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Westfield Charity A Birthday Wish Celebrates Three Years

Credits: Brody Brodo Photography
Credits: Brody Brodo Photography
Credits: Brody Brodo Photography

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

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. 

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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


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

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Details Emerge After Fatal Car Crash in Union Sunday

November 19, 2017

UNION, NJ – The events leading up to a deadly crash Sunday began at about 4 p.m., when police were summoned to the Target/Whole Foods stores on Vauxhall Road to assist with an alleged shoplifter resisting arrest.

According to Union police, officers attempted to arrest the suspect, who was violently resisting, shouting that he had AIDS. The suspect bit one of the ...

Synopsis of Westfield Board of Education Meeting Nov. 14

November 16, 2017


Maureen Mazzarese, Director of Counseling in the Westfield Public Schools, prepared a report summarizing the department’s missions, goals and practices in supporting our K-12 students and their families.  Here are some highlights which briefly summarize the comprehensive report:

At every grade level, counselors are working with students ...

Upcoming Events


Tue, November 21, 7:00 PM

Municipal Building, Westfield

Westfield Town Council Meeting

Community Calendar Government


Wed, November 22, 5:00 AM

Westfield Area YMCA, Westfield

Free Wellness Wednesday at Westfield Area YMCA

Wed, November 22, 11:00 AM

Kehler Stadium, Westfield

Parade and Pep Rally


Students Collecting Food for Hungry at WHS Thanksgiving Football Game

November 21, 2017

Students Change Hunger provides the platform for students to combat hunger throughout New Jersey.  Several Westfield High School students are collecting food to be distributed to those in need through the Community Food Bank of New Jersey. If you’d like to help, please bring a non-perishable food to the Westfield High School Thanksgiving Day football game.  Students will be at the ...

Westfield Police Blotter: Cars Stolen from Driveways & More

November 15, 2017

November 9, 2017 11:34 p.m.

Officers Natale and Johnson arrested Ralph Cortese Jr., age 47, of Blairstown, NJ, on the strength of an active Paterson Municipal Court warrant in the amount of $750 pursuant to a motor vehicle stop. Subject was transported to headquarters, processed and released on recognizance.


November 8, 2017 5:38 p.m.

Officer Jackus and R. Johnson arrested ...

23 Winter Concerts in Westfield Public Schools; Special Senior Citizen Event Dec. 20

A total of 23 winter concerts will take place in the Westfield Public Schools this season. The first one begins with Edison Intermediate School’s band concert on Dec. 5 and will conclude with the Westfield High School Chorale of Love Songs on Feb. 10. The entire schedule is posted on the district’s website and appears ...

Black Cat Missing in Westfield

UPDATE: Found.

ORIGINAL POST: Black cat went missing on Grove Street near Central Avenue Sunday. He was not wearing a collar. 

If you see him please call 908-962-8677

Great Places to Take Holiday Photos in the Westfield Area

’Tis the season to cajole your family to wear matching outfits, bribe the kiddos with candy canes and chocolates, and somehow balance reindeer antler onto your pet’s head. What to do for your holiday photos this year? Why not take advantage of all of the great outdoor backdrops in our quaint towns and parks? Local businesses and townships also have some photo ops scheduled that will ...

Recovering from Addiction

November 16, 2017

You don’t recover from an addiction by just quitting.  You recover by creating a new life where it is easier to not use.  If you do not create a new life for yourself, then all the factors that led you to your addiction will eventually catch up with you again.  AA teaches that you must change people, places and things.

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The First Holiday Season Without Your Person — Making a Plan, Checking it Twice

If you are facing your first holiday after an important person in your life has died, it’s not too early to come up with a plan. Watching others who are feeling thankful and are celebrating when we feel overwhelmed, lonely or sad can be very painful. Holidays force us to realize how much our lives have been changed by the loss of our loved one.   

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AtlantiCast: Episode 007

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll see how Atlantic Health System is driving innovation and finding new ways to solve tomorrow’s health care challenges, find out how a near tragedy on the tennis courts was averted thanks to some world-class training and technology at Chilton Medical Center and meet the 70 cancer doctors you need to know about – plus much ...

Westfield Area Y Men’s Club Annual Tree Sale About to Begin

For over 65 years, the Westfield Area Y Men's Club has held its annual Christmas Tree Sale at the Elm Street field. All proceeds are donated to local charities and non-profit organizations. The event is run by club members from Westfield, Scotch Plains, Mountainside and Cranford, along with many volunteers from area organizations and local youth.

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5 Ways for Small Business Owners to Separate Business and Personal Finances

I suspect most business owners that provide for their families would argue that nearly all business matters are personal! Unfortunately, too many times I have seen clients, intentionally or not, commingle their personal objectives with their business. This can quickly lead to decision making that has calamitous results for both your personal and business planning.

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Celebrating the Holidays After a Divorce – How Separated Couples Choose to Share Time With Their Children Can Make a Big Difference

With the holidays approaching, people are busy making travel arrangements and shopping lists, digging out old recipes and getting their homes ready for what is arguably one of the most family oriented times of the year. However for couples with children who are ending their marriage or relationship these times come with an added layer of concern as to how they will share time with their children ...

Hub City Native, Longtime Boxer, Facing Off for Global Title in Atlantic City This Weekend

November 17, 2017

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ — New Brunswick native and legendary boxer Jorge “King” Diaz has certainly had his ups and downs over the years, and in some ways, he’s epitomized the rags to riches story.

Diaz was born in New Brunswick and throughout his youth, moved around to Puerto Rico, Franklin Township and North Brunswick, before finally settling down in Somerset some years ...