In the early hours of Saturday June 9, members of the Parish Community of St. Helen’s Catholic Church piled into their respective vehicles to give back to almost 140 local first responders.

In a year which marked the 50th anniversary of St. Helen’s in Westfield, a group of parishioners decided they would mark the occasion by thinking of others. One of the ways they decided to make an impact on the greater community of Westfield was by holding an appreciation breakfast for local police, fire departments and rescue squads.

“The 50th anniversary of St Helen’s is historic in the life of the parish,” said Phil Murphy, chair of the 50th Anniversary Committee and parishioner of 32 years. “We have coordinated a series of events to demonstrate our continued outreach to the community and beyond. One example is our effort to deliver breakfast to our first responders in the area as a thank you their service and dedication.”

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More than 100 volunteers were involved in donating, preparing and delivering bagels, breakfast casseroles, coffee and $700 of gift cards to police, fire departments and rescue squads in Westfield, Cranford, Clark, Garwood, Scotch Plains and Fanwood.

“This is just one example of the many, many community efforts offered to our local community over 50 years,” said Donna McCabe, a parishioner of 30 years and leader of the Appreciation Breakfast. “The various first responders reacted with both surprise and delight to the generosity of the St. Helens volunteers.”

St. Helen’s Church and its 4,000-plus families are guided in faith through the welcoming presence of its Pastor, Fr. Michael Saporito. The church is located at 1600 Rahway Ave. in Westfield at the corner of Rahway Avenue and Lambert’s Mill Road.