Press Releases

Westfield Couple Hosts Outdoor Coffee to Celebrate ‘Love Trumps Hate’ Message

Valerie Latona and David Contract hosted Westfield residents, passersby and school children at a free coffee, hot chocolate and doughnut event to celebrate their message, "Love trumps hate." Credits: Susana MacLean
This sign replaces two previous, identical, signs that were vandalized in the weeks after the presidential election. The homeowners received notes, calls, and social media messages of support. Credits: Susana MacLean

Westfield homeowners Valerie Latona and David Contract served coffee, hot chocolate and donuts in front of their home on Valentine’s Day to approximately 100 Westfield residents and passers-by, and to many children and teens walking to and from school. The couple invited people to write a message on foam hearts, to be attached to their fence, where they had two signs. The first sign said, “Love Trumps Hate.”  hey had put up a similar sign during the presidential campaign. Over the ensuing weeks, after the election, the sign was vandalized and torn down, replaced, vandalized a second time and replaced again. 

Ms. Latona explained, "Our signs have brought a sense of hope to so many people. People have dropped off thank-you notes, sent us messages on social media, and stopped us outside our house to express how much this sign has meant to them during what has been a very difficult time for so many people. We were determined not to let them down — or let our community down. That’s why we put our signs back up after they were vandalized and stolen."

There were heated discussions about the sign in the Westfield Facebook Group (which is run by TAPinto Westfield owner Jackie Lieberman), in which some residents criticized the sign, while others defended the right of the homeowners to post it on their personal property. The third iteration of the sign is now accompanied by a new sign reading “The Wall (of Love).”  The Valentine’s Day coffee invitation was communicated through social media and word of mouth.  During the coffee, many drivers passing by honked their horns and waved. 

Sign Up for E-News

Mr. Contract remarked, "We decided to give back to the community — spread the love, so to speak - by giving away free coffee, hot chocolate, and donuts on Valentine's Day."

"It's been incredibly inspiring to see the community come together to build this wall of love," said Contract. "Seeing elementary, middle and high schoolers come by and write out hearts for the wall was really incredible too. They're our next generation and they're getting involved. And at the end of the day, getting involved is what we all need to do."

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Darby Road's St. Patrick's Day Festival Kicks Off

March 17, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ — Darby Road Public House (450 Park Ave., Scotch Plains) kicked off its three-day St. Patrick’s Day Festival on Friday at the municipal parking lot.

The event takes place under a larger tent this year and features Irish bands, Irish step dancers, bagpipers, food and beverages, along with a bounce house, face -painting, and pony rides for the kids.

Mayor Brindle’s Update, Feb. 13

March 14, 2018

The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

Last week’s back to back nor’easters left a wave of destruction that Westfield hasn’t experienced since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Three thousand homes lost power. Over 40 roads were closed due to downed wires and/or trees. Our police responded to ...

Westfield Police Blotter: DWI, Reported Fraud & More

March 14, 2018

March 7, 2018 2:06 a.m.

Carlos C. Mendoza, age 33, of Garwood, NJ, was arrested on the strength of three Westfield Municipal Court warrants ($750) pursuant to a traffic stop in the area of South Avenue in Scotch Plains. Subject was transported to Westfield Police HQ where he was processed and refused after posting bail.


March 9, 2018 2:09 p.m.

A resident of Sandra Circle ...

Franklin 5th Graders Perform ‘Shrek The Musical JR’

March 17, 2018

All of our differences make us unique. That theme pervaded the third annual Fifth Grade Show at Franklin Elementary School in Westfield, “Shrek The Musical JR.,” performed on March 2 and 3. 

“I’m so proud of our cast and crew for all their hard work and dedication to making this year’s show such a success,” said Emma Schwartz, director and producer of ...

Charitable Spirit Alive and Well in Westfield Public Schools

Students, staff and parents in Westfield Public Schools continue the district’s long tradition of helping others both in and outside of the community, with a number of students recently recognized for their efforts.

Fifteen Westfield High School juniors and sophomores were honored by the Community Food Bank of New Jersey for collecting more than 5,000 pounds of food items for families in ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


8 Homes Sold Last Week in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford and Mountainside

Eight homes sold last week, March 4 to March 11, 2018, in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford and Mountainside.*


 TOWN                  ADDRESS             ...

The Day After

Some years ago, the United Nations held the International Summit on Sustainable Development, here in Johannesburg. The Summit was a great success. One wonders, though, whether all the wonderful decisions and resolutions that were adopted were ever implemented. In other words, were they themselves sustainable?

Good ideas and worthwhile projects are suggested regularly. The question is, do they ...

Auction Items Sought for Westfield Area YMCA 14th Annual Golf Classic

The Westfield Area Y is hosting the 14th Annual Golf Classic and Dinner with Live and Silent Auction on Monday, May 14, at Echo Lake Country Club in Westfield. All proceeds will benefit the Y’s financial assistance program and help send a kid to camp or child care at the Y this year.

If you have a vacation home or time share, access to a fine dining establishment, ...

How to Stay Connected to Your Partner After a Newborn

March 11, 2018

Life changes instantly once we have a newborn.  It is one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences a couple can have. It brings joy and a newfound commitment to the relationship and now to a family of three. Grandparents, family and friends are eager to get involved with helping and visiting. Responsibilities increase, expenses increase and privacy decreases. Our routine ...

Profit from Recent Volatility with Stock Market Bargains

Markets retreated in February, the worst down month in two years. A record surge in volatility caused several ETFs designed as leveraged bets on low volatility to plunge, with at least one being forced to liquidate and hand its investors a near total loss.

The Causes of February’s Market Retreat

The initial catalyst for the sell off was inflation. The January jobs report showed ...


Kathleen Marie Christian (nee Helmstetter), age 73 of Surf City, NJ, passed away peacefully at home ...
Read more

Health Alert: Child with Measles Traveled to Newark Airport on March 12

March 15, 2018

TRENTON, NJ — If you were at Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday, March 12 between 12:45 and 9 p.m., you may have been exposed to measles and should contact your health care provider.

The New Jersey Department of Health has issued a public health alert after a child with a confirmed case of measles — a highly contagious disease — arrived in Terminal B at ...