Giving Back

Westfield Organization Raises $40K for Kids in Foster Care to Celebrate Birthdays with ‘Wonder of Wishes’

7c3dfb2428272b2bf1a8_IMG_0027.JPG
About 500 guests attended The Wonder of Wishes event Friday, raising $40,000 for A Birthday Wish. Credits: Marnie Nathanson, The Social Status Co.
e58f957c7543143ad69d_IMG_0021__1_.JPG
The Benjamins played at The Stage House Tavern the night of the event. Credits: Marnie Nathanson, The Social Status Co.
48eccb1cd2d0de3ac8ee_IMG_3255.JPG
A Birthday Wish celebrated their annual "Wonder of Wishes" event Friday, raising $40k for their cause Credits: Kate Brochu
0478e27d9f8982acce75_IMG_0037.JPG
Guest enjoyed the Zing It! photo booth provided by The Main Event Party Entertainment Credits: Marnie Nathanson, The Social Status Co.
0fe93763898a55b3ca46_Jane_Hoffman.jpg
Founder of A Birthday Wish Jane Hoffman Credits: A Birthday Wish
7c3dfb2428272b2bf1a8_IMG_0027.JPG

WESTFIELD, NJ – Westfield-based A Birthday Wish raised $40,000 Friday during the annual Wonder of Wishes fundraising event. Westfield resident Jane Hoffman founded the organization in 2014 to demonstrate to children in foster care that their life matters and that they are truly special by providing them with a birthday gift and card selected especially for them.

Attendance at this year's Wonder of Wishes was almost double that of last year's, according to Hoffman.

 “It's amazing to see the community's support for children, teens and young adults in New Jersey foster care,” she said.

Sign Up for E-News

This year’s event was held at the new Stage House Tavern in Mountainside.

“They were incredible supporters of the event,” Hoffman said. “They offered each Wonder of Wishes guest a complimentary drink and they were wonderful to work with.”

Almost 500 tickets were purchased for this year’s event. Tickets were $35 with the option to pay for the transaction cost so that all proceeds could be donated directly to A Birthday Wish.

During the event, guests had the opportunity to purchase A Birthday Wish goods, including t-shirts and hats. Guests were treated to a performance by the Benjamins, who were scheduled to play at the Stage House Tavern that evening.

“It was great to welcome so many new attendees and sponsors this year,” Hoffman said. “The Main Event Party Entertainment provided an awesome Zing It! photo booth that our guests enjoyed all night. It was an incredible new addition.” 

A Birthday Wish grants more than 1,000 wishes annually to children, teens and young adults in foster care. According to Hoffman, no birthday wish goes un-granted and there is no price limit on what children can wish for. Currently the program reaches foster children in 11 counties across New Jersey, and the organization is often asked about opportunities to open up new chapters in other communities.

The annual Wonder of Wishes event makes up about 40 percent to 50 percent of the organization’s funding, and they are hoping to organize a family-friendly event this spring, Hoffman said. The organization also benefits from other community events. This Thursday, Oct. 19, at 7:30 p.m. A Birthday Wish will be at the Back to Business Vendor Bash held by The Social Status Co. at Indigo Art Studio at 102 Elm St. in Westfield. According to Hoffman, attendees can shop fabulous vendors throughout the evening and purchase a raffle ticket for incredible prizes with proceeds supporting their wish-granting activities.

Hoffman and her husband became adoptive parents in 2011.

“We were immediately struck by the human capacity to love and the need for all children to be part of a permanent loving family,” she said.

According to Hoffman and the organization’s website, much of the inspiration for “A Birthday Wish” came from a conversation with her three daughters.

“Children in foster care arrive in that situation through no fault of their own. ​They have been the victims of severe abuse, extreme neglect, many have lost parents to addiction, incarceration or even death,” said Hoffman. “They need to know that they are worthy of a happy childhood and that just when you least expect it something good will come to you. Everyone needs to know they matter.”

Hoffman said that A Birthday Wish is just one small way to say to children, "You are amazing. Don't give up hope of a brighter tomorrow."

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

Springfield Acupuncturist Charged with Sexual Assault of Patient

February 24, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, NJ — A Springfield-based acupuncturist and was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a patient, Acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan and Springfield Police Chief John Cook jointly announced Friday.

 Edward Raskin, 55, of Chatham Township, Morris County, was charged with second-degree sexual assault and fourth-degree criminal sexual ...

