Judy’s Comments

The Community Chest to Honor Teen Philanthropist, Lakeland Bank and Bergen Family Promise at Gala

The Community Chest to Honor Teen Philanthropist, Lakeland Bank and Bergen Family Promise at Gala

The Community Chest of Eastern Bergen County will toast our community and its volunteers coming together during the COVID-19 pandemic at its virtual gala, “We are in This Together".  The Chest, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization serving eastern Bergen County, New Jersey, presents the gala on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

While drinking The Chest's signature cocktail, Feathertinis, from the comforts of their homes, patios, and other sites, guests will support the organization's work throughout the pandemic.  The gala's net proceeds will provide grants to nonprofit agencies responding to an increased demand for services to help neighbors in eastern Bergen County. This year, The Chest presents the Corporate Philanthropy Award, the Community Leadership Award and a new award, the Young Philanthropist Award.   The Chest will recognize these three leaders for their extensive involvement and contributions to the community:   

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St. Vincent's Academy

St. Vincent's Academy

Garden State Woman has first-hand knowledge of the wonderful work of St. Vincent's Academy in Newark, NJ through our Garden State Woman Education Foundation Scholars.  Two of our scholars are St. Vincent's Academy graduates and are currently attending Rutgers University pursuing degrees in business and clinical psychology.

Garden State Woman invites you to support St. Vincent's Academy as they celebrate their 27th year of their Friends in Concert event on Thursday, October 18, 2012.

They will be honoring:

  • Theresa Adubato, Robert Treat Academy
  • Mary Cruse Gannon, Class of 1963
  • Gail Marino, Century 21 Construction
  • Mary O'Malley, Prudential Financial


For questions or reservation, call the development office (973) 622-6406 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Give Back - Share Your Story

My husband Jack values a long distance friendship he has with a remarkable person he has not even met. They have been emailing and phoning for a couple of years.

Jack first met Tony's wife, Vivian, who connected the two via email. Tony Lombardo is an inspiration to Jack and will be to you as well. Tony has been dealing with progressive MS for over 30 years and has lost the complete use of his legs and left arm. Yet he moves ahead educating, motivating and helping others deal with their challenges whether they be physical, mental or financial or any of the other myriad ways that life can challenge us. In exchange, Tony asks for nothing other than for all of us to share with his community our personal stories on how we overcome our hurdles.

Visit Tony's web site at letshearyourstory.com. There you will find content on how people, just like you and me, are dealing with adversity - big and small. Tony's web site includes books, movies, music, poems and stories about overcoming the challenges that life throws at us. Tony has written his own book that you will enjoy and want to share: On Both Sides of the Fence. The web site has a robust resources section steering you to tools that will help you navigate through life's choppy waters. 

Best of all, the web site will provide you a place and an opportunity to share your challenges with the remarkable community that Tony has been developing over the past several years. The world would be a much better place if there were more people likeTony around. That's for sure.

We are looking forward to meeting Tony for the first time in November. It will be a long overdue meeting with a remarkable person.

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Inspired by A Billion + Change

Inspired by A Billion + Change

A Billion + Change has changed our lives.  Garden State Woman's experience at the White House has left us inspired and more motivated than ever to grow the services of our Education Foundation.  We joined more than 170 leaders in industry, policy and civic engagement that convened at A Billion + Change's national forum in Washington, D.C. to discuss the power of corporate skills-based volunteerism to meet the most pressing challenges of the 21st century.  Leaders at the Forum agreed that public-private partnerships, especially those based on harnessing the skills and talents of the private sector in volunteer service, play a critical role in our nation's path to prosperity.

Every day, A Billion + Change pledge companies harness the skills and talents of their people to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations that create empowering opportunities for women and veterans, strengthen our schools and workforce, improve STEM education and tackle global development challenges. Whether it's sitting on a nonprofit board, mentoring at-risk students or lending IT, marketing, financial or strategic consulting services, pledge companies are redefining what it means to give back to communities through skills-based service.

Deloitte, a founding member of the A Billion + Change Leadership Committee, recently announced that its commitment to pro bono services would rise to $110 million by 2015. It has contributed 350 pro bono engagements over the past four years and is now poised to do even more.

IBM is helping cities and communities around the world, from Nairobi and Singapore to Washington, D.C., by leveraging the skills of IBM volunteers to assist with social challenges, including economic development, education and transportation issues. IBM volunteers have provided more than 3.2 million hours of service in more than 5,000 skills-based projects in 2011 alone.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, meanwhile, is helping to address the school drop-out crisis by engaging and inspiring at-risk middle school students through its "Succeed Through Service" program. The curriculum includes chefs teaching students about healthy eating habits; concierge employees coaching students on the importance of social skills; restaurant employees demonstrating how to correctly use cutlery; and trainers teaching effective collaboration and group presentation skills.

