Last week, Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss, opened its doors to over 100 volunteers and supporters for irs annual Volunteer Appreciation event.

Cheese and chocolate fondue was served alongside lots of tasty treats to celebrate all of the hard work and contributions made by volunteers over the past year. From committee members, board members, office volunteers, hospitality greeters, cleaner-uppers, setter-uppers to our facilitators Imagine would not exist without our volunteers. Volunteer facilitators alone each donate over 100 hours annually to facilitate bi-monthly support groups for children, teens, young adults and parents after a diagnosis of a life-altering illness or after someone has died. This yearly traditional volunteer appreciation event  is one way Imagine shows it’s appreciation to our volunteers who make our mission possible.

Music was donated by Hayden Sobel, catering and party planning also donated by Gloria from Glorious Southern Cuisine and Katanni from Kached Event Design and Artistry. Vine Ripe Market in Westfield donated delicious breads for dipping, as well. Volunteers were treated to fun games and awards were given out to celebrate all of the accomplishments of the past year.

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If you are interested in volunteering in any capacity please contact Imagine Program Director at mandi@imaginenj.org. To become a support group facilitator, volunteers must complete a 32-hour, 4 day training and commit to one year of volunteer work.  The next training will be July 27-30, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For more information or to register, please contact mandi@imaginenj.org or call 908-264-3100.

Imagine is a free year-round peer grief support center located in Mountainside serving children, teens and young adults who have had a parent or sibling die, with concurrent support groups for their parents or guardians. Support for families living with a life-altering physical illness is also available. For more information about Imagine, visit www.imaginenj.org or call 908-264-3100.

In the photo above, Imagine Volunteer Facilitators have fun celebrating their accomplishments at Imagine’s Volunteer Appreciation Event Thursday evening April 26.  Pictured in the back row: Mark Papa (Roselle), Nancy Stewart (Westfield), Tarajee Russell-Wertz (Hillside).  Front row: Veronica Ortiz (Imagine Program Associate), Rachel Furnari (Scotch Plains), Ann Furnari (Scotch Plains), Beth Alvero (Westfield), Aimee Jayinski (Scotch Plains), Alyssa Farrell (Kenilworth)