Press Releases

Junior League’s Newest Members Remodel New Book Pantry for Elementary School Children in Need

  Top Left: Lisa Vick, Provisional Co-Chair; Christine Cofer; Tonya Kittur; Elizabeth Duncan Pederson, Past President (2009-2010); Rie Oberliesen, Roberta Destri; Orange Mayor Eldridge Hawkins, Jr.   Bottom Left: Cynthia Tratnyek, Provisional Co-Chair; Michele Keaveney; Wana Petrucco; Jeanette McDermott; Laura Perry; Christine Ploetner; Meredith Amico; Iris Tan   Provisional Members not pictured: Cheryl Darmanin; Kristi Gerstel; Shanease Guion-Davis; Jody Miller; Felicia Storey; Lauren Teetsel

The newest members of the Junior League of the Oranges and Short Hills (JLOSH) are celebrating the completion of their first volunteer project, remodelling a new Book Pantry at the Cleveland Street Elementary School in Orange. A ribbon cutting ceremony took place on Thursday, April 5, 2012 to mark the opening. JLOSH members and school staff were joined by Orange Mayor Eldridge Hawkins, Jr., Orange Assistant Superintendent Dr. Paula Howard and Orange Board of Education President Patricia Arthur. In addition, a group of third grade students prepared a special musical presentation for attendees to mark the opening.

Over the past two months, JLOSH partnered with the Cleveland School to transform a classroom into an inviting space where school children can obtain new and gently used books they can take home and keep. The space is staged to feel like a bookstore whereby students can read books, listen to audio books and work on a computer.

The project was envisioned by the Cleveland School’s Social Worker Carol Lukoff and realized with the assistance of JLOSH to address the concern that many students of the school do not own books of their own nor have they ever had the pleasure of visiting a bookstore. It is the aim of the Book Pantry to aid the Cleveland School in fulfilling its mission to promote literacy and a lifelong love of reading among its students.

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The renovation involved freshly painted walls, new furniture, window treatments and artwork. In addition, 8200 much-needed books were secured from various donors and book drives, including a recent event JLOSH sponsored at [words] Bookstore in Maplewood on Sunday, March 25, 2012. About 30 children and their parents came out to hear a reading by children’s author Hallie Durand and music by Kelly Heinze of Music & More.

“Our newest members did an amazing job remodelling and stocking free books for the Book Pantry,” stated Kat Eklund, President of JLOSH. “They created a truly magical place that I believe will make a difference in the life of every child that walks into that room. This is a perfect example of how we train our volunteers to go out into the community and really make a difference. We are so grateful that the Cleveland Street Elementary School gave us the opportunity to work with them on this project.”

Orange Mayor Eldridge Hawkins, Jr., said, "On behalf of the City of Orange, I thank the Junior League for their partnership in the future success of our youth. The ribbon cutting ceremony at Cleveland Street School was a great success. I was and remain very proud of the children that performed and expressed excitement about reading books. These are the types of partnerships our administration encourages that make a difference."

Denise White, Principal of the Cleveland Street Elementary School, added, “The Cleveland Street School Family appreciates all the time, effort and hard work of the volunteers from the Junior League. Our students have limited access to books and this donation will make a tremendous difference in their lives. They are excited and have already selected books to read. The Book Pantry will forever be an integral part of our reading program.”

JLOSH would like to thank the many friends and family of the League who have generously donated books and supplies to make the Book Pantry possible, in addition to the following individuals and businesses: Learning Express, Child Play Spot, Glenwood School in Short Hills, Lynda Bradley, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Petrucco, Kelly Heinze, Hallie Durand, [words] Bookstore and Ambassadors for Change.

The newest members are:

From Millburn and Short Hills: Meredith Amico, Christine Cofer, Kristi Gerstel, Michelle Keaveney, Jody Miller, Rie Oberliesen, Wana Petrucco, Christine Ploetner, Iris Tan, Lauren Teetsel

From Maplewood and South Orange: Cheryl Darmanin, Roberta Destri, Shanease Guion-Davis, Janette McDermott, Felicia Storey

From Orange, East Orange and West Orange: Tonya Kittur, Laura Perry

Every year, JLOSH members work together to tackle critical needs of women and children in our area. JLOSH provides service to the communities of East Orange, Orange, South Orange, West Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Millburn, Short Hills and Springfield. Founded in 1913, JLOSH reaches out to women of all races, religions, and national origins. Its purpose is purely educational and charitable. To learn more about JLOSH, visit our website at or find us on Facebook.

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Livingston Lacrosse Senior Jason Scher Named Athlete of the Week

April 20, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Livingston High School senior Jason Scher has been named as TAPinto Livingston’s Athlete of the Week after scoring 14 goals and contributing 15 assists in his last five games—bringing him to a total of 35 points so far this season.

