Giving Back

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

Second Annual Caroline Fund 5K Credits: Colin Passman
Julia Tomkins; Mary Vandemark; Christina Fulga; Kathy Lazslo; and Eileen Vandemark. Credits: Amanda Jedele
Credits: Amanda Jedele. 
Credits: Caroline Vandemark
Credits: Second Annual Caroline 5K Race

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:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

West Essex

Turtle Back Zoo-vies to Show "The Secret Life of Pets" Wednesday, July 26

July 25, 2017

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Turtle Back Zoo's annual "Zoo-vies" continue this Wednesday, July 26, with "The Secret Life of Pets."

On Wednesdays and Thursdays during the months of July and August, Turtle Back will have Family Nights with extended evening hours until 8:30 p.m., with the last admission to the Zoo at 8 p.m. 

On Wednesday evenings during ...

Fire and Blood Make Appearance on Game of Thrones

The first blood was drawn in the war for the Seven Kingdoms on HBO's "Game of Thrones" on Sunday, but not at the hands of Daenerys Targaryen.

Goodbye Flayed Man, hello Kraken. Between the Joker-esque cackle and the Ramsay-esque war tactics, Euron Greyjoy showed us that he truly is as ruthless as he promised. His warship is a monster compared to Yara’s, he collected ...

Rutgers University Named Best Four-Year College in New Jersey

July 24, 2017

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rutgers University-New Brunswick has been ranked the No. 1 college in New Jersey by a national online education service.

The rankings released Monday by schools.com are based on an analysis of 13 different criteria.

Thirty-three four-year schools in New Jersey were each scored on a 100-point scale using the most recent data available from government sources and ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, August 6, 3:00 PM

Livingston High School, Livingston

Free Concert "Italian Vacation" Essex County ...

Arts & Entertainment

Tue, August 22, 7:00 PM

Crane’s Mill Continuing Care Retirement Community (Towne Square Conference Room), West Caldwell

Alzheimer’s New Jersey West Caldwell Support ...

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_1b325004ecd4f5c7eab5_ncpf-fundraiserflyer__1_

Sat, August 26, 7:00 PM

Montclair State University, Montclair

An Evening with Smokey Robinson - Presented by ...

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back

Bipartisan or Bystander?

July 18, 2017

Bipartisan or Bystander?

Bipartisanship means active, often contentious, yet respectful  cooperation, (and ultimate compromise), between two political parties for the ultimate betterment of their constituents. It is creating productive discussion to achieve a synthesis of ideas. Thus, the welfare of the people always comes before party loyalty. 

It's also about speaking up.

Don't Miss Bar Night for Brendan Tevlin at Thatcher McGhee's Fairfield

July 26, 2017

FAIRFIELD, NJ — The fourth annual Brendan Tevlin Lacrosse Festival will receive 20 percent of the sales from the “Bar Night for Brendan” at Thatcher McGhee’s Irish Pub and Eatery in Fairfield on Wednesday, beginning at 7 p.m.

Share the attached flyer with friends, family and neighbors and show it to your server to help the Brendan Tevlin Lacrosse Festival raise ...

Do You Work From Home?

Do you work from home? If you do, you have lots of company. The IRS indicates that 3.4 million taxpayers claim the home office deduction. You too may be eligible to take a tax deduction for a portion of your housing expenses!

Remember the simple definition for a home office – it is a part of the home that is used exclusively on a regular basis for business. This could be a dedicated room ...

Gone, But Not Forgotten

Recently my dad showed me a plaque he had been awarded from his alma mater.  He graduated from a well-respected University in the Midwest after WWII.  It was where he met my mom.  

 

He is 90 now.

 

The honorific award was for his participation in the University’s “Hall of Fame” football team of 1948, on which, as I had been informed many ...