Giving Back

Plainfield Dairy Queen's Donna Albanese-DeMair at NJ Sharing Network 5K, Targeted to Raise $1.25M

186a6ff320658b39d435_IMG_6565__2_.JPG
Donna Albanese-DeMair, an originating committee member, now in its 7th yr. The event started with 28 teams and now is held in 3 locations with 200 teams participating, on target to raise $1.25M. Credits: Bobbie Peer
f5f533fed58939786aef_IMG_6662.JPG
Thousands walked the streets of New Providence during the NJ Sharing Network 5K, Celebration of Life. Credits: Bobbie Peer
ac406bf285f475803e7b_IMG_6419__2_.JPG
10,000 runners participate in the NJ Sharing Network 5K 'Celebration of Life' Credits: Bobbie Peer
f9b95f4899a2632aa77a_IMG_6427__2_.JPG
Credits: Bobbie Peer
100c0f302944af76e900_IMG_6540.JPG
Race winners. Credits: Bobbie Peer
d9925da82549c98b1740_IMG_6453__2_.JPG
Race winner JP Flavin running in 15:49.58. Credits: Bobbie Peer
da90812b58d13109b47c_IMG_6457.JPG
Credits: Bobbie Peer
6665a7c5cb5bea1eea65_IMG_6460.JPG
Alexandra Niles (18:06.71) first place girls finisher with her family. Credits: Bobbie Peer
db2956118f22f2199b8e_IMG_6435.JPG
"It’s an honor and a privilege to be the host community, it’s all for a great cause. -- It means a lot to us," said Mayor Al Morgan standing with CEO Joe Roth and UC Freeholder Angel Estrada. Credits: Bobbie Peer
97c86d24e990c6910474_IMG_6718.JPG
Credits: Bobbie Peer
ddd3a1cab17f2682dd10_IMG_6430.JPG
04f4b25e94249e829f2a_IMG_6698.JPG
3bae387e54fa955811e3_IMG_6694.JPG
b0c082b36cb9c212bfc1_IMG_6691.JPG
5d8dd451554dc78d4476_IMG_6686.JPG
f1282d0e0ccc55c2e089_IMG_6683.JPG
0d2d6f1530c9778a715c_IMG_6682.JPG
1f550f5c57f1cc85c7b4_IMG_6681.JPG
060fc97e8e27f3279f64_IMG_6680.JPG
73e79b839ebc34838835_IMG_6679.JPG
0d16b2c1e216bfb15e99_IMG_6678.JPG
49dd4f8a5e226ce2c993_IMG_6674.JPG
500cd6fc269464fa363f_IMG_6673.JPG
aaffc3aa8b23e5710a28_IMG_6671.JPG
9c7e622a5353f9faa0aa_IMG_6670.JPG
ef557e8b78007163c54a_IMG_6669.JPG
7b57f4f96a2b45aa3c11_IMG_6667.JPG
94ed22b4fadaafb2ac02_IMG_6666.JPG
395bf8f04dad5735a685_IMG_6664.JPG
13984884eeb72799fd4a_IMG_6660.JPG
7345342814cfd9ffd79c_IMG_6659.JPG
adf0171fe0fab028fa83_IMG_6658.JPG
e0eb586812a47d4cd971_IMG_6656.JPG
c96199e94f6909d935c2_IMG_6655.JPG
2c5acbcba57cf9f2640b_IMG_6653.JPG
326349b52a3df199e978_IMG_6652.JPG
bb4a394ec9a1927b7f56_IMG_6650.JPG
a5803901588d7d82d963_IMG_6649.JPG
d51ccdbf591faf1155c0_IMG_6646.JPG
990a11124ae626630ac1_IMG_6639.JPG
8eccc7b5c35dbba19ed8_IMG_6637.JPG
5c2d5dc51cb6e77755ac_IMG_6635.JPG
6dcd24f8097238c77c88_IMG_6562.JPG
16301a23e8a835f3c447_IMG_6560.JPG
4305af85a25f5845817b_IMG_6552__1_.JPG
0337bdf2b151c3f5f234_IMG_6537.JPG
2082e5096031e4fce7b9_IMG_6529.JPG
07bd0c5e5e8dcaa1e925_IMG_6538.JPG
d8557dc31e09efa0ad46_IMG_6523.JPG
6431e800e77d33297e37_IMG_6534.JPG
6809b55adb97b7b3c126_IMG_6522.JPG
ef234e39ae891344f6a6_IMG_6509.JPG
bd94effd4a4c29a4a20f_IMG_6506.JPG
9431f8bbdef3481897dd_IMG_6502.JPG
f633b1d9f02c2d34a0ac_IMG_6498.JPG
310df9626e64585006cb_IMG_6495.JPG
6ab4463bb06b5b42e71c_IMG_6494.JPG
2e81aa535a3584c1ea27_IMG_6492.JPG
366194c73160433a03e4_IMG_6490.JPG
c9785bea5bf7acc7d9f2_IMG_6487.JPG
4925dace5dd3cc339ae4_IMG_6482.JPG
a053723e8639422ace46_IMG_6633.JPG
67c0c7ad67ddf86ecd2e_IMG_6628.JPG
d42b2d0840f75510b038_IMG_6624.JPG
bd9a44b756270170779f_IMG_6620.JPG
b04360dc7d33597f613e_IMG_6619.JPG
9412e5c7d239e27b4c8e_IMG_6617.JPG
668c77c27767bcc7e698_IMG_6615.JPG
5a75210eb0136f8324b1_IMG_6614.JPG
1c43a79cff706d03d9d6_IMG_6613.JPG
4512f5b3009dcd637c69_IMG_6611.JPG
ffdcf309230232ce6c60_IMG_6609.JPG
47a00daefcd98719fd0e_IMG_6410__2_.JPG
c30ad6571dee35444479_IMG_6408__2_.JPG
b2800048b320b4aa1329_IMG_6437.JPG
Mayor Al Morgan with Union County Freeholder Angel Estrada and Al Mirabella. Credits: Bobbie Peer
50e49552db0ac3b60cde_IMG_6433.JPG
13f16e54c36b2fefedbc_IMG_6597__2_.JPG
186a6ff320658b39d435_IMG_6565__2_.JPG

