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Alison Jaruzelski of Westfield Earns Girl Scout Gold for Work with Roots & Wings

Alison Jaruzelski, a junior at Westfield High School, recently earned her Girl Scout Gold Award. Her project consisted of gathering all the furnishings for and setting up the first apartment in Union County for Roots & Wings, an organization that provides housing for teens aging out of the foster care system.  

Alison Jaruzelski, a junior at Westfield High School, received her Girl Scout Gold Award at the Girl Scouts Heart of NJ recognition ceremony on May 3. The highest honor in Girl Scouts, the Gold Award requires a minimum of 80 hours of researching, planning and executing a project that fulfills a community or national need.

Jaruzelski completed her Gold Award project with Roots & Wings, a non-profit organization that provides housing and transitional support to teens aging out of the foster care system. Each year, more than 600 young adults age out of the foster care system in New Jersey and are left homeless and without the education or life skills needed to live independently. Roots & Wings provides safe housing and counseling to these teens, enabling them to complete their schooling and find employment on their way to self-sufficiency.

For her project, Jaruzelski was responsible for collecting donations for and setting up the first apartment leased by Roots & Wings in Union County. She hosted an apartment-warming shower for kitchen and bath accessories, bed linens and school supplies. Fifty people attended the event at First Congregational Church last fall, which also served to raise awareness of the organization.

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She was also charged with finding furniture for the two-bedroom apartment, including beds, desks, dressers, bookcases, lamps, kitchen table and chairs. She solicited donations of gently used furniture through online registries and social media.  Additionally, she wrote letters seeking donations of items that had to be in new condition, including mattresses and carpeting. Ron Shovlin of Shovlin Mattress Factory in Fanwood and Ben Slack of Major Mills in Clark were especially generous in contributing these key items.

After all the donations were gathered, the set-up of the apartment was accomplished in less than one week from the time the keys were received until the first resident moved in. Jaruzelski was responsible for coordinating all the volunteers to help move, unpack and assemble all the furnishings. The first two clients moved into the newly completed apartment last November.

As the final piece of her project, Jaruzelski compiled an apartment manual, including furnishing checklists, solicitation letters, photographs and a contact list of resources. The manual is now used by Roots & Wings as the template for setting up their future apartments.

“In spite of all the work, it was very gratifying for me to be able to help other teens in my own community who have not had the benefits of a secure family life that so many of us take for granted,” said Ms. Jaruzelski. “Everyone I contacted about this project was so enthusiastic and so generous with their time and donations. I am especially grateful to the members of Roots & Wings Union County who devoted so much effort to help me move in and set up the apartment over one very busy weekend.”

Jaruzelski has been a member of Girl Scout troop 40769 since kindergarten.Her mentor for the project was Wendy Masteller, a Roots & Wings board member and former science teacher at Roosevelt Intermediate School. For further information about Roots & Wings, contact

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Westfield Firefighters Give Assist at Overnight House Fire in Garwood

July 12, 2018

GARWOOD, NJ - The Westfield and Clark fire departments were on hand to assist at a house fire early Thursday morning in Garwood.  The fire was in the upper levels of a vacant home on Willow Avenue, according to officials.

Clark Fire Chief Frank Cerasa confirmed that five Clark firefighters took one engine to the site. One witness reported seeing emergency responders from ...

Change The Early Morning Timing on Central Ave. Traffic Light

July 12, 2018

In connection with asking Union County to review the signal timing, PLEASE also consider the timing early in the morning. I frequently am heading south on Central to Metropark Station to catch the 6 a.m. train. Whenever I am at the intersection prior to 5:30 a.m., the timing is such that a green light (going south) lasts for less than the amount of time it takes to get one car through the ...

Upcoming Events


Tue, July 17, 6:00 PM

Westfield Presbyterian Church, Westfield

Youth Mental Health First Aid

Education Health & Wellness


Wed, July 18

Westfield Area YMCA, Westfield

Westfield Area YMCA Wellness Wednesdays

Health & Wellness


Thu, July 19, 7:30 PM

Mindowaskin Park, Westfield

Free Swing Band Concert in Mindowaskin Park

Arts & Entertainment

Westfield Police Blotter: Car Scratchings, Car Burglaries Continue & More

July 11, 2018

July 2, 2018 11:37 p.m.

Chad Doriral, age 32, of Brooklyn, NY was arrested for possession of CDS pursuant to a motor vehicle stop. Subject was processed and released on summons.

July 3, 2018 11:08 p.m.

