BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Pulling off the Open House to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad would not have been possible without the crew of “auxiliary soldiers,” said Howie Meyer, the chairperson of the event.
The soldiers, all from the Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad Auxiliary, included Margaret Illis, Sue Meyer, Jane Brown and Arlene Vezza. Assisting them on Saturday, Sept. 22, were a host of squad members including those who “ride,” have ridden, and Cadets. They all turned out in force for the four-hour celebration at the squad building on Locust Avenue. The event also attracted a number of folks who were interested in joining the squad. They dropped by to find out what is involved and how to make it happen.
Children explored the ambulance, checked out a fire truck and enjoyed a bounce house, games and snacking. Volunteers cooked up hot dogs and popcorn, and offered pasta salad, pizza, donuts, iced tea and water to all.
Dr. Patrick Smith, of the Smith Chiropractic Foundation which runs the BH5K, donated a check for $1,000 for the purchase of a new ambulance. Accepting the donation were Squad President Joe Savino and Squad Chief Ori Sternberg. Savino, who just had a complete knee replacement, used a cane as he gingerly walked over to the ambulance. He claimed he was following doctor’s orders and getting in part of that day’s physical therapy at the celebration.
Throughout the afternoon people visited the various booths, including the squads on child and adult CPR. There were raffles, an opportunity to purchase mementos of the squad, contribute to Leah’s Lemonade Stand – run by Leah Dasti, with all profits going to the squad; buy popcorn from Cub Scout Park 368 and pick up a few baked goods donated by squad members at the bake sale table.
The Sharing Network, headquartered in New Providence, had a booth with information on how to become an organ donor.
Be Smart offered information on how to keep guns out of the hands of children by being “SMART” – Securing guns; Modeling responsible behavior; Asking others about unsecured guns in their houses; Recognizing risks of teen suicide and Telling your peers to be SMART.
Ruth Brogden shared a message about the Center for Asian Health at the Barnabas Health Medical Group, which offers multi-lingual patient navigation in Mandarin and Chinese, as well as help for those who speak Korean and Taiwanese. The center has made Hepatitis B virus (HBV) one of the targets for which it wishes to raise awareness – about one in 10 Asians have it and few of them are aware they do. A simple blood test can screen for HBV and is available at the center.
ORCAM Technology representative Eve Posner offered those who stopped by the booth an opportunity to try out how their glasses, which have a small camera attached, can “read” something in print and then read it out loud to the wearer.
Sponsors donated goods and services to the event, including: Taylor Rental; Berkeley Heights (BH) Volunteer Fire Department; BH Department of Public Works; BH Recreation Department; Stop and Shop BH; Kings of Gillette; Shoprite of Stirling; Investors Bank; The Knotts Company; Vine Republic (formerly Berkeley Wine)’ Delicious Heights; Dimaio’s; East; Chimney rock; Grain and Cane; Dunkin Donuts; Goodman;s Deli; Bagel Café – New Providence; Rita’s Ices; Berkeley Liquors and Sadal Wine.