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In The News 2011

David Harris of the NY Jets Leading the Way to Give Kids Hope

From left, Judy Schumacher-Tilton of Montclair, Ken Tilton of North Caldwell and Dave Harris, New York Jets football player Credit: Warren Westura

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Essex County Partners With Nonprofits to Help Raise Cash for Illnesses, Underprivileged Kids

Three events to draw thousands of participants

By Joshua Wilwohl | Email the author | April 18, 2011

Essex County will partner with three separate nonprofits to help raise cash for serious illnesses and underprivileged children, according to Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr.

The county will join forces with the Susan G. Komen North Jersey Race for the Cure, Give the Kids Hope Foundation Inc. and the Valerie Fund.

“Each of these well-respected organizations does a great deal to make a positive difference in and improve the quality life of our residents,” DiVincenzo said Monday at a press conference in Codey Arena.

The Susan G. Komen North Jersey Race for the Cure, which raises money for breast cancer, will have its fourth annual race May 15 in Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex. This will be the organization’s first year at the facility since it launched in Branch Brook Park in 2008.

“The success of this event, with the support and the partnership of Essex County and our county executive, has just been astounding,” said Debroah Belfatto, founder and executive director of the Susan G. Komen North Jersey Race for the Cure. “Because of the growth of this event … it made perfect sense to bring it to this location.”

County officials said the event attracted more than 12,000 participants last year and “outgrew” its original location at Branch Brook Park.

“It raises awareness … It raises a lot of money and it saves lives,” said Belfatto about the race. “And that’s the bottom line and that’s our commitment to the communities we serve.”

The Give the Kids Hope Foundation provides recreational and educational opportunities to underprivileged children, as well as scholarships for kids to attend Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange and Camp Hope in West Milford. The organization will host its second annual David Harris Invitational Golf Tournament May 23 at Green Brook Country Club in North Caldwell. Harris is a linebacker who plays for the New York Jets.

“We’re focusing right here in our own back yard in Essex County,” said Allison Lastfogel, of Give the Kids Hope Foundation. “We’re doing educational opportunities at Turtle Back Zoo and elsewhere.”

As part of their effort, DiVicenzo said the zoo is extending its Zoo Camp program in the summer by an extra week to dedicate to inner-city kids from Newark.

“This is the first year we’re doing this and part of the thing is to service underprivileged kids, so our sponsorship is going to help,” he said. Roughly 50 kids will attend, according to the county executive.

Dr. Jeremy Goodman, the zoo’s director, said the county added the additional week in August.

“This gives the kids the opportunity to get out of the inner city and see what the zoo is about,” he said.

The Valerie Fund, which raises money for children with cancer and blood disorders, will host its fifth annual walk and 5K run June 11 at the county’s Verona Park in Verona.

“Last year, the walk raised close to $250,000 to support our centers and we had close to 3,000 people at the park,” said Barry Kirschner, executive director of the Valerie Fund. “We’re way ahead of that this year.” He said the organization expects close to 5,000 people in June.

Louis La Salle, St. Barnabas Medical Center’s vice president of external affairs, said the cash raised by Susan G. Komen and the Valerie Fund events, goes back to the local hospitals and centers in Essex County, including St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville and Beth-Israel Hospital in Newark.

“They’re doing great things,” he said. “They’re responding to the needs of the community.”

DiVincenzo said participants in any of the three events will receive $5 admission tickets to Turtle Back Zoo, Codey Arena and the miniGOLF Safari for those specific days.

“With special causes like this, we’re here to help,” he said. “We want to make sure these events stay within Essex County because they’re such great events.”

Give The Kids Hope Foundation; David Harris Invitational

Posted by Timothy Drummond | April 20, 2011

If you are a golf enthusiast or a fan of the New York Jets – or if you are someone who is looking to make a serious effort to help less fortunate kids; consider supporting the second annual golf outing for Give the Kids Hope Foundation, David Harris Invitational, on May 23, 2011 at the beautiful Green Brook Country Club in North Caldwell.

This year’s event promises to be even bigger and better, with fabulous prizes and a chance to meet New York Jets team MVP and number-one supporter of the foundation, David Harris.

Among the top prizes at the upcoming golf event, is a chance at a Million Dollar Shoot-Out, and the opportunity to win both a 2011 Chevrolet Corvette and a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro.

For those who can’t attend the golf outing but would like to support the foundation by attending the dinner, tickets are available on the website or by calling 973-309-2645.

David Harris has become the face of Give the Kids Hope Foundation, inspiring many less fortunate youngsters with his enthusiastic participation and recalling that his own upbringing led him to join the group, saying with a smile  “we grew up with so much love, we never knew we were poor”.

The foundation which was founded by Stephen Tilton Jr. of Schumacher Chevrolet,  has goals that include rebuilding Camp Hope in West Milford, NJ, which for decades has supported under privileged children in North Jersey and  working with Essex County Executive, Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr., in Essex County to support programs at Turtle Back Zoo that benefit less fortunate children.

Through efforts in 2010, Give The Kids Hope raised enough funds to sponsor an additional 700 campers for the 2011 season at Camp Hope and has plans to turn the camp into a five star resort for underprivileged kids.

All interested parties can reply to: info@givethekidshope.org  and find more on the foundation efforts at www.GiveTheKidsHope.org

Sponsorship opportunities are still available and tricky tray raffle prizes are appreciated to support the upcoming event.  The Mailing address is: Give The Kids Hope Foundation c/o Schumacher Chevrolet 8 Main Street, Little Falls, NJ 07424. 973 256-1065.

“We need you,” stated Essex County Executive, Joseph DiVincenzo, Jr. at an April 18 press conference to announce a new partnership between the county’s parks and three charitable organizations; Susan G. Komen foundation, Valerie Fund, and Give The Kids Hope Foundation. Speaking at the South Mountain Recreation Complex, DiVincenzo said that the collaboration — which will manifest as three distinct fundraising events — is about spreading awareness, raising money, and saving lives, and it’ll require a team effort. DiVincenzo himself is serving as honorary chairman for each of the events. “We have to be there helping each other everyday,” he said.

The events will kickoff on May 15 with the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, an organization dedicated to finding a cure for breast cancer. The event, previously held in Branch Brook Park, will now be at the South Mountain Recreation Complex. “On May 15 we will be able to run or race to a world without Breast Cancer,” stated executive director of Susan G. Komen North Jersey Race for the Cure, Deborah Belfatto at today’s press conference.

The Give The Kids Hope Foundation, a non-profit organization which provides underprivileged children with the opportunity to participate in recreational and educational activities, will host a golf outing for New Jersey’s inner-city youth at the Green Brook Country Club in North Caldwell on May 23.

Additionally, for the fifth year in a row, the Verona Park will host a 5k run/walk for the Valerie Fund, a non-profit organization that provides support for the children with cancer and blood disorders.

Participants in any of the three events will receive a discount admission coupon ($5) for either the Turtle Back Zoo, the Cody Arena, or miniGolf Safari.

For more information about the upcoming events, visit the organizations’ respective web sites:
The Valerie Fund
Susan J. Koman of North Jersey
Give the Kids Hope