Giving Back

Cranford's "Friends of Colin" Keep on Giving

R.McGann, M.McKay, G. Hoffman Credits:

CRANFORD, NJ – What began as something personal, a way to honor the memory of a neighborhood friend, turned into a foundation, "Friends of Colin," that has donated about $25,000 to cancer research, specifically Ewing sarcoma.

Colin Maher was 16 years old when he succumbed to Ewing sarcoma, a rare pediatric bone cancer, on February 9, 2010.  In 2011, three neighborhood friends; Ryan McGann, Gary Hoffman and Maggie McKay, all members of the foundations executive board, wanted to keep the memory and spirit of Maher alive. The idea for an egg-hunt in his honor, was a “no-brainer,” according to Ryan McGann, the organizations executive director, Maher would host a neighborhood egg-hunt every year. McGann stated, “Colin was passionate about candy, he would make sure every kid received the same amount of eggs and prizes. It just made sense to turn what Colin loved to do around and raise money and awareness for cancer research.”

The idea to begin a non-profit in Maher’s memory came from McGann. Once the concept for the egg-hunt developed,McGann, Hoffman and McKay realized they did not want their donations to go to a large charity, not focused on pediatric cancer.  The group struggled with raising funds and gaining sponsorships for the event, McGann said. “Many people had difficulty taking three kids with an idea seriously.” So, he took it upon himself, bought a “501 (c) 3 Charity for Dummies” book and that is how “Friends of Colin” began.

Sign Up for E-News

“Friends of Colin,” sponsors events throughout the year in addition to its trademark egg-hunt. In June they host a “Call for a Cure,” benefit concert at CHS, where they partner with the musical department from the high-school. The fall brings their “Awareness Campaign,” in years past they have sold wristbands and distributed literature to the schools.

The fifth annual egg-hunt is happening this Saturday, March 28, 11:00 a.m. at Hanson Park. The event has grown since its inaugural hunt, the first year saw 60 participants and last year had about 150.

Friends of Colin works in partnership with Georgetown Medical Center, specifically Dr. Jeff Toretsky. Toretsky works solely on research in Ewing sarcoma, something the organization is firmly committed to sponsoring.

According to their website, the organization’s mission is: The Friends of Colin is a nonprofit organization committed to working towards a cure for Ewing sarcoma pediatric bone cancer. Fighting cancer contains two main components: awareness and fundraising. Awareness is accomplished through events and media that spread information on Ewing sarcoma. Hopefully, by telling others of the dangers of Ewing sarcoma and the underfundedness of its research, we can increase support for our cause.

For more information visit them at,


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Chlorine Drum Rupture Shuts Down Nomahegan Swim Club in Westfield

July 13, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — A ruptured chlorine drum has forced closure of Nomahegan Swim Club on Springfield Avenue Friday afternoon.

According to a Westfield police officer on the scene, a 1,000-gallon drum of chlorine ruptured.

In addition to the swim club being closed, some area streets around the swim club near the border of Mountainside and Springfield were cordoned off. According ...

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

July 11, 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 ...

Hispanic Theatre Festival at CDC Theatre in Cranford

July 13, 2018

Hispanic Theatre Festival Bringing Bar Manolo to CDC Theatre in Cranford Spanish-language theatre is alive and well in New Jersey. For the second straight year, the CDC Theatre in Cranford NJ will feature its Hispanic Theatre Festival, its Festival de Teatro Hispanico, for four performances July 26-28.

Despite a large and vibrant Hispanic population of 1.2 million in the state, the creators of ...

Westfield Area YMCA: Take Swim Lessions This Summer

The Westfield Area YMCA is providing a free one-week guest pass to non-members which will also enable access to purchase a week of swim lessons at full member rates during the summer.  The one-week guest pass includes use of the Y’s fitness facilities, land and water group exercise classes and open gym/swim.

“Our goal is to have people of all ages and skill levels grow to ...

'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 ...

Open Letter to Cranford Planning Board

July 6, 2018

Open Letter to Cranford Planning Board:

As you know, Hartz is scheduled to go before the Planning Board on July 18th.  Since last year, Hartz has postponed their meeting numerous times with no pushback that we can see whatsoever from the Planning Board.  

We are asking the Planning Board to direct the planning board attorney to send Hartz’s counsel a letter requiring that ...