Category Archives: #HipNJ Cares

#HipNJ Cares highlights the Garden State’s heart of gold. We feature passionate charity efforts and the philanthropic all-stars behind these important initiatives!

elizabeth hurley

Elizabeth Hurley at Bloomingdale’s Short Hills

#HipNJ started Breast Cancer Awareness Month in a very Hollywood way- with British starlet Elizabeth Hurley!

Our Maria Falzo chatted with “The Royals” actress at Bloomingdale’s Short Hills , where she hosted a private luncheon to kick off Bloomie’s Pink Campaign to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the Marisa Acocella Marchetto Foundation and The Carey Foundation benefiting The Tutu Project.

Elizabeth, the global spokesmodel for The Estée Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign, spoke to attendees about breast health and the importance of joining the fight against this hideous disease.

“That sad fact is, every two minutes, all over the United States there’s another women diagnosed with breast cancer,” Elizabeth stated.  It’s harrowing statistics like this, plus her personal connection to the disease (she lost her grandmother to breast cancer) that fuels her passion to help find a cure.

As for her work with Estée Lauder, Elizabeth is in her twenty-first year with the legendary beauty giant.  In addition to being privy to the best in skin care products in the world (as evident by her glowing complexion!) the company’s deep philanthropic spirit spurred her into becoming a global ambassador.

“I was very inspired by the late Evelyn Lauder.  She was a wonderful women and an inspirational leader.  She formed the BCA Campaign, and I learned so much from her from her energy, commitment and dedication.”

In order to heighten breast cancer awareness, Elizabeth stresses that every action counts.  “Whether it’s getting a mammogram, or urging family members to get checked, or raising money, everyone can do something to spread the word.”

For more information on Elizabeth’s philanthropic efforts, visit


Success Stories of The Connie Dwyer Breast Center

It’s #hip to be #healthy, and #HipNJ is helping fight breast cancer by celebrating the 10th anniversary of The Connie Dwyer Breast Center!

Opened in 2005, The Connie Dwyer Breast Center at Saint Michael’s Medical Center is a comprehensive, state-of-the-art facility providing expert diagnosis and treatment of breast disease. Further, the Center stresses prevention, early detection, and educational outreach programs in northern New Jersey.

#HipNJ’s Lisa Marie Latino got to know the extraordinary patients of The Connie Dwyer Breast Center, and learned their inspirational stories on how the center helped them kick cancer’s butt!

Through tears, patient Sheila spoke about the tender care of the center in her native Portuguese.

“I came to the center after discovering a lump on my left breast,” explained Sheila. “Here I found care, attention, and solidarity. I am so happy and grateful for everyone. From the concierge to the doctors, they have been marvelous to me.”

Tanya, who is now enjoying a cancer- free life, came to the center nine months into her breast cancer battle.

“The staff became like my sisters. Their friendship made my treatments go quick. The center helps you with everything. [The center] really did save my life. Otherwise, I never would have known what to do.”

Rosie had been diagnosed with breast cancer in Maryland, and wound up seeing Dr. Nadine Pappas at The Connie Dwyer Breast Center.

“[When I lost my hair] the center gave me a beautiful, perfect wig. It made me feel good, even if I wasn’t feeling my best.”

It’s these stories, and the exceptional care by the center, that propelled Essex County Freeholder President, Britnee Timberlake, to speak about the center at a recent rally.

“[The Connie Dwyer Breast Center] provided me with the best healthcare I have ever received in my life…IN MY LIFE!”

For more on The Connie Dwyer Breast Center, log onto

the gloria foundation

The Gloria Foundation

What a glorious thing the Gloria Foundation’s celebration turned out to be!

Guests enjoyed a party with a view at Waterside Restaurant & Catering in North Bergen all in support of the safety and serenity of women.

“The Gloria Foundation is a non-for-profit that supports domestic violence victims,” Founder Karen Arakelian told #HipNJ’s Kimberely Merlo. “I started it a little over a year ago in memory of my mother who was a domestic violence victim.”

The Gloria Foundation doesn’t stand alone in the fight to protect women; they support the Jersey Battered Women’s Service and Family Promise. The Foundation also lends a hand in furnishing safe houses.

“Anything a woman can need, we try to supply,” Karen said.

Patty Sly, Executive Director of Jersey Battered Women’s Service, said they’ve been partnered since the inception of the Gloria Foundation.  In fact, the celebration’s proceeds were going to the Family Justice Center Project, a JBWS endeavor.  The new center will offer increased safety for domestic violence victims and improve coordination of services they require.

“This is a different way of providing services to domestic violence victims,” Patty Sly said.

Speaking of different, the Gloria Foundation generates revenue—to be donated, of course—by means of Design Consign, a luxe consignment shop. With almost 10,000 square feet of designer clothes, accessories and furniture, each sale made is a stride made in terms of providing services for women in need.

“We get to see first hand when things come in and it’s such a great cause,” Volunteer Olivia Snoddy said. “It’s the best way to shop.”

At any given time the Gloria Foundation has between 20 and 30 volunteers making waves into the pond of protection for all women!

For more information, visit