DENVILLE, NJ –Denville Mayor Thomas Andes proclaimed April as “National Donate Life Month” during a regular meeting of the Denville Municipal Council on Tuesday, April 2. Kathy Farrell accepted the proclamation on behalf of the NJ Sharing Network, a New Providence-based nonprofit organization “responsible for the recovery and placement of donated organs and tissue for those in need of a life-saving transplant,” its website states.

Farrell is the mother of Donald “Donnie” Farrell III, whose organs and tissue were donated after a tragic mugging and murder in 2007. Donnie, a 19-year-old-sophomore at Rowan University at the time, was assaulted and robbed the evening of Rowan’s homecoming on Oct. 27, 2007. Donnie never recovered from his injuries and ultimately died the following day from a ruptured artery in his neck. His assailants were never apprehended, and Donnie’s case remains unsolved to this day, even with the offer of a $100,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in connection with his death.

Donnie became a registered organ donor at age 17 when he earned his New Jersey driver’s license, his mother shared. Two years later, his selfless act would save three lives.

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In accepting the proclamation, Farrell urged those in attendance to give organ donation serious consideration and visit to learn more about the local demand for such benevolence.

According to Farrell, 150,000 people in the United States need life-saving organ or tissue transplants; 20 people die per day as they wait.

“The need in New Jersey is great,” stated Farrell. Four thousand people in New Jersey need life-saving transplants – four in Denville, nine in Boonton and 16 in Parsippany – the Boonton resident shared.

Donnie’s organ and tissue donation helped Farrell and her family move forward in their lives. The second oldest of four children and the eldest son, Donnie was special, a “shining star,” Farrell recalls.

Thousands attended Donnie’s wake and funeral to pay their respects. Boonton Township erected a memorial at RVA Johanson Memorial Fields and Park (also known as RFL Fields) to honor him.

Anyone with information concerning Donnie’s murder can leave a tip with the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office at 856-307-7180 or through the MyPD app.

Those seeking more information about NJ Sharing Network can visit its website. is a member of the New Jersey Press Association and is a hyperlocal news site that serves residents, organizations and business owners of Denville, New Jersey.

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