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - When thousands of participants filled the streets of New Providence at last Sunday's NJ Sharing Network's "Celebration of Life" 5K, they ran or walked with a story, a purpose -- to save lives together.

"When you share the story, you can’t help but to save a life," said Donna Albanese-DeMair, former Chair of NJ Sharing Network Foundation and one of the originators of the 5K which is in its seventh year. "People start talking, they start checking the box -- lives are saved by sharing our stories," she said. 

Albanese-DeMair, owner of Dairy Queen in Plainfield, has a story of her own -- she joined the organ donation family when she gave one of her kidneys to her mother. "When you save one life, you save a whole family," she said. "You are all part of my family, a part of my Sharing Network family. We are all here today to save lives."

Sign Up for E-News

At 9:30 a.m. there were Race Awards and a program which featured speakers including Albanese-DeMair; Elisse Glennon, Executive Director of Sharing Network Foundation; Stephen Adubato, television broadcaster for Caucus Educational Corporation; Joe Roth, President and CEO of NJ Sharing Network and Frank D’Amelio, executive vice-president of Business Operations and chief financial officer of Pfizer, Inc., which has been the presenting sponsor for seven consecutive years.

The event is made possible through the work of  222 volunteers and the event sponsors including presenting sponsor Pfizer, Inc, platinum sponsor RWJ Barnabas Health and the many gold, silver and bronze level sponsors. 

Mayor Al Morgan, representing the host town, along with Union County Freeholders Al Mirabella, Angel Estrada and Christopher Hudak were present and on stage. Hudak told his story that this year he became a member of a donor family. "My mother passed away very unexpectedly -- we found out she was an organ donor -- she registered on the national registry," said Hudak. "The hospital knew. I want to thank the Sharing Network and their professional staff - because without them, her gift would not have gone out so quickly."

