Giving Back

Essex County Announces Partnership with Nine Local Charitable Organizations

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Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo, announces partnerships to increase awareness about and help raise funds nine local charitable organizations. With him are organization reps and local officials. Credits: Essex County
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WEST ORANGE, NJ – Essex County will participating in nine special partnerships to increase awareness about and help raise funds for the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, the Arc of Essex County, the New Jersey Children Alliance, Stop for Nikhil, The Valerie Fund, the Arthritis Foundation, the Saint Barnabas Medical Center's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and RWJBarnabas Health.

Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Jr., who announced these nine partnerships at a press conference on Friday, invites the public to support the worthy causes of each organization by attending upcoming events. He also announced that participants from each event will receive reduced admission to the Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex on the day of their respective fund-raising events.

"Each of these well-respected organizations does a great deal to make a positive difference in and improve the quality of life for our residents,” said DiVincenzo. “I invite the public to run, walk, golf or donate to help out these really great causes. To say thank you to these organizations and the thousands of people who support them, we are offering reduced admission to Turtle Back Zoo, Codey Arena and the miniGOLF Safari for the people who participate in these events.

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Essex County Freeholder Len Luciano said that each of these organizations “has touched every one of us in some way.”

"The nine groups are making a positive difference in the community," Luciano said.

“Government can't do everything, and these groups are the heroes who partner with us," said Freeholder Brendan Gill said.

Freeholder Patricia Sebold added that it was wonderful to see the respective groups assembled on Friday, stating they “all do such great work for their causes."

“These nine great organizations provide critical services to people who need help,” said Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura. “We are privileged to help them.”

Essex County Prosecutor Laurino thanked the county executive for highlighting the work of these organizations that have “touched the lives of those in need and their family members.”

A description of the organizations and a schedule of their events are as follows:

The Arc of Essex County's 20th Annual Building Tomorrows 5K Run, Family Walk and Fun Fest

The Arc of Essex County provides supportive services for people with developmental or intellectual disabilities.

"We are delighted to be partnering with Essex County," said Nancy Byrne, Director of Communications for The Arc. “This is a special year for us because not only is our Building Tomorrows event celebrating its 20th anniversary, but our organization is celebrating our 70th anniversary.”

Date: Saturday, April 28, 2018

Time: 8 a.m. Registration; 9 a.m. 5K Run; 10:15 a.m. Walk; 10:30 a.m. Fun Fest

Place: Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex, Clipper Pavilion, Cherry Lane, West Orange, NJ

Info and registration: www.runorwalk.org

The Arthritis Foundation's Walk to Cure Arthritis

The Arthritis Foundation helps conquer everyday battles through life-changing information and resources, access to optimal care, advancements in science and community connections.

"We are so honored the Foundation is part of the County Executive's initiative," said Arthritis Foundation Executive Director Karen Drzik. “We are looking forward to having our event in the Clipper Pavilion for the first time.”

Date: Saturday, May 5, 2018

Time: 10 a.m.

Place: Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex, Cherry Lane, West Orange, NJ

Info and registration: www.walktocurearthritis.org/newjersey

The Valerie Fund Walk and JAG Physical Therapy 5K Run

Proceeds will be used to support the comprehensive care of children with cancer and blood disorders. A new special feature this year is refreshments provided by a variety of food trucks.

"Without the support of Essex County, we couldn't have a successful event. Verona Park is an incredibly beautiful place," Valerie Fund Executive Director Barry Kirschner said, adding the event has raised about $6 million over the last six years. It will be held as follows:

Date: Saturday, June 9, 2018

Time: Registration 7 a.m.; 5k Race Starts 8:30 a.m.; Walk Starts at 10 a.m.

Place: Essex County Verona Park, Bloomfield Avenue, Verona, NJ

Info and registration: www.TheValerieFund.org

The Nikhil Badlani Foundation will present the Stop for Nikhil 5K Run/Walk

The foundation is named for 11-year-old Nikhil Badlani, who was killed in a car accident in 2011 when the driver failed to stop at a Stop sign. Its mission is to enhance the lives of children through music lessons, scholarships for graduating high school seniors and traffic safety awareness and education.

"We are facing a public health crisis," Nikhil Badlani Foundation Executive Director Sangeeta Badlani said. “Traffic accidents are all preventable deaths. We are working hard to prevent these tragedies from happening through awareness and education.”

