14 Sep 2014
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Nonprofits Hope to Raise Awareness, Funds at Fishawack

Various nonprofit organizations set up booths on Saturday for good causes.

Nonprofits Hope to Raise Awareness, Funds at Fishawack Nonprofits Hope to Raise Awareness, Funds at Fishawack Nonprofits Hope to Raise Awareness, Funds at Fishawack

Among the nonprofit booths at Saturday's Fishawack Festival was the Chatham Education Foundation. According to Stacey Ewald who was helping “man” the booth, the Chatham Education Foundation (CEF) “raise[s] private funds to support Chatham Public Schools which these days is needed more than ever.” 

Barbara Cappucci, who also helped run the booth, said that they are “just hoping to spread the word about Chatham Education Foundation.”

As part of the day's activities, CEF is offering a free drawing for a Nook (a device that holds e-books). They are also asking individuals to participate in a survey to gauge how much the public knows about their organization.  

Karen Rosenzweig had a booth at Fishawack for the Avon Walk for breast cancer.

“This is my sixth year walking forty miles around New York City, the money raised, funds programs locally in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut," she said. "The programs help women who are battling breast cancer and help to find cures or prevention for breast cancer.”

To help raise money Rosenzweig is offering a variety of crafts to anyone who donates money. She’s made coffee cup holders (which are environmentally conscious), bibs for babies that hold pacifiers, baby sweaters, gloves, some baby clothes, and earrings. 

Anyone who could not make it to Fishawack, but who would like to donate to Karen can do so be heading here.  There is also more information about the walk that Karen is doing at avonwalk .org

JoAnne Babbitt, vice-president of the JohnTaylorBabbitt Foundation, also set up a booth.

“We started [the JohnTaylorBabbitt Foundation] four years ago soon after the death of our son,” Babbitt said. “He was playing with his youth ministry league, and he was playing basketball and just collapsed. We later found out that he had a heart condition that we didn’t know about so we started this organization to raise awareness of what can be done to prevent a sudden cardiac death.” 

A true example of making the best out of a horrible situation, the JohnTaylorBabbit Foundation is a great asset to the Chatham community.

“We helped pay for some of the Automated external defibrillator,” Babbitt said.

For those who don’t know an Automated External Defibrillator or AED is “basically a medical device that will give a shock and revive someone if they suffered a sudden cardiac arrest,” she said.

In addition to helping to provide AEDs for the community the JohnTaylorBabbit Foundation does a lot more.

“We tend to get the youth involved giving them CPR trainings, coming to events like [Fishawack]," Babbitt said. "We are really focused on starting ‘heart clubs’ at schools.”

They certainly are making an impact.

Said Babbitt: “There’s been cases so far where a high school student [who has been trained in CPR] sees an elderly person collapse. And they run to get the defibrillator and a life has been saved.” 

Sitting at a booth with neat piles of interesting books written by well-known historians such as John T Cunningham, is Susan Allen, co-president of Chatham Historical Society.

“We’re [The Chatham Historical Society] trying to save the history in written form,” Allen said. “We have books, a location in the Borough. We have original documents, original photographs, [and] files and files of biographies of people in Chatham.”   

Dawn Ferguson ran the booth for the Municipal Alliance Committee of the Chathams, or MACC.  Most Chathamites have probably seen the “Parents who host lose the most” signs that are around Chatham. These signs, sponsored by MACC are not the only thing that it does. 

“We are an alcohol and drug prevention organization funded by the state of New Jersey through grants, but we’re also about healthy choices,” said Ferguson. “We have programs through Kindergarten through senior citizens. We address primarily alcohol and drug prevention.” 

Today at Fishawack, MACC is hoping to raise awareness. MACC is “trying to educate people about what MACC is and get some feedback from them,” said Ferguson. “We have a list if people would like to come to one of our meetings.”

One law that MACC would like to raise awareness about is “Lifeline Legislation.”  In the case that someone underage suffers from alcohol poisoning, this law allows a friend (who would otherwise get into trouble) to call for help without being persecuted. (The person who had gotten alcohol poisoning would also receive immunity.) 

Brigitte Kelly, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for Project Community Pride, also set up a booth. Project Community Pride offers counseling to kids and families in Chatham, Madison and Florham Park. The group works with a variety of children for a variety of reasons such as divorce support, anger, anxiety or depression.  According to Kelly, at Fishawack Project Community Pride hopes, “to get our name out there and increase awareness about our program here in Chatham.”

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