SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Take a drive or a walk along Maple and Plainfield avenues and you will be ‘sea’ing blue.

On Aug. 15, members of the South Plainfield High School Junior Varsity and Varsity Fall Cheer Team braved the hot and humid temperatures to expand the borough’s ‘Sea of Blue Ribbon’ campaign in time for Labor Day.

Through the ‘Sea of Blue Ribbon’ campaign, homeowners and businesses are encouraged to display blue ribbons as a sign of support, respect and appreciation for law enforcement. Earlier this month, Georgeann Cochrane, owner of Mohn’s Flowers and Fancy Fruit on Plainfield Avenue, joined forces with resident Brenda Gromek to launch the effort in South Plainfield.

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Members of the fall cheerleading team spent much of Monday creating a ‘Sea of Blue Ribbon’ along the Labor Day Parade route. The girls, with assistance of three adult volunteers, hung bows on the telephone and light poles along Maple Avenue down to Park Avenue and on Plainfield Avenue from Spring Lake Park to Wesley United Methodist Church.

“It was so hot and the girls did a fabulous job,” said Cochrane, noting that the girls tied a total of 290 ribbons throughout the day. “It looks beautiful.”

Members of the South Plainfield High School’s JV and V Fall Cheer Team who took part were Ashlynn Arfken, Tori Arfken, Jillian Bengivenga, Hanna Dunn, Lovely Hills, Zoe Lambert, McKenzie Larsen, Katie LeBlanc, Danielle McParland, Maggy Mogollon, Alyssa Palmeri, Brielle Stankan, Megan Szeman, and Rena Voelkel. Adult volunteers who assisted were Laurian Cochrane, Georgia Lambert and Michelle Scalingi.

“It is a good cause,” said McKenzie Larsen, a captain of the varsity squad. “We were asked to help and obviously we said yes because it’s for such a good cause.”

According to Cochrane, the community’s response to the ‘Sea of Blue Ribbon’ campaign has been tremendous. In just three short weeks Mohn’s has made over 900 blue bows and raised close to $2,000 for the South Plainfield Police Department.

Additionally, Cochrane purchased the nearly 300 bows for the parade route and plans to get even more over the next few weeks. Her goal is to adorn the poles of all the borough’s main roads –Hamilton Boulevard, Oak Tree Road, Park Avenue, New Market Avenue and South Plainfield Avenue – in time for Labor Day.

“Our goal is to have all the main roads in town lined with blue ribbons in time for Labor Day,” said Cochrane, adding, “It would be great if every house along the parade route also had a blue bow on it or on a tree. We urge residents to come out and put blue ribbons on their property in support of our wonderful police department.”

Mohn’s is offering the bows for free, however, a donation to the South Plainfield Police Department is suggested. Cochrane, whose husband is a retired police officer, plans to present the donations to the police department at a September Borough Council meeting.

 “I would love for us to hit $3,000,” she said. “That would be just wonderful.”

Mohn’s has blue bows available in two different sizes; a smaller one with pipe cleaners attached that can be tied around a porch pole or column and a larger one that will fit around a tree. Anyone seeking a size not currently available can place a special order. Mohn’s Flowers & Fancy Foods, located at 2325 Plainfield Avenue, is open Monday through Saturday. For more information, call (908) 561-2808.

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