NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ -- More than 300 families came out to Harlee's Tap & Grille Tuesday night, when the pub hosted an open house to help  eight-year-old Sophie Chhowalla wage her battle against cancer. Sophie, a third-grade student at Woodruff School,  was recently diagnosed with a stage 4 neuroblastoma.  

Along with Harlee's $2 donation for each food and drink item purchased, there was also a silent auction of items donated by local businesses and residents, who also provided the décor and supplies for the event. All of the proceeds from the silent auction will go directly to Sophie’s family, through TheSilverLiming Foundation, which is supporting Sophie’s journey. Kelly Boyette will contact the highest bidders directly.

Berkeley Heights residents Jig and Jill Chhowalla, Sophie’s parents,  wrote a note thanking everyone who took part in the fundraiser. 

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We are overwhelmed with gratitude for all of those who came out to support Sophie at the Kickoff Fundraiser at Harlee's in New Providence, N.J. There was a packed house all evening at Harlee's. 

It was wonderful to meet many of Sophie's friends, classmates and others who attended to offer support to our family. 

Thank you to Harlee's Tap & Grille and all of the other local businesses who contributed to the silent auction. 

We also want to thank all of the amazing volunteers from Sophie Soldiers who helped make the event possible. We very much appreciate all of your contributions. 

A very special thank you to Kelly Boyette, Karen Cassels and Aismara Casanova who led the charge in planning this event. You are all so AMAZING! We appreciate all of your time and energy. We love and appreciate you all so much.

Participating sponsors for the kick-off event and silent auction included: Balloon Design Studio, Barth's Market, Bella Bella Nail Salon, Bellariva Trattoria, Bob Coletta Photography, Bowlmar Lanes, Chopt, Delicious Heights, Deluxe Dental Group, Elefante Music & School for the Performing Arts, Elizabeth Aldrich Coaching, Embassy Suites, Feathers II, Goodman's Deli, Hair Salon Body and Soul,  Jose Mexican Cantina, Kids Village, La Rosa, Life Time Athletic, Berkeley Heights, Marcellos, Massage Envy, The MAX Challenge, Moe's Bistro, Neary's, New Polished Nail and Spa, Paolo's Kitchen, Pastrami House, Prestige Diner, Pure Barre, Red Bull New York, Sadal Wine Cellar, Skin Deep Salon and Spa, Sky Zone, Somerset Patriots, Stop & Shop, Stumpys, Sublime Salon and Day Spa, Trap Rock, Vine Republic and YMCA. 

On Thursday,  Jan. 30, the fund-raising continued, as businesses throughout Berkeley Heights and New Providence held a “Shop & Dine for Sophie.

In the coming months, there will be the following events:

  • Get Cozy for Sophie!  Wear your pajamas to school on Valentine’s Day (Friday Feb. 14)  Optional Donation of $1-$5 

  • Max Challenge Fundraising Class – Saturday Feb. 22, from 8 to 8:45 a.m.  Members and non-members welcome; all fitness levels! $15 suggested donation

  • Skate for Sophie Saturday - Saturday, March 7, at Codey Arena in West Orange; from 3:45 to 5:15 p.m.  “Sophie” merchandise to be sold, along with raffle tickets. Concession stand will be open. $25 per ticket. Rentals are included with admission. 

A Goat Yoga session is also being planned - check back for details. 

To donate directly to Sophie, go to and click on “donate to Sophie.”  Donations are tax deductible.