This holiday season, two influential forces in Hackettstown are working together to commit to helping the community. Centenary University’s Alumni Association Executive Board is collaborating with Bea McNally’s Restaurant to run a holiday toy fundraiser and party.
All donations will benefit the Court Appointed Special Advocates For Children (CASA) organization serving Somerset, Hunterdon, and Warren Counties. CASA SHaW is an independent, non-profit organization committed to advocating for the best interests of children who are in an out-of-home placement under the jurisdiction of the New Jersey Family Court.
The holiday toy drive and party will take place at Bea McNally’s Restaurant at 109 Grand Avenue, Hackettstown from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Dec. 7. There will be a free buffet provided and a cash bar will be available as well. In lieu of an admission fee, new unwrapped toys will be accepted. If you are unable to provide a toy upon arrival, there is a required entry fee of $10.
The Alumni Association maintains and supports the ideals and mission of the institution by encouraging alumni participation through service, loyalty, and friendship. The organization shall also inform the alumni of achievements and needs of their alma mater, and reach out to alumni to engage them to become involved with and support Centenary University.
Angela Rodriquez Moore ’90, First Vice President for the Alumni Association Executive Board, is part of the committee that has spearheaded the development of this event.
“Bea McNally’s has been a gracious host throughout this planning process and I am really glad we are able to incorporate a local restaurant into our commitment to a beloved community entity, our children,” says Moore. “The toys and donations collected at this event will go directly to children in Warren County who are in need this holiday season. As graduates of Centenary University, we are very fortunate to have experienced the best of Hackettstown, and now our priority is to empower young learners who will follow in our footsteps.”
According to CASA’s website, nearly 600,000 children pass through the U.S. foster care and family court systems each year. The average child in the child welfare system will spend 20 months in foster care. On average, each one of those children will change homes three times. The National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, together with its state and local member programs, supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy so every abused or neglected child in the United States can be safe, have a permanent home and the opportunity to thrive. The National CASA Association and our network of nearly 1,000 local community programs support volunteers serving children. The role of local CASA programs is to recruit, train and support these volunteers in their work with abused children.
John Carno, Vice President for University Advancement, is enthusiastic about the Alumni Association’s upcoming event. He urges the members of the Hackettstown community to attend, saying, “The toy drive party is a unique collaboration between the local school and business community and we are really looking forward to being able to contribute to CASA this holiday season. This event is serving a worthwhile cause and creating a positive community atmosphere.”