GARWOOD, NJ — A Birthday Wish, a local organization that gives children in foster care birthday gifts, will celebrate its own second birthday Friday with a fundraiser called “The Wonder of Wishes” at Crossroads, 78 North Ave. in Garwood, featuring cover band The Nerds.

The event is sold out, but there is a waiting list. The organization is also continuing to add sponsors. For information, visit

“In 2014 when I started this journey I had no idea where it would lead me,” founder and Westfield resident Jane Hoffman said. “I have been so amazed by the generosity of our local community and from donors across the country. Some of our very best donors are young children who ask their birthday party guests to donate to ABW in lieu of gifts.  It has been truly inspiring to witness.”

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A Birthday Wish grants 80 to 100 wishes of children in foster care each month, Hoffman said.

“When you ask people what they love about their own birthday they usually say opening presents and spending time with family,” she said. “Imagine a 12-year-old boy or a 3-year-old girl who is separated from family with nothing to open on their special day. A Birthday Wish is opportunity to remind children, teens and young adults in the foster care that they are special and celebrated on their birthday.” 

Proceeds from Friday’s event will be used to grant the birthday wishes of children in foster care in eight New Jersey counties.

“We are so excited about the second annual Wonder of Wishes event,” Hoffman said. “A Birthday Wish was founded in November of 2014. We wanted to plan a really fun night out, something casual and a little different. We have a great event committee.”

From Westfield, committee members include Amy Cook, Erin Cetera, Kelly Cleary, Meaghan Murphy, Erinn Murray, Colleen Thorburn, Sarah Himmelbaum, Jessica Lasota, Olivia Broad, Jeaneen McGuire, Courtney Thien, Marisa O'Brien, Jessica White, Renee Rapuano and Suzanne Cicia. Kathy Sartorius of Short Hills and Mary Weldon of Summit also serve on the committee.

Interested in getting involved with A Birthday Wish?

“There are many ways to get involved with A Birthday Wish regardless of your age,” Hoffman said:

Grant A Wish

Visit to view a list of birthday wishes from children in New Jersey foster care.  You can let children in New Jersey foster care know that they are not forgotten on their birthday.

Create Your Own Online Fundraiser for ABW

Celebrate a huge accomplishment by creating your own personalized online fundraising page. Set a goal, email your friends and family and watch the donations come in. With the money you raise, you can select the Birthday Wishes that you would like to grant.

Host a Wrapping Party

Set the date and come together to wrap gifts and make cards for children in NJ foster care.

Kids Celebrating Kids

We invite children of all ages to join us in granting birthday wishes, wrapping gifts and making birthday cards.  Encourage your children to hold a lemonade stand or bake sale at their school. With the money they raise, they can pick the Birthday Wishes they want to grant.

No Gifts, Please!

Do your children have enough stuff? Are you about to celebrate a milestone birthday? In lieu of gifts, ask your friends and family to contributeany amount in cash or gift cards in honor of your special occasion. The best part? You get to pick the Birthday Wishes you want to grant.

Sponsor The Wonder of Wishes fundraiser

Sponsors so far include:

Event Sponsor

The Weldon Family


Platinum Sponsors

The Britain Family

 Ferraro’s Restaurant of Westfield

The Hoffman Family

Mitchell and Nancy Shivers

Brian and Carolyn Wanat


Gold Sponsors

Brody Brodo Photography

Cotapaxi Custom Design and Manufacturing

William and Carolyn Hoffman

Kathy and Scott Sartorius

The Thorburn Group, J.P. Morgan Securities

The Thein Family


Silver Sponsors

Maureen and Mark Angelo

Joe and Shawna DiMattina

The French Martini

James Foerst of the Spector Foerst & Associates Law Firm

The Gormley Family

Mary Harries of Coldwell Banker

McGuire Cadillac

Mr. B Printing

The Murray Family

Northeast Planning Corporation, Kevin O'Brien

That's Adornable 

Wyse Advisors LLC