BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The neighbors of Whitney Drive in Berkeley Heights have been showing their appreciation to the COVID-19 frontline healthcare workers with a nightly display of cheer.

The neighborhood comes alive as the clock approaches 7 p.m.with families stepping out to their front lawns to the sound of Bill Withers "Lean on Me."  The children and adults alike start banging their pots, shaking their maracas, blowing kazoos, ringing their bicycle bells -- and cheer in appreciation to their heroes. 

Occasionally, even the Berkeley Heights Police, Fire and Rescue Squad have paraded through the neighborhood with a few of their vehicles to show their solidarity in appreciation to the local healthcare heroes.

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Not only do they show their appreciation to the healthcare workers, but this nightly ritual is an event the families look forward to and it provides them a sense of neighborhood normalcy with the sound of children having fun while riding their bikes and scooters and making noise during what can be a lonely period of isolation due to the social distancing mandates.

So, last Friday during the town-wide "clap out" for the healthcare heroes and first responders, it was no different from any other night for this neighborhood.

As the town center fire sirens blared at 7 p.m., you could hear from all corners of the township the noise of pots banging, horns blowing, instruments playing and even dogs howling in appreciation for our healthcare and long-term-care workers, emergency responders and police.  

Berkeley Heights plans to continue with the town-wide "clap out" every Friday at 7 p.m. while our local heroes continue to fight in this battle against COVID-19.