MONTVILLE, NJ - The GFWC Montville Township Women’s Club has named mental health awareness as its initiative for the next two years, and they have started the campaign by asking the Montville Township Committee to proclaim Oct. 5 - 11 as “Mental Illness Awareness Week” in the Township. The proclamation was granted at the Committee meeting Tuesday night, Sept. 23.

“Mental health problems are troubling for the individuals who suffer with them,” stated Women’s Club President Linda Peskin. While the Club hasn’t made firm plans for additional events specific to mental health issues, they will kick off their 2014-2015 fundraising season with their annual fish and chips dinner, to be held at the Senior House on Oct. 24.

The chairwoman for the dinner, Valerie Gerardi, stated, “We’ve sponsored the fish & chips fundraiser for many years, and we get a packed house every year. We love bringing families together for a delicious, shared meal while benefiting the club’s many charitable causes.”

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In the late spring, the club’s members decide the uses for the fundraising dollars. Past year’s beneficiaries have included Montville’s First Aid Squad, the Kiwanis food pantry, and the Homeless Bus, which is a charity run by a Towaco family that brings food and supplies to homeless people in New York City. The Women’s Club also sponsors two scholarships for high school students, and supports Montville’s 4th of July Celebration and Project Graduation, which is a supervised party for Montville High School seniors on graduation night in an effort to avoid drinking and driving accidents.

“Most of the funds go back into the community,” stated Peskin.

The Women’s Club plans additional events which benefit the community, such as a blood drive to be held on Jan. 25 of next year, and club members help with the Township’s Cleanup day. “We like to show interest in our fantastic town by helping with recycling and beautification,” stated Peskin.

The Club meets on the third Monday of every month during the year except during the summer, and “We’re always looking for new members who find volunteering and service a worthwhile endeavor,” says Peskin.  The Club will be holding a prospective and new member brunch on Nov. 1. For more information about joining, please contact Peskin at (973) 202-7254.