Giving Back

May 26, 2020

WESTFIELD, NJ — Sherry Cronin knew finding her engagement ring and an accompanying earring that found their way in the garbage would be a challenge, but she tried anyway — and her trip to the incinerator paid off. Cronin, who has been married to her husband, John, for 25 years determined that ...

Read more »

View video of the full ceremony below text. WESTFIELD, NJ — Church bells rang. The bugle played. The mayor gave a speech. A solemn Memorial Day ceremony was made even more solemn with no audience in attendance at the town’s World War I monument Monday. “Let this day be a day of ...

Read more »

WESTFIELD NJ — Local country music performer and Sweet Sounds of Downtown favorite Nikki Briar performs a porch concert at 4 p.m. Sunday at an undisclosed location for the Westfield community. Watch the concert here and at https://www.facebook.com/nikkibriar. Viewers are encouraged to donate ...

Read more »

WESTFIELD, NJ — Tyvek suits to protect them from COVID-19, an ultraviolet light to scrub ambulances of potential coronavirus contaminants and a heightened awareness when entering long-term care centers are standard protocol for the Westfield Volunteer Rescue Squad these days. The squad members ...

Read more »

WESTFIELD, NJ — Have you been using your quarantine time to clean out your closets? The Westfield Area YMCA has just the event for you. On Wednesday, June 3, from 7:30 a.m. — 2:30 p.m. the Westfield Area YCMA invites the public to drop off clothes, shoes, belts, handbags, curtains, towels, ...

Read more »

ELIZABETH, NJ — Jonathan Patiño was home when the tractor trailer crash lit up propane tanks and set his family’s Carlton Street home ablaze. Patiño, 28, along with his sister and parents escaped unharmed. They recovered a fireproof box containing some essential documents after the April 24 ...

Read more »

WESTFIELD, NJ — When Mayor Shelley Brindle called for Westfield residents to help make protective gowns for healthcare workers, one resident stepped in — resulting in over one hundred gowns being made. “I was just in a position to be able to give,” said Mitch Gambert, who donated 320 yards of ...

Read more »

WESTFIELD, NJ — Crowds of sweaty runners are out of the question during the pandemic but with virtual participation an annual 5K is well on its way to success. The annual run held in memory of Westfield High School freshman Greta Schoenemann, who died tragically in 2002, is virtual this year and ...

Read more »

WESTFIELD, NJ — Working with local faith leaders, the town’s police department is spearheading an annual food drive that would have otherwise been sidetracked by COVID-19. Officers are offering contactless pickup for an annual food drive for the Westfield Food Pantry that would typically happen ...

Read more »

WESTFIELD, NJ — These days they’re behind plexiglass windows, scanning shoppers’ grocery purchases, stocking shelves and delivering news about toilet paper supplies. Town officials in Westfield recently honored the front-line employees at Stop & Shop and Trader Joe’s for their work during ...

Read more »

WESTFIELD, NJ — Home from Tulane University due to the pandemic, Westfield High School graduate Dori Kaplan is using her free time to make and sell beaded jewelry to raise money for Feeding America. The project has already raised $1,000, she said. Kaplan said she was inspired to start her ...

Read more »

WESTFIELD, NJ — Resident Joe Mindak’s phone lit up with messages Friday when Gov. Phil Murphy mentioned his family’s fundraiser for the Westfield United Fund’s “We Love Local” campaign. Mindak along with his wife, Audrey, and two children, 12 and 14, have been painting shipping pallets, selling ...

Read more »

WESTFIELD, NJ — As businesses remain closed to contain the spread of COVID-19 and unemployment rises, the number of people experiencing food insecurity has increased exponentially. The Westfield Fun Club, which has provided support and weekly programing for refugee families for the past four ...

Read more »

WESTFIELD, NJ — When 13-year-old Riley Whitlock received an assignment from her seventh-grade art teacher to express her emotions about the COVID-19 pandemic, she had no idea that her artwork would give her the opportunity to support the mental health of thousands of other students. Whitlock and ...

Read more »

Help BAYADA Home Health Care #SpreadTheRainbow. WESTFIELD, NJ — Bayada Home Health Care in Downtown Westfield is reaching out to members of the community to create rainbow pictures for senior citizens. The idea behind the “Spread the Rainbow Initiative” is to bring joy to seniors who are ...