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Consider Joining an Amazing Organization

Consider Joining an Amazing Organization

If there's one thing for certain about New Jersey it's that we have a wealth of charitable organizations many of which are powered by women.  One such organization is the Essex County Section of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW/Essex).  The NCJW was founded in 1893 by Hannah G. Solomon in Chicago.  Asked to organize the Jewish women for the Chicago's World Fair, she was dismayed when her duties included pouring coffee.  Hannah walked out and left inspired to create an organization of volunteerism based on courage, compassion and pioneering.

NCJW/Essex President InterviewedKaren Cherins, President, NCJW/Essex
Garden State Woman recently had the opportunity to interview Karen Cherins, the newly installed President of NCJW/Essex.  After moving into Essex County in the late 1970s, she saw a sign for an art show they were sponsoring and thought it would be a great way to meet people in the area.  Karen has been involved ever since.  She has held various roles throughout the years including President of the Livingston Division, Section Officer and Treasurer.  As illustrated by Karen's longevity with the organization, one of the organization's strengths is that preceding presidents and officers remain involved past their terms insuring a continuation of history and knowledge as well as strong and supportive infrastructure for current officers.

100 Years
Karen's presidency happens to coincide with the section's 100th anniversary; an impressive accomplishment for an organization with a praiseworthy focus to improve the quality of life for women, children and families.  A lot is different from the organization's inception 100 years ago.  In particular, the role a woman plays in a family has drastically changed.  Today's woman is challenged to commit her time wisely.  As a result Karen notes that keeping and attracting members may be one of the NCJW's biggest challenges in the upcoming years.  This, of course, is coupled with the constant need for funding resources.

NCJW/Essex Programs
As a nonsectarian organization not committed to one cause, the NCJW/Essex is able to offer an extensive array of programs that range from knitting groups to legal services.  They offer computer classes, job readiness programs for displaced homemakers, programs for children dealing with loss through divorce or death, teen dating abuse classes, financial services, self-empowerment coaching (Rise), and career assistance for Newark women aging out of foster care (Moving Forward) to name a few.  They are also founding partners with the Rachel Coalition improving the lives of those affected by domestic violence and sponsor a Career Closet for women in need of appropriate clothing for job interviews and work. 

The Back to School Store
The NCJW/Essex's latest success is their Back to School Store, a program which is in its fourth year was held on Sunday, August 5, 2012.  Imagine the looks on the faces of over 500 economically disadvantaged Essex county children who get to "shop" for brand new school clothing, school supplies and personal care items with more than 300 volunteers at a one-day only 4,000 square-foot "department store" just for them!  The NCJW/Essex donates all items and sets up the "store" to help prepare children to focus on learning on the first day of school.   Volunteer personal shoppers accompany each child to "shop" for new clothing and school supplies. Each personal shopper spends an hour with a child, who gets to shop for a completely new outfit (shirt, pants, winter jacket and sneakers), underwear, socks, hat, gloves and scarf. Each child also receives a new backpack filled with school supplies and personal-care items.

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The Power of the Hammer

Morris Habitat for Humanity Needs Volunteers

Have you always wanted to learn how to use power tools, build a house, do something for others? Volunteering at Morris Habitat will allow you to do all these things.

Over the past 25 years, Morris Habitat for Humanity (MHfH} has impacted the lives of 213 families locally and globally. In Morris County and surrounding areas, MHfH completed 48 homes and 52 home repair projects which improved the lives of 100+ families. Presently, MHfH is constructing 12 new homes with another 4 housing starts scheduled to begin this year. An additional 8 home repair projects combined with a new Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative will positively improve the living conditions of 30 families over the next year.

One of the critical needs for the organization is volunteers.

Recently the staff and trustees of Morris Habitat held an event at the Park Avenue Club in Florham Park to acquaint attendees about the organization which is one of the charities that benefits from the Park Avenue Club. Hosted by club members Sean and Betsy Monaghan of Chester, Executive Director Blair Schleicher Bravo outlined the vision for 2011 which marks the 25th anniversary of the Morris Habitat for Humanity that has set aggressive growth goals for the next five years – to double the number of homes built each for families and expand their impact through community restoration projects. For more information www.MorrisHabitat.org.

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Far Hills Race Meeting

New Jersey's Prestigious Far Hills Race Meeting Set for October 23rd, 2010!

The 2010 Far Hills Race Meeting will mark the 90th year of New Jersey's most prestigious and historic racing event, held on Saturday, October 23, 2010. The Far Hills Race Meeting is New Jersey's largest social gathering of the fall season, gathering 50,000 spectators to Moorland Farms.

