DENVILLE, NJ – The color pink dominated Downtown Denville during the seventh annual Pink Witches Night Out event held in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month on Oct. 17. Hundreds of shoppers in pink attire, donning witch hats and other Halloween-inspired costumes, browsed and enjoyed discounts, coupons, giveaways, gift certificates and raffles at their favorite stores and restaurants. Some establishments offered free samples. A few bars served pink-colored cocktails.

Organized by the Downtown Denville Business Improvement District (BID), Pink Witches Night Out encourages visitors to shop, dine and partake in fun activities in Downtown Denville while raising funds for a breast-cancer-related charity. This year, Cancer Hope Network (CHN), a nonprofit organization based in Chester, New Jersey, benefited from shoppers’ largesse. CHN provides emotional support for cancer survivors and their loved ones.

“We are really humbled by the thoughtfulness and generosity of the Denville community,” said Cynthia Gutierrez-Bernstein, CHN’s executive director.

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“For us, it’s encouraging to see a town coming together for a great cause. There needs to be more of this.”

Denville businesswomen and sisters, Cait and Meg Olenowski, owners of Sisters on Broadway, a clothing and accessories boutique, started Pink Witches Night Out six years ago.

“We first wanted to throw a fun event within our store,” said Meg Olenowski.

“We thought of Halloween, ladies’ night out and a charity for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Every year, it grows bigger and bigger with more vendors and sponsors. This year, we have a great organization to work with – Cancer Hope Network. Pink Witches is a feel-good event for cancer survivors who come here to share their stories, while also getting an early feel for the holidays.”

Others echoed Olenowski’s sentiments concerning the success of the event and its purpose.

“Every year, we get more vendors and more sponsors,” said Ryan Gleason, a Denville resident and the executive director of Downtown Denville BID.

“There are even more things in our swag bags we give everyone," Gleason added, which were donated by Saint Clare's Health, a repeat sponsor of the event. "We’re just happy for all the support we have from Denville.”

“We really, really like how Denville is coming together to spread breast cancer awareness,” said Gwen Matthews, the closing manager of Grassroots grocery store and a Netcong resident. Matthews has witnessed firsthand the journey of a breast cancer survivor – her godmother Marlene.

“It makes me feel really good seeing other people here doing good stuff for those who are in the situation my godmother was once in,” said Matthews.

“This is a great night out,” said Denville Councilman Glenn Buie, who wore a pink shirt to show support.

“I’m one of a few who is very fortunate to not have anyone in my family who has been affected by breast cancer. So, I’m thankful for all who make this night happen.”

This article has been updated to mention Saint Clare's Health's donation of the swag bags.


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