Read more »

WESTFIELD, NJ — John La Forte battled cancer for 15 years, his daughter said. But when the 75-year-old former Westfield salon owner came down with coronavirus, he lasted just three weeks, daughter Lisa La Forte said. “He struggled until the end,” she said Friday. The former owner of Heads ...

Read more »

WESTFIELD, NJ — A local group raising money to donate meals to healthcare workers during the coronavirus crisis has another way that residents can give back. Feed the Frontline NJ: Meals for Healthcare Heroes is selling lawn signs to help fund meals prepared by local restaurants for healthcare ...

Read more »

WESTFIELD, NJ — Turning her hobby to a charitable cause, a Westfield High School sophomore has found a way to help her community during the coronavirus pandemic. Amelia Golub, who is selling bracelets on Facebook and Instagram under the brand Beads for Hope, said she wants to make a larger ...

Read more »

WESTFIELD, NJ — A fundraiser for the family of a Westfield High School custodian being treated for coronavirus has raised $9,865 as of Sunday, according to its GoFundMe page. Juan Cardona tested positive for COVID-19 and pneumonia on March 27 and has been on a respirator while in intensive care ...

Read more »

Plasma donors are being sought to help additional patients with coronavirus. WESTFIELD, NJ — Her 75-year-old father with coronavirus may have some more time thanks to COVID-19 survivors who have offered up their plasma. Lisa La Forte’s father, John La Forte, a former Westfield salon owner, is ...

Read more »

WESTFIELD, NJ — Private cooking lessons, jewelry, Yankees tickets, gift cards to local restaurants, memorabilia, a porch photo session with a profession photographer — these and other items are up for auction to raise money for the local Feed the Frontline effort. Created by Westfield residents ...

Read more »

WESTFIELD, NJ — Let’s face reality: America’s collective balloon has popped. Yet, in this suburb, the endless void of newfound nothingness is being momentarily filled, as air rushes into colorful tubes of all shapes and sizes. Dante Longhi, owner of Kenilworth-based Dream Factory Balloons, had ...

Read more »

WESTFIELD, NJ — The latest fundraiser in support of the Westfield United Fund is a video game tournament organized by Westfield High School students. Two juniors at Westfield High School created the event to support the Westfield United Fund’s “We Love Local” campaign, which is supporting ...

Read more »

WESTFIELD, NJ — Mayor Shelley Brindle is imploring residents to help create gowns for medical workers in desperate need of personal protective equipment. “WE NEED GOWN DONATIONS!” Brindle wrote on her Facebook page over the weekend. “Calling all tailors, seamstresses and amateur sewers! Some of ...

Read more »

WESTFIELD, NJ — The paintings are displayed on lawns, porches, at the train station and even in front of the Westfield National Guard Armory. Resident Joe Mindak — along with his wife, Audrey, and two children ages 12 and 14 — are turning used shipping pallets into works of art, selling them and ...

Read more »

WESTFIELD, NJ — With the CDC now encouraging the public to wear masks as protection from COVID-19, coupled with a nationwide shortage of N-95 and surgical masks, Westfield-area residents have been stepping up to craft masks on their own. “I had heard on March 19 that there was a mask shortage ...

Read more »

WESTFIELD, NJ — Looking for a way to give back safely during the coronavirus pandemic? The Westfield Area YMCA is once again serving as a drop off site for the Westfield Food Pantry. Items especially needed are canned soup, canned meals, canned vegetables, peanut butter, jelly and personal care ...

Read more »

A portion of funding will help to provide mental health support for first responders. WESTFIELD, NJ — Coronavirus couldn’t stop one of Westfield’s most anticipated fundraising 5Ks. The annual run held in memory of Westfield High School freshman Greta Schoenemann, who died when a tree branch ...

Read more »

WESTFIELD, NJ — The Jefferson School PTO and the Jefferson Early Act Club will be collecting donations for the Plainfield Food Bank and Plainfield Salvation Army from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Monday. The food bank is running low on goods due to the COVID-19 outbreak. “Everyone is looking to do ...

Read more »

WESTFIELD, NJ — While the novel coronavirus has prevented local Girl Scouts from selling their cookies door-to-door this season, sales haven’t stopped altogether. The scouts have created a “virtual cookie booth” to continue making a difference while practicing safe social distancing amid the ...

Read more »