Giving Back

No Rain-Outs Allowed for Roxbury Woman's Club Annual Fundraiser

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The Roxbury Woman's Club hosted its annual plant sale and blood drive Saturday at Roxbury Fire Station #1. Credits: Lindsay Ireland
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Several signs were posted at the fire station's entrance, signaling passersby to come on in. Credits: Lindsay Ireland
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Colorful, potted plants were on sale during the event, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Credits: Lindsay Ireland
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A volunteer from Community Blood Bank gets ready to take blood. Credits: Lindsay Ireland
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ROXBURY, NJ - A rainy forecast postponed quite a few of Saturday’s events in town, but the Roxbury Woman’s Club braved the storm to hold its annual plant sale and blood drive at Roxbury Fire Station #1.

Things started off a bit slow, according to blood drive coordinator and club member Phyllis Chanda, but started to pick up by mid-day.

Colorful potted and hanging flower arrangements donated by several local businesses lined the station’s entryways. The Woman’s Club holds a plant sale every year before Mother’s Day, and the blood drive is typically run at the same time to “increase foot traffic” for both events, said club member Diane Olivo.

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“We’re a small club,” Chanda said. “We do a lot of things in the club but we don’t have a lot of advertising.”

The club currently has about 30 members, and many of them were at the firehouse Saturday to help with the events. By noon about two dozen people had come to either donate blood or pick up a plant.

Community Blood Services helped take blood from donors, and the club offered a special “Give a pint, Get a pint” deal at the drive. Anyone who donated a pint of blood received a gift certificate for a free pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. The blood collected Saturday will go to nearly three dozen hospitals across New Jersey and New York, according to a Community Blood Services representative.

Chanda said the club hosts the blood drive as a community service, but that the plant sale helps bring in money for local charities, as well as the club’s scholarship fund. This year the Woman’s Club is giving out $1,000 scholarships to two Roxbury High School girls, according to club member Marcy Thompson, as a way to “do something to foster education.”

“There’s a lot of schools and businesses that don’t give out that much, and they have a lot more money than we do,” Chanda said. “For a tiny club we do a lot. We’re kind of like the quiet warriors doing it all. We do the legwork but people just don’t know we exist.”

The Roxbury Woman's Club was established in 1959 for women 18 years and over who wish to help form a better community through service, personal growth and friendship.

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