WEST ORANGE, NJ — There is still time to register for the West Orange Chamber of Commerce’s (WOCC) annual Thanksgiving Luncheon on Wednesday, Nov. 27 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Mayfield Farms, where the chamber will welcome guest speaker Barbara Warter of Warter Strong Foundation and special guest Veronica Depauli and her family in addition to collecting donations for the Holy Trinity Food Pantry and celebrating a successful year in the West Orange business community.

Warter, whose organization partners with organizations that focus on similar goals, will share how she turned personal tragedy and grief into a mission to help others and spread her mission of #DoHappy.

“What began as a bone marrow drive in honor of my late husband Oren in the fall of 2014 and what became fueled by the loss of our son, Ryan, in May 2018 has taken shape into something beautiful,” Warter’s website states.

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Depauli and her parents, Federico Depauli and Elise Luciano, as well as her little sister, Annabelle, are attending the event to raise awareness and to help residents sign up with the Be The Match registry.

Depauli is a 9-year-old West Orange student who is facing a life-threatening diagnosis and is in dire need of a bone marrow donor. The Gregory Elementary School fourth grader was diagnosed with osteopetrosi, and there has not been a single match in the 20 million registered donors in the Be The Match database to help save her life.

“This annual event is cherished by the West Orange community, and this year’s guest speaker and special guest will be sure to tug on your heartstrings. Their stories are sure to inspire,” said Bianca Prieto, executive director of the WOCC. “It’s the perfect event to give thanks for the year-round opportunities that living and working in West Orange provides. It will also be an amazing time to network with influencers from the township and county.”

Other event highlights will include door prizes, a 50/50 raffle and a food drive to benefit Holy Trinity Food Pantry. Guests are asked to bring non-perishable foods.

Advance tickets are on sale now for $45. Register in advance here.

This annual event is hosted by the WOCC in partnership with Orange/West Orange UNICO, Lions Club and Rotary Club. Sponsors for this year’s event are listed below:

Bederson LLP
JAG-One Physical Therapy
Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation
Saint Barnabas Medical Center

Cass Inc. Realtors
Jordan Baris Inc. Realtors
Arden Courts of West Orange

The Kids Palace II Daycare & Preschool

R&G Contracting
Pleasant Valley Partnership
Imperial Painting & Coatings LLC

Media Partners:
TAPinto West Orange
West Orange Chronicle