I love living in Westfield. We moved here almost 21 years ago for the same reasons we all do, to raise our children in a strong, vibrant community. Back in the late 90s Hazel Avenue was considered a "starter" neighborhood — five years in and then on to a bigger house. We had found a warm, loving community on our block, especially after 9/11, and there was no way I was moving off Hazel. We added on some more space, and eventually became old timers on our street.

So, I was so excited when a new family was moving in across the street! They were moving from the north side, there were 8-year-old twins, and apparently they all had red hair! Dawn Mackey soon invited me over for tea and some of her famous baked goods. I'm pretty sure I was the one who was supposed to invite HER over! We became instant friends.

The Mackeys have become an integral part of our neighborhood. Dawn walks her dog (who also has red hair) and talks to everyone. She is friendly, engaging and absolutely smart as a whip. We call her the "chronic volunteer;" she's off to PAL football, fundraising for cheerleading, participating in the Syrian refugee program at Temple Emanu-El. She works full time as a NYC commercial title examiner, part time at Weight Watchers and owns an event-planning business. She also makes outrageous themed cakes! She exhausts me.

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Few people know that Dawn opened up her home to a friend of her older son's who was removed from his home by the Department of Youth and Family Services. She has helped out numerous friends in her quiet way, and seeks no acclaim or thanks; it's just who she is. She jumps in when she sees a problem and works hard to find answers. She is the real deal. 

Now Dawn is running for town council in Ward 4. Her experience at work with municipalities will serve her well. She is well known and loved in this community, from working at Trader Joe's to her volunteer work with all of her children's activities. She wants to represent our 4th Ward neighbors and bring some common sense solutions to the issues facing Westfield today. I cannot recommend her more highly.