Giving Back

Third Annual Caroline Fund Expected to Attract More Runners Than Ever in Caldwell

September 8, 2016 at 12:00 AM

CALDWELL, NJ — Last year, nearly 800 runners and more than 100 volunteers helped the Caroline Fund raise $100,000 toward brain and spine tumor research being performed by Caldwell resident Caroline Vandemark’s surgeons at Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC). This year, the Vandemark Family hopes to attract even more support at the third annual Caroline Fund 5K held in her memory on Saturday, Sept. 10 at St. Aloysius Church in Caldwell.

The Caroline Fund is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization created in memory of Caroline Vandemark, who died in 2013 from an aggressive form of brain cancer at age 22. This year, the event is also in memory of Caroline's father and former Caroline Fund President and founder Charlie Vandemark, who died right before last year's 5K Race.

“It’s nice that we can honor them both together, it means so much to the fund itself,” said Mary Vandemark, Caroline’s mother, who said that the race has become a fun, positive and inspiring day for the entire family. “[The fund’s] dedication and love and hard work is unbelievable and the day couldn’t happen without them, without the Caroline Fund itself. It’s overwhelming the support that comes from a small community like this.”

Sign Up for E-News

According to Julia Tomkins, secretary of the Caroline Fund, more than 400 participants are already pre-registered for this year’s event, which supports research at the John Theurer Cancer Center at HUMC.

Since its establishment, the Caroline Fund has helped to fund cutting-edge research that has enabled the doctors to discover several novel treatment options. In its first year, the race accumulated between $45,000 and $50,000 and was able to double that number in its second—a feat that the family hopes to repeat this year.

The family established the 5K in response to a blessing from Caroline’s doctors, Dr. Goldlust and Dr. Kaptain, who established a neuro-oncology department in Caroline’s memory named the Caroline Vandemark Fund for Brain and Spine Tumor Research at HUMC. Today, Caroline’s younger sister Eileen says the race has become about much more than Caroline.

“The major goal of the fund is, firstly, to find a cure,” said Eileen. “That’s everyone’s main motive, but secondly to make people feel better who are also going through the same thing and to bring people together to make them feel like you can help in finding the cure—that you aren’t helpless.”

Eileen said that some participants join as individuals, but that the family likes the idea that teams bring people together, shining a light on other people facing the same battle. In fact, a Cedar Grove State Trooper who is currently battling the same cancer, glioblastoma, participates with one of the largest Caroline Fund 5K teams called “No Fear.”

It is not to late to register a team or individuals for Saturday’s race: registration begins at 7:30 a.m. with the race beginning at 9 a.m. Participants are also encouraged to bring their families to enjoy face painting, games and more on the day.

“Being there in general is really inspiring—I always leave feeling really inspired like I can actually make a change,” said Eileen. “You leave feeling really positive and it’s really enthusiastic and fun. Everyone seems to have a smile on their face.”

To register for this event, click HERE.

The Vandemark Family and members of the Caroline Fund thanked the following sponsors for their contributions to the event:

 

Platinum Tier Sponsors: Stanley & Gene Lasdon Foundation

Gold Tier Sponsors: IGEA Brain & Spine, PA; Gregory Heifler, M.D.

Silver Tier Sponsors: Iron Physical Therapy; IUOE Local 68 Charity Fund Inc.; Partners for Health, Inc.; Caldwell Salt Cave; Tri-Coastal Design Group, Inc.; Einhorn, Harris, Ascher, Barbarito & Frost, P.C.; Portables Unlimited; West Orange Elks Charities Fund; The Joint Chiropractic; CrossFit Caldwell LLC; American Maritime Services of N.Y., Inc.; and Shook Farmer Funeral Home LLC

Bronze Tier Sponsors: Bellevue Avenue Dental Associates; South Orange Chiropractic Center; and Hackensack UMC Mountainside

 

A future goal of the event is to have more sponsors in order to give the Caroline Fund room to grow. For more information, contact the fund at carolinefund5k@gmail.com or click HERE.

To hear more about Caroline’s story and the impact she made on the community click HERE

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

West Essex

West Essex Cross Country Star Kouros Sadeghi-Nejad Named West Essex Athlete of the Week

September 28, 2016

NORTH CALDWELL, NJ — Cross-country running is one of the most difficult sports around. Running 3.1 miles is difficult enough, but doing so while trying to race against opposing runners as well as your own time is a complete other entity.

However, sophomore Kouros Sadeghi-Nejad, this week's West Essex High School Athlete of the Week, is ready for this difficulty. 

“The ...

Essex County Area Residents Invited to Run From Anywhere in World Orphans Virtual 5K

September 27, 2016

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Runners around northern New Jersey are encouraged to join the World Orphans Virtual Run to raise funds to provide care for orphaned children from now until Oct. 22. By registering online and participating in the 5K run at a location of the runner’s choice, participants will help raise funds to provide orphans with food, clothing, medical care, trauma counseling ...

Police Investigate Second Attempted Luring in Roselle

September 23, 2016

ROSELLE, NJ - Another attempt to lure a youth in Roselle occurred Thursday afternoon, Sept. 22, when a 16 year old girl was approached on the 500 block of Walnut st. around 4:30p.m by a man in a silver SUV style vehicle. According to Roselle Police Chief Gerald J. Orlando, the man exited the vehicle and grabbed the girl around the waist, but the girl was able to break free and run ...

Parents are the Only Hope for New Jersey Public Education

September 28, 2016

I really wanted to take one of my precious few PTO days I had left to drive down to Trenton on September 7th and tell the State Board of Education how disappointed I was in them, again... but more important things were going on. There was a Kindergarten bus to catch and a first day of school morning to have and I had already wasted two of those precious days on a state BOE that has all ...

Guests to Receive Complimentary Services at Mecca Integrated Medical Center Grand Reopening Event on Sept. 28

September 27, 2016

FAIRFIELD, NJ – Members of the community are invited to attend the Grand Reopening of Mecca Integrated Medical Center, on Wed., Sept. 28, from 6 p.m. to 9.p.m., at 333 U.S. 46 West, Building A Suite 135, in Fairfield, NJ. Guests will be offered gratis mini facials and massages; chiropractic adjustments; and complimentary pain, acupuncture and aesthetic consultations. All are welcome and ...

Chiropractic: Prep Football’s Line of Defense

High school football season is in full swing.  From California to New Jersey, you can find a game on any given Friday night.

In large cities and small towns, high school football is a big deal in the local community.  Prep sports also are really important for the young athletes involved, whether it’s the bruising action of football or the relative solitude of the cross country ...

Charitable IRA rollover can pay off in more ways than one

If you have a traditional IRA, your money can grow on a tax-deferred basis, but sooner or later you’ll have to start taking taxable withdrawals from your account. But what if you could make these withdrawals less “taxing,” while at the same time supporting a charitable group? Using a Charitable IRA rollover, you can do just that!

To begin with, the basic rule governing ...

Letting the Jean-ie Out of the Bottle

Sometime between the end of last spring and the beginning of this fall, someone snuck into my closet and shrunk all my jeans.  I tried to convince my husband that we had a problem with the dryer, but since all of his jeans still fit, it was a hard sell.  Without thinking it through, he scoffed and suggested that maybe it wasn't the jeans – maybe it was ...