This year, in paying homage to the values and traditions that have made Race Day an enduring event in the lives of so many local families, the Far Hills Race Meeting Association introduced the first ever "Family Area" and "Chairman's Tent," with tickets available for purchase by all Race-goers.

The new-for-2010 Far Hills Family Area was established in an effort to further ensure the safe, comfortable, and quality experience that families have come to expect on Race Day. The new area offers family-sized space for festive food spreads and plenty of safe open room for children to play while getting a close-up view of the racing action. Family Area guests will enjoy a marked-off area of easy-access parking spots located just off of von Stade Way, as well as a larger spot for parking, tailgating, and socializing.

In addition to the new Family Area, the Far Hills Race Meeting Association introduced an all-inclusive option for those seeking an alternative to the traditional tailgate. By purchasing a ticket to the Chairman's Tent located at the top of the hill, attendees will gain access to full breakfast and lunch spreads and open bar. Chairman's Tent guests will each receive a reserved seat, with the option of reserving an entire table for eight. Whether the weather is rain or shine, race-goers partaking in the Chairman's Tent will enjoy their day under the shelter of the tent. From the hilltop, attendees will not only have a panoramic view of the race, but a live broadcast of the race displayed on closed-circuit TV.

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The Dames of Mary Help

Beverly Rohde
The Dames of Mary Help ensure Education is the Passport for At-Risk Youth of Paterson and Beyond.
Seventh annual event celebrates His Excellency, Bishop Frank J. Rodimer; Jimmy and Ellen Greenbaum, and Susan Greenbaum Gross of Greenbaum Interiors

On Wednesday, October 27th, 2010 The Dames of Mary Help of Christians Academy, a women's auxiliary fundraising committee for the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco and their school, Mary Help of Christians Academy (MHCA), will host their 7th annual event entitled "An Exciting Evening in the Roaring 20's" at The Venetian in Garfield, New Jersey.

Hundreds of guests from the tri-state area will come together to salute the Salesian Sisters, their surge in vocations, and their mission - - to educate youth at MHCA. The evening will include a silent auction, a live auction, cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, dinner, dancing, and roaring fun that will culminate with the highlight of the night -- a presentation to honor His Excellency, Bishop Frank J. Rodimer; Jimmy and Ellen Greenbaum, and Susan Greenbaum Gross of Greenbaum Interiors.

The Salesian Sisters' love, dedication and commitment to education allows deserving children of every race and creed a terrific Catholic middle school and high school experience in a family-spirited environment, that at one time was out of their reach. A true testament to the value and importance of the Salesian Sisters education system is that 100% of the graduating class goes on to some form of higher education. Additionally, MHCA now provides their students in need a safe, caring place to stay while their family deals with difficulties at home.

Success breeds success and our young women are equipped with the knowledge, self-confidence, and determination to attend college and pursue their dreams. A student at MHCA, recently said, "A Mary Help education has been a wonderful experience for me. It has given me the opportunity to learn more about other cultures and expand my horizons. It has given me the motivation to reach for the stars and not to give up no matter how impossible a task may seem." At this event, we are "Partners" united in building up the youth of America! Come join us.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the Mary Help of Christians Academy Financial Aid Fund. The Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco founded in 1872 in Italy are a Roman Catholic order of religious women dedicated to educating youth in schools, camps, and youth centers. The first mission of Salesian Sisters came to the United States through New York Harbor in 1908. They marked their centennial anniversary in the U.S. in 2008 and are currently located in NY, NJ, FL, IL, LA, TX, CA, AZ, and CO.

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Elevate Haiti: Volunteer Trips to Help Rise Above the Rubble

The January 12, 2010 Earthquake shook the already frail country of Haiti mercilessly. Over 200,000 deaths resulted as well as the displacement and destruction of thousands of families and lives.

Months later, human resilience prevails as Haitians move to pick up the pieces, making a new life out of less than the little most people once had. The emergency stage is over, and now the long-term rebuilding begins. The future of Haitians, like for all of us, lies in their children. Ensuring they have the resources for education is one of the critical tenants of long-term rebuilding.

This trip places you in the middle of rebuilding efforts. You will volunteer to build a computer lab for a free community school in Jacmel and part of a home for abandoned boys in Port-au-Prince. At the same time, you will work and live among Haitians, learning about a culture that will captivate and elevate you forever.

Stand by Haitians as they start anew. This journey is for those of you who are moved into solidarity and action by the events of January 12.

Jacmel Community School Volunteer Build-out

August 15 – 29, 2010 and November 21 – December 5, 2010

This journey takes you to Jacmel, Haiti, a beautiful port town known for a vibrant art scene and elegant townhouses dating to the 19th century. Jacmel experienced significant damage during the January 12th earthquake. Approximately 70% of buildings were damaged, with the most severe damage in the poorer neighborhoods of Jacmel.

