On Friday, Oct. 13, A Birthday Wish will celebrate three years of granting special wishes for children in New Jersey foster care. The third annual Wonder of Wishes event, which sold out last year, will be held at the new Stage House Tavern in Mountainside, New Jersey. It’s a new, larger venue for this fun night out and it promises to be one of the highlights of the fall season. The Benjamins will be preforming this year, bringing their high-energy set list packed with current songs and old favorites. General admission tickets ($35) and sponsorships are available at www.ABirthdayWish.org.
2017 Wonder of Wishes sponsors include Event Sponsor The Weldon Family; Platinum Sponsors Ryan and Ellen Bernholz, The Britain Family, Ferraro's Restaurant of Westfield, Jane and Christian Hoffman, The Main Event, Arthur and Stacie Paterson, Mitchell and Nancy Shivers, Stage House Tavern and Westfield Living; Gold Sponsors Maureen and Mark Angelo, The Cicia Family, Cotapaxi Custom Design and Manufacturing, Elegant Homes by Ralph Rapuano, Jr. The Hudson Shea Stella Faith Research Fund, William and Carolyn Hoffman, Emily and Ted McDonagh, McGuire Cadillac, Gia and Patrick O'Keefe, The O'Brien Family, Kathy and Scott Sartorius, The Thein Family, Colleen and Rob Thorburn, Brian and Carolyn Wanat; Silver Sponsors The Bar Method of Westfield, James and Connie Corcoran & Hannah and Steve Flynn, Finaly General Contractors, James Foerst of Spector Foerst & Associates, Geraldine and Colm Keogh, Jean Marie Morgan of Coldwell Banker, Mr. B Printing, The Murray Family, Elisa Sananman and That's Adornable.
A Birthday Wish was founded in 2014 by Westfield resident, Jane Hoffman. The organization is headquartered in Westfield and operates throughout New Jersey in eleven counties. Each month they receive lists of children in foster care, who will be celebrating their birthday in the upcoming months. Donors grant the children’s wishes and volunteers wrap each gift, include a special card and deliver the packages across the state.
The children celebrated by A Birthday Wish have not had an easy life. Many have been the victims of extreme abuse or severe neglect. They have lost parents to due substance abuse, incarceration or death. This is an opportunity to remind them that they are special and thought of, on the anniversary of their birth. Due to the chaos in their young lives, many have never had a birthday party or even opened a special gift.
Jane Hoffman is quick to mention that, “A Birthday Wish wouldn't exist without the generosity and commitment of so many Westfield residents, young and old.” The idea first came to Hoffman after a chance encounter with a CASA of Union County supervisor at Festival in downtown Westfield. The ladies of the Tuesday Club of Westfield were the original donors and volunteers. School children, church groups, book clubs and many families throughout Westfield have granted thousands of wishes, wrapped as many gifts and delivered carloads of special treats to eager children. Hoffman comments, “Our Wonder of Wishes event is an opportunity to celebrate that intangible quality that makes a town like Westfield so special, it’s people who care about people and want to make the world a kinder place.”
To learn more about A Birthday Wish and the special children they celebrate each month, visit their website at www.ABirthdayWish.org.
2017 Wonder of Wishes Event Committee
Olivia Board, Erin Cetera, Amy Cook, Suzanne Cicia, Kelly Cleary, Alyson Germond, Sarah Himmelbaum, Jane Hoffman, Jessica Lasota, Emily McDonagh, Jeaneen McGuire, Meaghan Murphy, Erinn Murray, Wendy Nitche, Marisa O’Brien, Stacie Paterson, Renee Rapuano, Kathy Sartorius, Courtney Thein, Colleen Thorburn and Mary Weldon