plan for moving forward. 

At your tax appointment, they ...

Reminder: Free Wellness Program for Union County Military Women

All Union County women with military service – veterans, active duty and reserve – are invited to join “Boots 2 Heels,” a free event designed to foster wellness and connect women with resources and guidance for empowerment. Boots 2 Heels will be held on Saturday, February 24 at the Westfield Armory, located at 500 Rahway Avenue in Westfield.

The event is free but ...

CSA's 5th Annual Pasta Dinner Fundraiser Set for Sunday

Is everyone ready to come together as a community and break bread to support the CSA? It's time for The Community Service Association of New Providence's 5th Annual Pasta & Meatball Dinner! This fun, family-friendly event will take place on Sunday, Feb. 25, at the DeCorso Community Center, 15 East Fourth Street, New Providence. Pasta, meatballs, and dessert will be served from 3-7 ...

Colleen Mahr Has Paid Her Dues, Earned Peoples’ Trust, and Left a Track Record of Success

February 20, 2018

Dear Editor:

As a 26-year-old Scotch Plains resident who cares more about the well-being of our town than about local politics, I am extremely disappointed that the Scotch Plains Democratic Committee leadership has decided to abandon Colleen Mahr in her run for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee.

Mahr, who as Mayor of Fanwood for 15 years has worked closely with Scotch Plains ...

We Need More Women Like Colleen Mahr in Municipal, County and State Government

Dear Editor:

I’m proud to support Colleen Mahr for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee  (UCDC) and am encouraging my Scotch Plains peers to join me.

I was a first time candidate wanting to make a difference in my hometown of Scotch Plains, when Mayor Mahr of neighboring Fanwood stepped in to help me campaign and win my election to be Councilwoman three years ago.

Democratic Party Would Be Making a Big Mistake by Not Recognizing Colleen Mahr's Talents

Dear Editor:

Mayor Colleen Mahr has been a valuable friend to the Township of Cranford. Whether it’s offering advice and assistance during devastating flood cleanup, supporting the Mayor's Council on the Rahway River, or her insight and assistance in meeting our affordable housing obligations, Mayor Mahr is always there for Cranford.

Colleen’s fairness and integrity is ...

Chatham Borough Police Chief Crosson has Retired; Captain Gibbons is Acting Commander

February 12, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Phil Crosson Jr., who has been a member of the Chatham Borough Police Department since 1992, retired from his position as the police chief on Feb. 1.

"It came on pretty quickly," Crosson said when reached by phone on Sunday. "I was on vacation for six weeks and I bought a business. I came back for one day and retired."

According to Crosson, ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, February 23

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green


Fri, February 23, 6:30 PM

Union County Vocational Technical Schools, West Hall Cafeteria, Scotch Plains

Union County Magnet High School Silent Auction

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Sat, February 24

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Sat, February 24, 10:00 AM

Municipal Court Room/Council Chambers, BERKELEY HEIGHTS

Return Berkeley Heights Public Library's Books, ...


Sat, February 24, 3:00 PM

White Tiger Dojo, Berkeley Heights

White Tiger Dojo Hosts Trauma Response Seminar: ...

Health & Wellness

Sun, February 25

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

I've Always Wanted to be a Doctor...Or an English Teacher

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As a college admissions representative the first question most students would ask me was whether ...

Now That The Dust Has Settled…Smart Tax Moves In 2018

Now that the dust has settled, here are some smart tax moves to lower your taxes and/or avoid higher taxes/penalties in 2018. These steps may be especially helpful if you live in high property and high income tax states (e.g. New Jersey, New York, California) since state and local tax deductions are capped.  Unfortunately all these changes mean you’ll need more time and energy to ...