Giving Back

"Our Sweet Caroline" Benefit Held at West Orange Shillelagh Club

Tara Quigley and Nicole Pfeifer sell Tricky Tray and Raffle Tickets. Credits: Kate Davenport
Despite the unpredictable weather, many turned out to support the Vandemark family. Credits: Kate Davenport
 Eileen and Tom Quigley (front) and Jim Hanley (rear) collect donations and welcome guests.   Credits: Kate Davenport
Jessie Bielecke and Nick Laszlo direct traffic. Credits: Kate Davenport

WEST ORANGE, NJ - On Saturday, July 13 “The Sweet Caroline Benefit” was held at the West Orange Shillelagh Club.  The weather did not dampen the spirits of upwards of one-hundred and fifty family, friends, and community members that gathered together to celebrate the life of a young woman who touched so many people in such a short time on earth.

Caroline Vandemark was a compassionate twenty-two year old that was loved by all. Sadly, Caroline battled brain cancer for the majority of the last year, and passed away on June 26, three weeks prior to the benefit.

Caroline and her family were long-time residents of West Orange before moving to Caldwell about ten years ago.  Caroline graduated from James Caldwell High school in 2009, where she was a member of the State Championship Women’s volleyball program. From there, she attended East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania, where she graduated this past spring.

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The benefit raised funds to offset Caroline's medical bills over the last year.  Prior to the event, hundreds of posters with Caroline’s story were placed throughout West Orange and the Caldwells to publicize the benefit.  In addition, her story and news of the benefit was reported in local news venues.  As a result, several generous donations were made by family, friends, and total strangers to help support the Vandemark family and “The Sweet Caroline Benefit”.

The event allowed family and friends to celebrate and remember the life of Caroline Vandemark. Sponsored by the West Orange Elks Club and West Orange Shillelagh Club, the event featured food, music, a tricky-tray and fifty-fifty. Live music was provided by Scott Cumming’s band, “The Gutter Kings”.

The organizers of the event wish to publicly thank all who made donations and attended the event. Kathy Laszlo, one of the event organizers, would like to “thank everyone who supported the benefit. There was a wonderful turnout, and we could not be more pleased with the results.”

Additional Donations can be sent to the Caroline Vandemark Fund c/o West Orange Elks 424 Main Street, West Orange NJ 07052.

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