WEST ESSEX AREA, NJ – The Kiwanis Club of Caldwell-West Essex has been busy this March, with the launch of the club’s “Exceptional Speakers Series,” ongoing meetings, other speakers on topics like Hospice and Motorcycle Safety, new member inductions, and planning the 5th Annual All-You-Can-Eat Beefsteak Dinner.


The Kiwanis Club of Caldwell-West Essex is inviting the public to attend the 5th Annual All-You-Can-Eat Beefsteak Dinner on April 11, from 6:45 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at Charlies’ Place, which is located on the ground floor of the Notre Dame Church, at 359 Central Ave. North Caldwell. $40 per person includes soda, beer and wine. For reservations click HERE or email: jdixonKiwanis@gmail.com

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According to the club, the funds raised from activities such as this one underwrite sponsored youth programs, in 11 area schools, help families in need and support community needs such as the first aid squad, safety departments, recreation department and unforeseen emergencies.


The Kiwanis Club launched the “Exceptional Speaker Series,” with a talk by Harry Ettlinger, one of the Monuments Men. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his role in rescuing priceless works of art through the brave and unflinching sacrifices he and his 350 colleagues made to ensure Hitler’s plan to destroy the majority of Europe’s priceless art work was foiled.

More talks are planned with proceeds from the series going to The Eliminate Project to prevent maternal and neonatal tetanus in the world—“a deadly and excruciatingly-painful disease affecting newborn infants that with support can be eliminated,” according to the club. All speakers will be presenting at the Alumni Theater at Caldwell University. Presentations are $25 each. For more information, email: Kiwanis006@aol.com or call 973-228-4067.

The next speaker in the series will be Christine Baker Kline, a NYT best-selling author of “The Orphan Train” and four other novels: “Bird in Hand,” “The Way Life Should Be,” and “Desire Lines and Sweet Water.” She will address the group on Tuesday, May 6. According to the club, the story of American orphan trains is relatively unknown to the general public, yet it shaped the lives of thousands of riders and the people they lived with. The club said that by merging history into fiction, Christina Baker Kline is “reaching a whole new audience that enjoys learning, while their imaginations are delighted; which is why “Orphan Train” is often the most wait-listed book at libraries and has been a book club favorite across the country.”

On Sunday, September 20, Ron Farber, a recognized pop and rock music historian of five decades will speak to the club. The public is invited to come and learn about the genesis of Rock and Roll and hear some of the music they may have danced to in their youth.

According to the club, “in the 1950’s to the 1990’s, Farber toured and worked with widely-known recording artists.” He was also the marketing and entertainment consultant for The Las Vegas Hilton, music companies, videos and films. In addition, the club said that “Farber was a frequent on-air guest and advisor for radio legend Joey Reynold’s nightly WOR (NYC.)


On March 12, Barbara Adams-Plyer of Vitas Innovative Hospice made a presentation at the Cloverleaf Restaurant about the benefits and choices of Hospice Care.

Also on March 12, Charlene Sasso, a longtime resident of West Caldwell was inducted as a new member of the club at the Cloverleaf Restaurant. Charlene is a part of the Northern NJ Financial Group of Prudential.

On March 19, the club heard about Motorcycle safety from Paul Donoghue of the Fairleigh Dickinson University Motorcycle Safety continuing education division. He spoke of the courses available through the University for beginners as well as experienced riders in conjunction with njsmartriders.org a Motorcycle Safety Coalition.