Arts & Entertainment

First Community Tree Lighting in New Providence Brings Cheers

Rebecca Coniglio and daughter Lily, Joe Savino, owner of Adams Clothing Store and Councilman Gary Kapner handed out 500 shopping bags filled with gifts from New Providence businesses Credits: Marianne Ivers
John Malinauskas (left), Peggy Brodeur, Pat Moschetti and Dianne Palmieri, all from the Community Service Association Credits: Marianne Ivers
Cathy and Dave Kronen (left) and Mary Anne Bastiaansen enjoying hot chocolate provided by Prestige Diner and served by the Lions Club Credits: Marianne Ivers

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Although the Community Tree Lighting event, that took place of Friday, Dec. 4 in Centennial Park, is new – giving is an old tradition in New Providence. This new event was organized by the Diversity Committee and the Community Activities Advisory Board.

The main beneficiary of “The Night of a 1,000 Stars” was the Community Service Association of New Providence, founded in 1954. Residents were asked to donate a gift card or cash of any amount. All those who answered the call were given a star to hang on the Christmas tree with the donor’s name.

According to Peggy Brodeur, one of the founding members of the Community Service Association, the event was a success.

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John Malinauskas, CSA Case Worker agreed. “It is hard to believe that there are people in New Providence who are needy,” he said. Malinauskas knows each aid recipient personally. However, all cases are dealt with strict confidentiality. “The need cases vary,” he said. The organization provides temporary relief to those New Providence residents who find themselves in a difficult financial situation. The organization helps needy families not only during holidays but also throughout the year. The assistance may be food donation or paying for utility bills. Anyone who would like more information about the organization can call 908-665-8254.

Mayor Al Morgan had a long list of people to thank for the successful event. Sunil Abrol, Chairman of the Diversity Committee, gave thanks to Christine Morgan,  for being “a moving force” to organize the event. “We are a strong community,” Sunil said. He referenced to the recent tragic events and called to “eliminate prejudice” and “to light a candle for unity”.

Lisa McKnight, President of the Community Service Association, thanked the residents for their “overwhelming” support. The organization’s motto “neighbors helping neighbors” is a fitting tribute to the New Providence community, she said.

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