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North Jersey Non-Profits, Community and Business Leaders and Organizations Making a Difference
As the year comes to a close, mybergen.com is recognizing some of people, organizations and events that have made a positive difference in the lives of North Jersey residents in 2012.
Over 1,200 "Go the Distance for Autism" and Raise Nearly $1,000,000
Autism affects approximately 1 in 88 individuals nationwide each year. In New Jersey, this figure increases to 1 in 49. Four northern NJ schools that serve individuals with autism are putting up some impressive numbers in an effort to combat these staggering figures.
On Sunday, May 6, 2012, more than 1,200 cyclists, families, volunteers, donors and sponsors attended the third annual Go the Distance for Autism Bike Event at Bergen Community College. Riders of all ages cycled more than 15,000 miles and raised nearly $1,000,000 to support the educational programs for children and adults with autism at Alpine Learning Group, The EPIC School, Garden Academy and REED Academy.
“Through this wonderful and generous community of parents, teachers, staff, families, friends, and sponsors, the 2012 Go the Distance for Autism Bike Event was a great success and we have made significant progress towards our goals of helping our schools and the cause of autism awareness. We are ever so grateful to everyone who has given of their time, their labor and their resources in support of this cause,” said Barbara Strate, whose daughter attends the EPIC School in Paramus.
"We are truly humbled by the generosity of our families and the community at large," said Dr. Bridget Taylor, Founder and Executive Director of Alpine Learning Group. "To be close to a million dollars in our third year is a testament to the power of partnerships and a clear and well-articulated message: get involved and together we will make a difference in the lives of hundreds of individuals with autism and their families," continued Dr. Taylor.
Local and national companies came out in support of the event including Premier Sponsors Gibson Dunn Crutcher LLP, North Bergen Brain & Spine, Paul Weiss, Ramsey Auto Group, Simpson Thatcher, TD Bank and Weight Watchers.
“The 2012 Go the Distance For Autism was an incredible day and we are extremely grateful to our sponsors, families, donors, staff and Board of Directors for their determination to raise money for autism and to build awareness for autism in our community,” explained Jill Nadison, Director of Development at REED Academy.
“The four partnering schools have put incredible effort and passion behind this event which makes it the overwhelming success it is,” stated Devon Trabilsy, Development Coordinator at Garden Academy. Click here for more: http://www.mybergen.com/
Kula for Karma Raises over $150,000 for Therapeutic Yoga and Meditation Programs
Kula for Karma's 5th Annual Fundraising Gala was recently held at Preakness Hills Country Club in Wayne, New Jersey honoring Dr. Michael Harris.
The Gala celebrated Kula for Karma's program expansion and integrative approach to healing. The money raised at the event will go towards programs providing therapeutic yoga, meditation and stress reduction techniques for society's most vulnerable populations at no cost.
Kula for Karma has programs for patients at The John Theurer Cancer Center, Tomorrow Children's Institute, Joseph Sanzari Children's Hospital at HUMC, Acute Rehab and Pediatric Cancer Center at St. Joseph's Hospital, among others.
For more information about Kula for Karma, visit kulaforkarma.org
Wells Mountain Foundation
Wells Mountain Foundation, based in Bergen County, New Jersey, was founded in 2005 to provide funding and support in the areas of education, literacy and the arts, primarily in the developing world.
Wells Mountain Foundation (WMF) provides support to individuals and families in need of assistance as a result of economic challenges, and in particular, extreme poverty. WMF is 501(c)(3) non-profit and all donations are fully tax deductible.
The WMF Empowerment through Education Scholarship Program has grown from just one scholarship in Ghana in 2005 to 52 WMF Scholars in 2012. WMF scholars hail from over a dozen countries, including Senegal, Ghana, Haiti, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Gambia, Nepal, Rwanda, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Liberia. Eighteen new 2012 WMF Scholars were chosen from over 1600 applications in August of 2012.
The WMF Literacy Program provides books to libraries and programs in Haiti, Ghana, and Nepal. Generally, books are supplied by WMF at no cost. For other non-profit organizations, they offer their services and experience in purchasing and delivering books, sometimes with the organizations only paying for the wholesale cost of the books.
In the area of the arts, the organization has provided art supplies and support in Nepal and Ghana, and this year in Uganda and Kenya.
Because of their affiliation with the YMCA d’Haiti, this year WMF undertook a major program of support after the January 12, 2010 Haiti earthquake. They organized a massive clothing drive with the help of donors, volunteers, and companies here in the United States and ultimately shipped to Haiti twelve containers of clothing and supplies. WMF also raised enough money to purchase the containers, and the materials necessary to convert the containers into YMCA buildings after they are emptied. Click here for more: http://www.mybergen.com/
Gilda's Club Northern New Jersey
Gilda's Club Northern New Jersey is an essential complement to medical care for those living with cancer and their families and friends, to help them take control of their lives and learn to live with cancer, whatever the outcome.
The Gilda's Clubhouse, located at 575 Main Street in Hackensack, New Jersey, is a place where people share and learn how to help themselves by helping others because no one should go through cancer alone. The organization offers communities of free support for everyone living with cancer – men, women, teens and children – along with their families and friends. Their innovative program is an essential complement to medical care, providing networking and support groups, workshops, lectures and social activities.
The first step is to make a reservation to attend a New Member Meeting, a general orientation at the Hackensack clubhouse. You will have an opportunity to introduce yourself and to meet others who are living with cancer. This is a meeting for everyone touched by cancer, including family members and friends. The session concludes with a tour of the clubhouse.
The Gilda's Club staff and members work together to structure a personal plan for emotional and social support. New members will have a one-on-one discussion with a licensed or certified mental health professional to collaborate and utilize parts of their program that best serve the individual’s needs and interests.
Call 201-457-1670 to schedule a New Member meeting.
NVE Bank Raises Over $5,000 for Englewood Hospital
NVE Bank successfully raised over $5,000 to assist Englewood Hospital and Medical Center’s fight against breast cancer. The Englewood based community mutual bank served as a sponsor for the hospital’s 14th Annual “Walk for Awareness”, which took place on Sunday, October 21, 2012.
NVE organized a team of over 60 employees, friends and family to walk the 5-K route and raised funds through team sponsorships, pink ribbon sales at its branches and an employee “Jeans Day” initiative. “NVE is proud to once again partner with Englewood Hospital to raise funds for the Leslie Simon Breast Care and Cytodiagnosis Center at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center” said Robert Rey, President and CEO. “This year through the efforts and commitment of our staff, NVE was able to exceed its fundraising goal, giving all of us a chance to make a difference and help fight this deadly disease”.
Click here for more: http://www.mybergen.com/