Divine Kennedy, age 19, of Newark, NJ was arrested on the strength of an outstanding warrant for his arrest from Westfield Municipal Court in the amount of $1,000.00. Further investigation ...

Echo Lake Church Vacation Bible School

July 16, 2018

The Echo Lake Church of Christ at 419 Springfield Ave., Westfield is sponsoring its annual free Vacation Bible School on Saturday, Aug. 18 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the church.

The theme  of this one day event is "Discovering the Treasures of Jesus." Classes for grades K-12 and adults will be available. The program will consist of Bible lessons, singing, crafts,and ...

Big Changes in Store for New Jersey’s Employers and Employees

Big changes are in store for New Jersey’s workplaces, with dramatic legislation aimed at improving conditions for New Jersey’s workers. These changes include the enactment of New Jersey’s Equal Pay Act, a new law to help the unemployed, and passage of New Jersey’s Paid Sick Leave Act. Most likely one or all these laws will impact you or someone in your family.

New ...

Understand NJ's Shared Responsibility Act

Last year, the President signed legislation that repealed the “penalty tax” for not having health insurance for tax years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2019.


On May 31, Governor Murphy signed into law the “New Jersey Health Insurance Market Preservation Act,” which establishes a “shared responsibility tax” for state residents without ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...

26 Homes Sold July 8-15 in Westfield and Surrounding Towns

There were 26 homes sold between July 8 and July 15 in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford and Mountainside`

TOWN          ADDRESS    STYLE            RMS   BRS BTH   GAR   Sale Price

Cranford  115  Bryant Ave ...

Dog Found in Garwood

UPDATE: Reunited with owner.

ORIGINAL POST: Dog found on Pine Avenue in Garwood. He was given food and water. Garwood police now has him. Sweet and friendly. Contact the Garwood Police Department.

It's Not What You Are Eating, It's What's Eating You


Emotional eating can be described as episodes of binge-eating, grazing and/or eating when not hungry to soothe feelings. Emotional eaters have a pattern of eating to cope with stress, emotional conflicts and problems of daily life.

Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger. Instead of physical symptoms initiating the eating, ...

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This week's Parshah (Torah reading) is the Parshah of Pinchas the Zealot: the courageous young priest who stood up against idolatry and immorality and, in the end, saved Israel from a devastating plague.

While Pinchas' radical response made him a hero worthy of having a Torah section named after him, we wouldn't necessarily suggest to our children ...

'Servant of Two Masters' exudes foolish fun

‘Servant of Two Masters’ makes for foolish, frivolous fun

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MADISON, NJ –Carlo Goldoni’s “The Servant of Two Masters,” in a rousing translation and adaptation by Bonnie J. Monte, has the outdoor audience at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey laughing and clapping all the way through.

The yearly production, held at the amphitheatre on the ...

Commencement Collapse

July 1, 2018

Along with hundreds of parents in Westfield, my sons just graduated from high school (congratulations all!). It’s a funny thing being on the inside, being one of the moms who’s actually got kids in the flowy gowns. It’s a completely different vantage point than the one I’m used to; on many graduations past, I’ve felt deep joy while driving on Grove and seeing the ...

ELL Summer Experience at Westfield Public Schools

Westfield students representing six different languages recently enjoyed a weeklong summer camp focused on providing meaningful enrichment activities for students to continue their English language acquisition while having fun.

The ELL (English Language Learners) Summer Experience ran from July 9-13 at Wilson School, welcoming students in grades 1-4 whose native languages are Russian, ...

Westfield Area YMCA: Take Swim Lessions This Summer

The Westfield Area YMCA is providing a free one-week guest pass to non-members which will also enable access to purchase a week of swim lessons at full member rates during the summer.  The one-week guest pass includes use of the Y’s fitness facilities, land and water group exercise classes and open gym/swim.

“Our goal is to have people of all ages and skill levels grow to ...

Woman Struck by Car in Bridgewater Mall Parking Lot Dies

July 12, 2018

Bridgewater, NJ - A Bedminster woman has died from her injuries after she was struck by a car in the parking lot of the Bridgewater Commons Mall Monday.

Marion Kelley, 62, was struck by a vehicle while walking in lot four near the Macy's merchandise pick up area at around 3:20 p.m. Monday.

The 2017 Mazda was driven by Chinmayi Parikh, 33, of Piscataway.

The crash is still being ...


Eric Lieberman, 47, of Scotch Plains, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Tuesday, May 22, 2018 ...
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