ELIZABETH, NJ — The staff at Trinitas Regional Medical Center was presented with handmade hats for newborn infants as well as patients at the Cancer Center last week by the 4C’s, a club from St. Helen's Roman Catholic Church in Westfield.

Alesia Porter, program director of the 4C’s, along with Karen Rodden, made the presentation to Trinitas staff members Maribeth Santillo R.N., Juanita Fryar R.N. and Linda Veldkamp, Ph.d, who are co-administrators at Trinitas Comprehensive Cancer Center. Radiation therapists Judy Labellarte and Doreen Rinaldo were also present at the meeting.

The hats are made on a loom by participants in the 4C’s who range in age from 3 to 86. According to Porter, different size looms are used to accommodate different sized heads. One-hundred newborn hats were presented along with 25 hats for the cancer center.

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Rodden, who became involved in the group recently, enjoys making four or more adult hats daily. “I was taught how to do this by a 6-year-old,” Rodden said. “The process is really quite easy and the yarns are all donated materials. Our group started with a few people getting together and continues to grow. I am so happy to be part of the 4C’s and I believe in their mission.”

Porter, the group's founder, echoed Rodden's sentiments. “My mission is to empower, mentor and teach girls how to live out their Catholic faith through ministry,” Porter said. “The appreciation extended by Trinitas Hospital was an experience like no other.  I thought when going to Trinitas, I would meet Maribeth and Juanita ... boy was I mistaken.” 

Santillo introduced the group to newborn Sebastian CorreaGarcia. Mother Laura and father Ricardo from Roselle, posed as their son donned his newly handmade hat that covered his already full head of dark, lush hair. Sebastian posed for pictures as Porter read one of the custom-made prayer cards to him that accompanies each hat.

“Our hats have made it to as far away as Haiti,” Porter said.

Most donations are local. The group continues to grow. Additional hats are being produced and will be donated to the Cancer Center at a future date. 

Highlights from the presentation can be viewed below.

St. Helen’s Roman Catholic Church is located at 1600 Rahway Ave. in Westfield.  Rev. Michael Saporito is the pastor.

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