With Scher leading the pack, the Lancers are 5-2 after winning their last five consecutive games. Scher scored three ...

One Free Class at Cycle Bar Livingston

April 23, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Get a free ride at Cycle Bar Livingston. Livingston’s premium indoor cycling facility invites the public to sign up for their first ride free.

Click HERE to see the full class schedule.

During this week only, Cycle Bar is also participating in the Livingston Fitness Crawl, offering five days of free classes through Friday.  

Cycle Bar ...

Livingston Fitness Crawl: Five Days of Free Classes at 12 Livingston Businesses

LIVINGSTON, NJ — The public is invited to enjoy one free class at as many of Livingston’s fitness businesses as they would like during this week’s Livingston Fitness Crawl, a Livingston Business Improvement District event, beginning on April 23 and continuing through April 27.

For five days, no purchase is necessary at the following locations:

BARRE3 ...

Full Pet Grooming Service 25% OFF

LITTLE FALLS, NJ - Cloud Canine Grooming Salon & Spa in Little Falls is open for business and owner and pet stylist Melissa DiRoma is offering 25% off a FULL GROOMING SERVICE for all new customers. Call (973) 837-8884 or visit to schedule your appointment. Mention promo code TAP DOG for discount. 

About Cloud ...

Free Wellness Event at The Joint Chiropractic

WEST CALDWELL, NJ — The public is invited to a "Wellness Event to Remember" at The Joint Chiropractic in West Caldwell on Thursday, April 19 from 7 p.m. to  9 p.m.

Guests will include:

Michael Piercy, owner of The Lab
Justyna Debski, owner of Revive Mind Body
Karen Caplan, owner of Nutrition Transitions

Join the ...

Luxury Facial Services 50% OFF

MILLBURN, NJ - DeAmour Salon & Spa is proud to announce its newest team member, Renee Rudikh, formerly of the famous Georgette Klinger Spa at the Short Hills Mall.

Rudikh has extensive experience and specializes in a plethora of facial styles including: deep pore cleansing/European, microdermabrasion with collagen, teenage, men's, back, LED and customized European ...

YMCA $0 Enrollment in April

LIVINGSTON, NJ - For the month of April, the West Essex YMCA is offer $0 enrollment. 

Take advantage of all that your local Y has to offer for the whole family!

Personal Training
Group Classes
Low monthly membership
And much much more!...

Check out all that the Y has to offer HERE

About the West Essex YMCA:
The West Essex YMCA has ...

Upcoming Events


Thu, April 26, 7:00 PM

Livingston High School Fitness & Wellness Center/Auxiliary Gym, Livingston

Livingston Public Schools Presents: Livingston ...


Sat, April 28, 9:00 AM

South Mountain Recreation Complex (The Clipper Pavilion), West Orange

20th Annual Building Tomorrows 5K Run, Family ...

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back Health & Wellness Sports


Sun, April 29, 12:30 PM

Livingston High School , Livingston

Abilities Expo 2018 Offers Resources for People ...

Health & Wellness

Women Need Better Treatment Behind Bars, Lawmakers Say

April 24, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - Middlesex County Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez and U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) held a roundtable discussion on Monday with criminal justice reform advocates and formally incarcerated women to discuss legislation Lopez and Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle are introducing, modeled after legislation Booker introduced in the Senate, to reform the way women are treated behind ...

Abilities Expo 2018 Offers Resources for People With Special Needs

April 22, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Livingston’s Abilities Expo 2018 will be held on Sunday, April 29, from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Livingston High School. This family-friendly event showcases a variety of resources, products, services and technologies for people with special needs – all under one roof. The Expo is co-sponsored by Livingston Public Schools and the Livingston Advisory ...

Lock Down Initiated After Stray Bullet Found at Morristown High School

April 24, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ -  Morristown High School was on a school-wide lock down as of 1 p.m. on Tuesday after a stray bullet was discovered on the athletic fields of the school. 

Police were on the scene and currently investigating the incident. The school initiated a "shelter in place," which means instruction continued as students stayed in their ...

Letter to the Editor: Don't Complain. Vote!

April 12, 2018

Don’t Complain; Vote!

It’s no secret that people have strong feelings about what’s happening in our country. It’s also true that much of politics is local. In November, 11th District residents will have the opportunity to choose a new congressional representative who will not only serve as a critical check on the federal level, but also determine how our distract fares ...

Cluelessly Clueless

I teenaged my way through high school under the assumption that my parents had no idea what I was doing.  I like to think I was pretty good at withholding information and presenting situations in ways that were other than they really were.


Still, sometimes they found things out.  Like the time my friends plopped me on our front door step at one o'clock in the morning ...