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Gilda's Club Named Special State Project

The New Jersey State Federation of Women's Clubs (NJSFWC) recently announced its selection of Gilda's Club as its special state project for 2010-2012 at its 116th Annual Convention in Atlantic City.

NJSFWC is the largest volunteer women's service organization in New Jersey with 280 clubs statewide. The entire Federation votes to designate a specific charitable organization as the beneficiary of its fundraising, advocacy and volunteer efforts every two years. The organization provides opportunities for education, leadership training and community service through participation in local clubs, enabling members to make a difference in the lives of others.

"We are honored and deeply grateful to be the NJSFWC's state project," said Dyane McMahon, director of development at Gilda's Club Northern New Jersey. "We are so fortunate to have the time and talent of this energetic group as a resource for the next two years."

Gilda's Club Northern New Jersey led the initiative for the designation and was one of 60 organizations that applied for the 2010-2012 state project bid. In a rigorous selection process, the 60 applicants were narrowed down to three. The entire Federation then voted to select one beneficiary. Gilda's Club NNJ will work collaboratively with sister organizations, Gilda's Club South Jersey and the Wellness Community chapters in Bedminster and Eatontown, NJ, to implement a two-year, statewide initiative.

"The New Jersey State Federation of Women's Clubs is thrilled to be partnering with Gilda's Club. Our entire membership is behind this designation and eager to begin helping this most worthwhile cause," said newly-elected NJSFWC President Patricia S. Whitehouse.

More information about Gilda's Club NNJ is available at www.gildasclubnnj.org. For information about the NJSFWC, visit www.njsfwc.org.

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SurvivorCorps: The Mine-Free Israel Campaign

"What hurt me more than the explosion was knowing that other kids will get hurt." - Daniel Yuval, 11-year-old landmine survivor

It took a young Israeli boy stepping on a landmine while playing in the snow to awaken Israel to the dangers buried in their own soil. Survivor Corps has long been aware of the threat posed by minefields in Israel. It's been 26 years since Survivor Corps founder Jerry White lost his leg to a landmine in Israel in 1984. This February, 11-year-old Daniel Yuval did the same, while playing in the first snowfall in the Golan Heights. Each year, thousands of citizens are endangered by the buried mines, with no national clearance policy in place. We have a chance to change that sad fact. Survivor Corps is working to ensure the government, the military, and local communities work together to clear the minefields that even the military acknowledge no longer protect, but instead threaten, the people of Israel.

At this very moment, the Israeli Knesset is considering a proposal to establish the first National Mine Action Authority that would be responsible for clearing minefields in Israel. 73 Knesset members have already endorsed this groundbreaking legislation, drafted by the Survivor Corps Mine-Free Israel Campaign.

600,000 landmines contaminate almost 50,000 acres in Israel – an area larger than Jerusalem and Tel Aviv combined. These landmines threaten Israeli residents in two ways. People are injured when they enter poorly marked or unmarked minefields; and landmines end up in people's backyards or agricultural fields because of flooding or other weather events that uproot the mines from the known minefields and move them into adjacent land. Clearing the minefields will improve public safety for Israel's residents. It will be beneficial for economic development, agriculture, and tourism by releasing valuable fertile land for farming, and prime nature reserves for hiking and other outdoor recreation. It will also bring Israel into the community of nations that have banned landmines and cleared their own minefields under the 1997 Landmine Ban Treaty. This community includes neighboring Jordan, which is on track to clear its minefields by 2012. Eliminating minefields will prevent unnecessary mine casualties in the future, free up valuable land for use, and improve Israel's international reputation.

Now that the country is galvanized by Daniel Yuval's accident, it is time to seize the opportunity to ensure that such devastation does not happen again. Through this law before the Knesset, Israel would establish the Mine Action Authority and start the multi-year process of clearing mines. Young Daniel asked Jerry White if he could be the Campaign's Youth Ambassador. He presented a letter to the Knesset on May 10 when the legislation was introduced and declared: "When I awoke from the surgery...and saw my right leg amputated, I told my mom that I wanted that no one will get hurt by landmines again, and I mean to do something about that."

In a relatively short time, the Mine-Free Israel Campaign has achieved the following steps towards Daniel's goal. We have:
• Published the first-ever map showing the minefields within Israel.
• Released a report documenting the number of landmine accidents, the amount of mine contamination, and the specific problems faced by diverse communities within Israel that live next to minefields.
• Built a coalition that for the first time brings together residents from all mine-affected communities from the Arava Valley in the south through the West Bank to the Golan Heights in the north. The coalition includes Israeli, Druze, Palestinian, American and Thai survivors of landmine accidents within Israel.
• Drafted the proposed mine action legislation to solve the problem of uncleared minefields consistent with practices and protocols used by other countries.

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