Giving Back

Westfield’s Paul Jackson Fund to Host Gala, Auction March 22

Paul Jackson with his nephew, Dylan Jackson. Credits: Mary Doherty
Honoree Paul Harbaugh, with Chris Jacob, went to extraordinary lengths to raise money for The Paul Jackson Fund, participating in a six-day, 155 mile race around Iceland. Credits: Mary Doherty

WESTFIELD, NJ — The Paul Jackson Fund’s Second Annual “Giving Hope” Gala & Auction will take place on March 22 at the Grand Summit Hotel in Summit, NJ. The PJF is a charity-based organization that provides grants to people living in the tri-state area who have a debilitating illness or disability and have nowhere else to turn.

"It is called the 'giving hope' gala and auction because we visit all of our recipients and the one thing that we often hear is that ‘the Fund has given us hope,'” said Director of Development Mary Doherty.

This year’s honoree at the gala will be Westfield resident Paul Harbaugh, whose numerous contributions to the community include coaching Westfield PAL Football for over 20 years, serving as chancellor of the Union County Rugby Association, which works with the PJF to raise money for those who are in need of assistance, and serving as trustee for the Westfield College Men’s Club, which helps raise money for young men who need help paying college tuition. In addition, Harbaugh supports the Special Olympics and the Westfield-based Family Readiness Group, which assists soldiers and their families.

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The gala commences at 7 p.m. with a cocktail hour and hors d'oeuvres, followed by a buffet-style dinner with carving stations and dancing.

Throughout the night there will be a silent auction, which will consist of over 60 prizes including a girl’s spa day at Skin Deep Spa and Salon in New Providence; enrollment to the NY Giants Youth Football Camp; tickets to Brooklyn Nets, NY Giants, and NJ Devils games; overnight stay packages in Spring Lake, Princeton, and Livingston; Tiffany earrings; dinners throughout the state; and art work.

There will also be a live auction which will include such prizes as a one-week stay in Cape Cod; a round of golf at the Westchester Country Club; an autographed Derek Jeter bat; an autographed NFL football helmet signed by Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning; and two tickets to the Broadway hit “All the Way,” which includes a meet-and-greet with Golden Globe and Emmy award winner Bryan Cranston (known for the hit show “Breaking Bad”).

Mary Jackson, president of the Fund and Paul Jackson’s sister, will speak the event, along with two recipients of the Fund, Roland Johnson and Nicole Romanello.

“I would like to thank the board of directors and advisory board and all of the merchants who have donated everything for the event. All of our prizes were donated,” said Doherty.

Doherty also gives special thanks to:

The gala committee – Elke Elliott, Liz Molinari, Sue Harmer, Joan O’Connor, and Pam Newell.

The sponsors – Children’s Specialized Hospital and Hydro-Tek LTD.

Local area florists donating centerpieces for the event are Pam Newell, Rekemeier’s, Anna Daurio, Stahl-Del Duca Florist, McEwen Flowers, Meeker’s Florist, Christoffer’s Flowers & Gifts, The Green Room Florist and Flower Art by Design Contempo.

Doherty also gave two “special acknowledgements” to Don Dazzo for his DJ services and Jay Biss for designing the ad journal.

“It should be a fun evening—good food, fun people, great dancing for a great cause,” said Doherty.

For more information about the PJF and to purchase tickets to the gala and auction, go to or call 908-233-6110.

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