Awards were given to the six top race winners who included: JP Flavin (15:49.58), Ben Evans (16:56.85), Zack Faljean (17:18.96), Alexandra Niles (18:06.71), Julia Trethaway (19:46.28) and Laura Baeyene (20:14.). 

Elisse Glennon looked out at the crowd of participants and was inspired. "You inspire us, you inspire family, friends and colleagues by the thousands to walk together so we can honor those who gave, pay tribute to those who received and offer hope to those who continue to wait, and remember the lives lost while waiting for the gift of life," said Glennon. "The sharing network commitment to our community is that we will not stop until everyone waiting for a transplant receives one."

The tent village was filled with a sea of colors that represented the 200 registered teams and thousands of participants -- each shirt represented a story of a donor or recipient.  

The bright pink Linda Lovees were in honor of Linda Finnegan, an aerobics instructor and phys-ed teacher, wife and mother of five who passed away suddenly in December. "She was a big motivator -- when this happened, we knew we wanted to get the biggest team," said Linda's daughter Shannon. Their team was 150 participants strong, raising over $9,000.

Race winner JP Flavin ran for team Tim's Rangers. Tim lost his life when struck by a car. Female repeat race winner Alexandra Niles ran for her mother Betsy, who was a donor.

The day also celebrated stories of receiving the gift of life. A husband was celebrating his 52nd wedding anniversary thanks to receiving a heart transplant 9 years ago, and a 14 year old was participating in the 5K because he was the recipient of a heart transplant at age 9. 

This year, the 5K "Celebration of Life" expanded to three locations -- a 5K Walk at Bergen Community College in Paramus in April, and the New Providence USATF Race and 5K Walk -- and new this year, a 5K was held in Long Branch at Great Lawn at the Ocean Promenade. 

The 200 teams registered are on target to raise $1,250,000. "The event continues to grow in leaps and bounds every year," said Glennon. "This is the nation’s most successful 5K for the cause of organ and tissue donation and you are all part of it."

The message to "checking the box" and register as an organ and tissue donor was heard loud and clear. -- "The message is simple, people come together thousands strong at the Sharing Network 5K to give the gift of life and to share and get the message out," said Steve Adubato, television broadcaster for Caucus Educational Corporation.

Participants also find comfort in the NJ Sharing Network family, knowing their loved ones carry on because of their gift of life. 

The Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad lost one of their own this past year. A large group of Summit EMTs and the surrounding community came out to honor Cindy Mahoney of Berkeley Heights, who suddenly passed away in November 2016.  

"We may not have given it much thought before," said Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad Chief Kari Phair.  "Everyone should consider it.-- I think all of us -- it is the single greatest gift to give peace and hope that she lives on."

Check out the NJ Sharing Network 5K Celebration of Life - New Providence photo album on Facebook for event day photos. Click here for race results.

NJ Sharing Network is a non-profit, federally designated organization responsible for the recovery and placement of donated organs and tissue for New Jersey residents in need of life-saving transplants.  The NJ Sharing Network Foundation is committed to increasing the number of lives saved through education, research, donor family support and public awareness about the life-saving benefits of organ and tissue donation and transplantation. For more information and to register to be a donor, visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Plainfield

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_fd3a11b6b59a6574fdb5_072118register

Fri, July 20, 12:00 PM

Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield

Libraries Rock - Last day to register!

Carousel_image_051fbfdc6005fbc26458_072118silentparty

Sat, July 21, 10:00 AM

Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield

Silent Party

Shakespeare in the Park Returns to Union County Sunday, July 22

July 20, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce the return of Shakespeare in the Park this weekend. The performance will be presented on Sunday, July 22 at 12:30 p.m. at Cedar Brook Park in Plainfield.

The Shrew Mechanicals Troupe from The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will present an hour long performance of “Shakespeare Gumbo,” a stirring collection of ...

