Imagine Celebrates their Volunteers and Looks to the Future

Pictured L-R Front Row:  Rachel Furnari, Scotch Plains; Melissa Montalvo, Cranford; Back Row: Ann Furnari, Scotch Plains, Tarajee Wadee'ah Russell-Wertz, Hillside; Thomas Greene, Westfield 

Over 100 volunteers and their family and friends filled the new space at Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss on April 27 for the fifth annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. Dinner, music, coffee and awards were provided to show the volunteers how special and appreciated they are!

The evening was catered by Castle on a Cloud who donated all of the food, desserts and staff. Guests were also treated to live music by The Have Some Hotel band who donated their services, and delicious coffee from Rockin’ Joes in Westfield, also donated. The event theme was candy, to exemplify how “sweet” the volunteers are, and they received awards such as the Starburst Award for painting all of the color on the walls of the new center and the Rock Candy Award for the pure energy they provide to the youngest of participants.

“Our volunteers are priceless,” said Mandi Zucker, Imagine’s Program Director. “As our programs continue to grow, we absolutely could not make it happen without the time and commitment from the volunteers.  We use over 100 volunteers every two weeks to facilitate our support groups, work in the office, serve on committees, the Board of Trustees, and set up and clean up the space before and after the groups meet.  We hope this event shows our volunteers, in some small way, how much we appreciate them and how grateful we are to be able to do this work along side them.”

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Imagine’s next Volunteer Facilitator Training, which will prepare us to start up our fifth Night or Support serving 60 new children and adults, is July 7-10th, from 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. daily. One recently trained facilitator, Stephanie Naphtali of Wyckoff said, “The training restored my belief in the compassion of all.  It was a transformative experience.  I learned so much and my life has been enriched by the knowledge I learned.”

Please contact Mandi Zucker at 908-264-3100 or if you would like to learn more about the training and the commitment involved to be a facilitator or visit our website at



Imagine is a free year-round children’s grief support center that serves NJ children age 3-18 and young adults 18-30 who are grieving the death of a parent or sibling, or who are living with a parent of sibling with a life-altering illness. Imagine also provides grief education and training for thousands of teachers, parents, coaches, youth and other adults annually.  



The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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