Date: Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018

Time: 8 a.m.  Registration; 8:45 a.m. Ceremony; 9:30 a.m. 5K Run; 9:45 a.m. 3K Walk

Place: West Orange High School, 51 Conforti Avenue, West Orange, NJ

Info and registration: www.nikhilbadlanifoundation.org

The New Jersey Children's Alliance will present the Heroes for Children 5K and Family Fun Run/Walk

The event will promote public awareness about child abuse issues and increase knowledge about the services of local Children's Advocacy Centers and Multidisciplinary Teams and the difference these services make in a child's life.

"Our mission is to provide abused and neglected children with access to child advocacy centers where they can get help and support," said Mary Beth Weil from the NJ Children's Alliance. “These centers give children hope. We ask that you consider putting your super powers to work to help children.”

Date: Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018

Time: 9:30 a.m. 5K Run; 10 a.m. Family Fun Run/Walk

Place: Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex, Clipper Pavilion, Cherry Lane, West Orange, NJ

Info and registration: www.njcainc.org/heroes-for-children

The 18th Annual Miracle Walk to benefit the Saint Barnabas Medical Center's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

The walk features family-friendly activities, refreshments and entertainment including a DJ, face painters, balloon artists, characters and more. Proceeds help the medical center purchase state-of-the-art equipment for the NICU, which provides specialized care for New Jersey's smallest and sickest babies. Some patients spend the first several months of their lives under constant care in the NICU.

"This cause is near and dear to my heart because my daughter is celebrating her 18th birthday this year because of the care and attention she received at the NICU," Miracle Walk Founder Hayley Hirschmann said. “The facility treats over 1,000 newborns a year.”

Date: Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018

Time: 9 a.m.

Place: Essex County Verona Park, Bloomfield Avenue, Verona, NJ

Info and registration: miraclewalk.com or 973-322-4305

American Cancer Society: Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

The walk helps raise awareness and funds to save lives from breast cancer. The event brings people together to make a difference for everyone who has been touched by breast cancer. The events raise money to fund innovative research, provide free information and support, and to help people reduce their breast cancer risk or find it early when it's most treatable.

"I am honored to have been a participant of this event and now as an organizer," American Cancer Society Community Development Manager Yakima Deloatch said. “Last year we had over 20,000 walkers who are passionate and energized to help our cause. This event is so much larger than just a walk. It brings hope to women and their families.”

Date: Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018

Time: Registration 8 a.m.; Walk 10 a.m.

Place: Prudential Center, 25 Lafayette Street, Newark, NJ

The 2nd Annual Greater Northern NJ Heart Walk

This event attracts businesses and residents from Essex, Morris, Somerset, Union and Warren Counties. Proceeds will be used to raise awareness and support prevention of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

"Many people live with some sort of cardiovascular disease or health problem," Melissa Alonso from the American Heart Association said. “We can take charge of our health by taking control of our lifestyles.”

Date: Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018

Time: Registration 8 a.m.; Walk 9:15 a.m.

Place: Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex, Cherry Lane, West Orange, NJ

Info and registration: www.greaterNNJheartwalk.org

RWJBarnabas Health and the New Jersey Devils Running with the Devils 5K Run and Family Fun Walk. 

Proceeds from the event will benefit programs and services at RWJBarnabas Health's 11 hospital facilities as well as hospice initiatives. This event, featuring a 5K USATF certified race and a family fun walk, brings together participants from across the state and supports the collective commitment of RWJBarnabas Health and the New Jersey Devils to build stronger communities by promoting healthy, active lifestyles and world-class healthcare. The day will feature special appearances by the New Jersey Devils mascot and street team, medals for all participants, awards and more.

"Both the NJ Devils and RWJBarnabas Health believe promoting a healthy, active lifestyle supports the health of our diverse population," RWJBarnabas Health Senior Vice President Justin Edelman said. “What better place to have an event than where walkers and runners can see the animals in Turtle Back Zoo and the picturesque views of South Mountain Reservation.”

Date: Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018

Time: 8 a.m.

Place: Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex and Essex County Turtle Back Zoo, 560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange, NJ

Participants in these events can receive $5 admission to Turtle Back Zoo, Codey Arena and the miniGOLF Safari in West Orange. The reduced admission is available on event days and participants must bring their race bib or proof of registration to receive the discount.

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