Mayor Brindle’s Update

February 15, 2018

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

I first want to congratulate Nick Calello and David Went for their promotions to patrol officers in the Westfield Police Department. I’d also like to welcome and congratulate new Patrol Officer Fortunato Riga, who joins the police department this week upon his ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_9cfec6f1d81f034823a4_1d4v9602

Sat, February 24, 1:00 PM

Westfield Area YMCA, Westfield

Free Kids Expo and Water Safety Event

Arts & Entertainment Health & Wellness

Sat, February 24, 7:00 PM

Grand Summit Hotel, Summit

The Burlesque Ball

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back

Carousel_image_2e2e4830042112095f66_94f09724857a937db1ac_d6404e0a-7afd-4279-b56f-19b0f9b2138c

Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

Camp Riverbend, Warren

Camp Riverbend Open House

Westfield Police Blotter: Man Steals 60 Pairs of Pants from Downtown Store & More

February 21, 2018

February 14, 2018 10:53 p.m.

Officers Gill and Weiss arrested Luis Murillo, age 30, of Rahway, NJ, for two outstanding warrants out of Westfield Municipal Court ($500) and Woodbridge Municipal Court ($500) pursuant to a motor vehicle stop in Scotch Plans Township. Subject was transported to headquarters, processed and released after posting requisite bail.

 

February 15, 2018 5:24 ...

Union County Hosts First LGBTQ Roundtable

February 24, 2018

On Tuesday, February 20, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, through the Office of LGBTQ Services, hosted a roundtable with over 20 leading LGBTQ advocacy and ally organizations that serve Union County and New Jersey. Facilitated by Christian Fuscarino, Executive Director of Garden State Equality, more than 40 participants met to discuss LGBTQ-related programs, services, issues and ...

The Missing Moses

A seemingly dubious distinction belongs to this week’s Parshah, Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20–30:10). It is the only reading in the Torah — from the first Parshah of the book of Exodus (in which he is born) until the end of the book of Numbers — where the name of Moses is not mentioned. Tetzaveh’s opening words are V’atah ...

‘Month of Hope’ at Wilson School

Inspired by the HOPE Week Initiative introduced in 2009 by the New York Yankees, Mr. Joseph Malanga, principal of Wilson School and a fan of the American League professional ballclub, declared January the “Month of Hope” at Wilson.

Malanga called on the school’s faculty Acts of Kindness Committee to choose the charitable organizations to be recipients of the weekly donation ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

Would the Stock Market Affect Your Home Purchase?

"Fasten your seatbelts; it's going to be a bumpy night." ("All About Eve.") While most people misquote this as "It's going to be a bumpy ride," the actual quote works better for the movie. Bette Davis delivers this with the classic style that made her one of the most loved actresses of her generation.

Well for the stock market it’s been a wild bumpy ...

Good News in NJ for Veterans

Beginning in the 2017 tax year, New Jersey will give an additional $3,000 exemption for military veterans. You are eligible to claim this exemption NJ state income tax return if you are a military veteran who was honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States on or before the last day of the tax year.

 

The ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 13, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...

Love Craft Beer But Hate the Tour? State Assembly Moves to Make it Easier for You to Belly Up to the Bar

Good news is a brew for New Jersey craft beer advocates. In February 2018, the New Jersey Assembly’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee paved the way for the introduction of Bill A2196, which would remove a current licensing rule requiring breweries and distilleries to provide a tour of their facilities before serving alcoholic beverages to consumers. Currently, breweries holding a ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

Is FAANG Long in the Tooth?

Investors love to rally around a stock story. Today it’s all about the FAANG stocks. Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Netflix (NFLX) and Google (GOOG) are a major reason why the S&P 500 rallied so much in 2017. Mr. Market is convinced the FAANGs are impervious to a sell-off. “Its different this time” is ringing loud and clear, but will the outcome really be that ...

Imagine a Chatham Toboggan Ride from the Top of Fairmount Avenue to Main Street

Did you know….
there was a time when Chatham kids could ice skate from downtown Chatham all the way to Florham Park? And that a toboggan ride could last from the top of Fairmount Avenue down to Main Street and beyond?

Those were the days!

This was back in the early to mid-1900s. The Passaic River meandered through grassy meadows and woods on the north side of Chatham. The marshy ...

Obituaries

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

NBA Star Dennis Rodman Enjoys Life in Livingston

February 23, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Former National Basketball Association (NBA) star Dennis Rodman’s friends say he is “living like a Livingston kid” while he is in town doing an outpatient program for Turning Point Rehab Center.

Livingston native Chris “Vo” Volo, an agent for Prince Marketing Group, has been representing Rodman for seven years and the two quickly became ...