Plainfield BOE Member on Naming of the New School

July 12, 2018

On Tuesday, June 19, 2018 – I, Carmencita Pile, an elected Plainfield School Board member presented this during the Plainfield School Board monthly business meeting to the public and to the board after being recognized by Plainfield School Board President Mr. Richard Wyatt.

On Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 12:10PM an email was sent from the Plainfield School District's Postmaster that ...

Residents Taking Action Against White Supremacist Fliers Found Around Bridgewater, Bedminster, Other Local Areas

July 17, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Residents of Bridgewater, Somerville, Morristown and surrounding communities are mobilizing for action after they found posters around town promoting Identity Evropa, which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has labeled a white supremacist group.

According to Bridgewater resident Stacey Friedlander, a member of the “Not In Our Town – Bridgewater/Raritan” ...

La Guerra contra los Inmigrantes- Cuando es Demasiado?

July 15, 2018

"Primero, vinieron por los comunistas, y yo no hable- por que no era comunista.

Después, vinieron por los sindicalistas, y yo no hable- por que no era sindicalista.

Después, vinieron por los judíos, y yo no hable- por que no era judío. 

Después, vinieron por mí- y no hubo nadie para hablar por mí."

Este dicho por el ...

Mayor Mapp:  El Programa de Verano de los Jóvenes

El lunes, 9 de julio, nuevas caras alumbraran las oficinas de la Alcaldía. Nuestro Programa de Verano de los Jóvenes por fin comienza, y otra vez los empleados tendrán la oportunidad de ser mentores de un nuevo grupo de jóvenes.

El Programa de Verano de los Jóvenes corre por seis semanas todos los años y les da la oportunidad de empleo y experiencia a ...

Featured Business: Studio 15 Young Plainfield Entrepreneurs Expand Business Once More

“What you see behind me is a life-changing project for myself that I have been working on since January 2017, nearly two years, discreetly; not sharing much about it with anybody. I've had plenty of reasons to give up on this truck; I purchased it pretty much from the ground up from Rashine Mobile, another local city entrepreneur. The truck had no steering column, no computer; it ...

People I've Known and Been: Little by Little by Rich Little

People I've Known and Been: Little by Little by Rich Little (Dog Ear Publishing, 2015)

 

Rich Little is a national treasure; a living encyclopedia of movie stars, comedians, and former presidents all wrapped into one dynamic package. Recently, my husband and I had the good fortune to see Little perform at the Tropicana in Las Vegas, where he has been doing his uncanny ...

Lucia, Lucia by Adriani Trigiani

Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2003)

 

If a summer romance novel is what you are craving to read as you sit by the pool or beach, Adriana Trigiani's Lucia, Lucia is a perfect choice. Set in 1950 New York City, the novel is about a young woman, Lucia Sartori, who is determined to have a career and be able to support herself, an unusual choice for a girl who was ...

The Anatomy of Escape by Mike Blue

The Anatomy of Escape: An Unconventional Adventure by Mike Blue (Available on Amazon)

 

Imagine that you could just say, “Chuck it,” and walk away from the bonds that keep you tied to what Mike Blue, author of The Anatomy of Escape: An Unconventional Adventure, defines as the restrictive Work-Consume-Die cycle. To most of us, becoming what Blue terms “a ...

The Death of Koko the Gorilla

Koko's Kitten, Koko's Story, The Eduction of Koko all by Dr. Francine Patterson

 

Last night when I heard about the death of Koko, the lowland gorilla who was educated to communicate through American Sign Language by Dr. Francine Patterson, I went numb with grief. I have followed the life of Koko, her two gorilla companions, Michael and Ndume, as well as Dr. Patterson for forty ...

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)

 

A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...

When the Men Go Off to War by Victoria Kelly

When the Men Go Off to War by Victoria Kelly (Naval Institute Press, 2015)

Victoria Kelly's first published volume of poetry, When the Men Go Off to War, is a wonder in that poems can be written so beautifully about the subject of war. Each poem is a jewel, polished and colorful, glittering with elegant imagery, and rich in emotional wallop. The book, divided into three sections, ...