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Don "Skip" Browne of Scotch Plains to be Honored at Making Our City Bloom Gala

Don "Skip" Browne Credits: Greater Newark Conservancy

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Don “Skip” Browne of Scotch Plains will receive the Joan D. Murray Volunteerism Award at Greater Newark Conservancy’s “Making Our City Bloom Gala” on May 10th at Nanina’s in the Park in Belleville.

As a volunteer, Browne has mentored the homeless, veterans returning from service, and high school students. After retiring from the banking industry as a corporate executive, he continued his role as a volunteer, making the New Jersey Reentry Corporation (NJRC), located at Greater Newark Conservancy, his primary focus. Since 2015, the two organizations have been helping formerly incarcerated men and women from Essex County.

Through the City Bloom Landscaping Program, the Conservancy and NJRC provide job and life skills training for hundreds of Newark residents as they move towards full-time employment and reclaimed lives. 

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The Conservancy also provides educational programs that enrich the lives of thousands of inner city children from pre-school to high school. Sustainably-raised produce grown on the Conservancy’s urban farms in Newark increase access to fresh, nutritious food for thousands of low income residents of the City, including many senior citizens. 

“Skip has become a full-time mentor to many of the NJRC clients who need assistance in resume writing, financial literacy, and job preparedness,” noted the Conservancy’s Executive Director, Robin Dougherty. “No task is too big or small for Skip. His motto is one of the greatest gifts you can give is your time.” 

Linda Bowden, New Jersey Regional President of PNC Bank, will be the event emcee. Other honorees include Hugo and Marilyn Pfaltz, who will receive the “Founder’s Award”, Jane Houston, “The Shipley Family Award for Philanthropic Endeavors”, and Bill and Sharon Brown, “The Nelson Mandela Freedom Award”.

You can support the continued good work of the Conservancy, which has earned a 4-star rating for sound fiscal management from Charity Navigator, the nation’s premier charity evaluator, by purchasing tickets for the Gala on Thursday, May 10th, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  To reserve tickets online, visit or call 973.642.4646.

For more information about the benefit, including sponsorship opportunities and ad placement, visit You can also visit the site to learn about other programs and services and volunteer opportunities and follow the Conservancy on social media at, plus Twitter and Instagram @Citybloom87.

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Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Summer Life Guard Job Opportunity in Union County

April 10, 2018

UNION COUNTY, NJ - Summer lifeguard positions are available at Union County’s public swimming pool, the Walter Ulrich Memorial Pool at Rahway River Park in Rahway.

“Union County’s Ulrich Pool provides our youth and adult summer job seekers with an opportunity to enjoy working outdoors in the fresh air all summer long while sharpening valuable life skills including leadership, ...

Why We Keep Kosher

Why We Keep Kosher

This week's parshah, Shemini, introduces the Torah's dietary laws. Animals must chew their cud and have split hooves to be kosher, fish need fins and scales, and a list of forbidden fowl is enumerated.

To those of us in Jewish education, it is a continuing source of disappointment that so many Jews still believe the kosher laws to be outdated.

Politics IS Government in Union County

April 21, 2018

Dear Editor:

After Bruce Patterson of Garwood was stopped from speaking at the Union County Freeholder meeting of March 22 regarding the politics behind refusing to give the party line to a sitting Freeholder, I thought this brazen suppression of free speech could not go unanswered.

At the April 19 meeting I answered with these comments.

After ten years of following government in Union ...

Helping Teenagers Deal with Prom Night Stress

April 18, 2018

Prom can be one of the most exciting times for your teenager but at the same time one of the most stressful. 

It can also be very stressful for parents as they prepare themselves to accept that their teenager is graduating and soon going away to school, while planning a weekend away after prom night. Going to the Shore for the weekend or somewhere overnight has become more of the ...

How to Report Potholes in Union County

April 21, 2018

UNION COUNTY, NJ -- With the winter weather finally winding down, potholes are a frequent issue for drivers.

To report a pothole or any other issue with a Union County road, use an online form available through the Union County Department of Public Works and Facilities Management at

County roads are identified by their blue route signs, which include the letters ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield

Sheep to Shawl Festival


Mon, April 23, 3:30 PM

Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains

After School Club for Teens at Scotch Plains ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Wed, April 25, 4:00 PM

Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains

Speak with Congressional Staff on April 25 at the ...