Giving Back

Bridgewater Family Takes Part in 5K to Promote Organ Donation


BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Almost 20 years ago, 12-year-old Bridgewater resident Tim Flavin walked to a friend’s house to borrow hockey equipment – but he never returned home.

Flavin was hit by a car crossing the street at Finderne Avenue and died from his injuries.

From one family’s incredible loss came a gift when they donated his corneas and heart valves to give others a better life.

Sign Up for E-News

And now, Flavin’s mother, Patricia, and the rest of the family participate in the annual 5K Celebration of Life, sponsored by the New Jersey Sharing Network, in New Providence, to advocate for the importance of organ donation.

Patricia Flavin, who said she has always listed herself as an organ donor, said donating her son’s organs wasn’t at the forefront of her mind on that day in 1999.

“But my husband brought it up to the doctors and nurses, we weren’t approached,” she said. “I was on board immediately, I thought it was a great idea.”

“Considering the situation we were in because it was a sudden tragic accident, it was one good thing that came out of a really bad situation,” she added.

In 2013, Flavin said, her friend invited her to run a 5K, which she did, and then she heard about the NJ Sharing Network and the 5K they hold every year.

“I saw they were sponsoring one the following weekend, so I ran by myself in 2013,” she said. 

And in 2014, Team Tim’s Rangers was born.

“We had friends and co-workers run, and the team has grown every year,” she said. “It is so heartwarming to have the love and support from family, friends and coworkers. Even one of Tim’s friends from middle school joins the team every year.”

The NJ Sharing Network, Flavin said, holds two events every year, one in Long Branch and one in New Providence. This year they were held May 20 and June 3.

“I run both,” she said. “They hold two events because of the amount of people who run.”

In addition to the walk and USATF certified race, participants take part in a day of music, dancing, food trucks, kids’ activities, sponsor giveaways and stories attesting to the power of donation.

The foundation through the NJ Sharing Network hopes to raise $1.25 million to increase the number of lives saved through research, family support, public awareness and education about organ and tissue donations and transplantation.

The event, Flavin said, is a celebration of those who have passed, as well as of the lives of those who received transplants.

“And it is about hoping and praying that those who need a transplant can get what they need,” she said. “It’s not a sad event, it’s celebrating life.”

Flavin said she gets to meet other donor families, recipient families, living donors, altruistic donors and others.

“The ultimate goal is to have people be aware that organ donation is possible, and to have them register at the national registry to save other people’s lives or to enhance lives,” she said.

Flavin said they donated her son’s corneas, which allowed two people to see, plus a heart valve to someone else to help them live.

Other kinds of donations, Flavin said, include tissue donations for burn victims, bone transplants and more.

Although she had always been listed as an organ donor, Flavin said she did not know about the Sharing Network before she got involved in the 5K.

“I probably wouldn’t have thought you could volunteer for such an organization,” she said. “We don’t need our organs once we’re gone, so if someone else can benefit, why not? What better gift is there?”

Flavin said her family looks forward to the event every year, and they make a party of it, under a big tent. This year, she said, a young man approached them and introduced himself as a classmate of Tim’s from 1999, and said he still remembers her son.

“His death wasn’t in vain, and some good has come out of it, regardless of the outcome for us,” she said. “He is remembered.”

Those looking to volunteer or participate in future 5K races can contact the NJ Sharing Network through the website at People can also sign up on the national registry as a donor.

This article originally appeared in the July/August issue of The BReeze, out now!

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events

Wed, July 18, 9:00 AM

The Wayrick Gallery, Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: NJ Audubon Photography Instructors’ ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Wed, July 18, 9:00 AM

The Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster,

2018 Members’ Non-Juried Exhibition & Sale

Arts & Entertainment

Thu, July 19, 9:00 AM

The Wayrick Gallery, Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: NJ Audubon Photography Instructors’ ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Somerville Woman Arrested for Shoplifting from Macy's, According to Bridgewater Police Report

July 14, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - A Somerville woman was arrested for allegedly shoplifting more than $400 worth of merchandise from Macy's at the Bridgewater Commons Mall July 7, according to a report from Bridgewater Township Police.

Sara Morales-Silva, 51, was charged with shoplifting after she was found with about $435.04 worth of merchandise from the store.

She was processed and released pending a ...

Cardiologist Takes Helm at Hunterdon Medical Center

July 17, 2018

RARITAN TWP., NJ – There’s a new guy at the top.

Dr. Robert J. Cody is now the Interim President and CEO of Hunterdon Healthcare System, the corporate parent of Hunterdon Medical Center. He replaces long-time chief executive Robert P. Wise, who announced his retirement in May.

Cody brings a varied background to the job. He is a licensed cardiologist, but he also holds an MBA. He ...

Somerville: Gallery Hosts Photo Society's 90th Anniversary Exhibit

July 15, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Arts on Division is presenting “Visions of Raritan Photographic Society – A Celebration of 90 years” from Thursday, July 19 to Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018 at the Gallery on Division, 15B Division Street.

The Raritan Photographic Society, founded in 1929, is the oldest photography club in New Jersey. The exhibit celebrates the organization's 90 years ...

'Servant of Two Masters' exudes foolish fun

‘Servant of Two Masters’ makes for foolish, frivolous fun

By Liz Keill

MADISON, NJ –Carlo Goldoni’s “The Servant of Two Masters,” in a rousing translation and adaptation by Bonnie J. Monte, has the outdoor audience at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey laughing and clapping all the way through.

The yearly production, held at the amphitheatre on the ...

Take Action to Reduce Debt

In our last article, we broached the subject of debt and the township’s reliance – or over-reliance – on debt to fund our yearly expenditures for items such as roads. So, ok, we want to reduce our reliance on debt moving forward, especially as the cost of borrowing is rising. What’s the solution?

Well, there’s no magic wand we can wave to suddenly end ...

Is the Mediterranean Diet Still the Best for Heart Healthy Eating?

The Mediterranean diet has long been the standard for heart healthy eating.  It is a diet that emphasizes olive oil, fresh vegetables, nuts, whole grains over refined grains, fish and plant-based protein over red meat, herbs and spices to flavor food over salt, and fresh fruit for dessert instead of refined sweets. The US News and World Report even named the Mediterranean diet its ...

Celebrate Summer with Freedom & Responsibility

Parents and students rejoice!

School is out and everyone can now experience a great sense of freedom. Kids want to be outside enjoying summer weather and; although it’s the most wonderful season for non-academic activities involving swimming, traveling, and hiking to name a few, let us not forget that summer loss is a serious long-term result of not opening a book or writing for eight ...

Unique Skill Set Offers Students an Advantage

One of our SAT prep students recently gained a lot of attention for being accepted to all seven of the Ivy League schools to which she had applied, as well as to Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) She has chosen to attend M.I.T. and major in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Of course, Diana had earned stellar SAT scores and had a most impressive ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

July 12, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...