Tag Archives: Alumni


CareOne Raises $4 Million for Puerto Rico!

All the stars came out for CareOne‘s “Starry Night Masquerade,” and #HipNJ was there for all the action!

Our Lisa Marie Latino chatted with the A-List stars on the black carpet, including pop singer JoJo, New York Giants Super Bowl Champions Jason Pierre-Paul and Victor Cruz, and CareOne President and CEO Daniel E. Straus and Executive Vice President Elizabeth Straus. Other attendees included various NFL alumni, Danielle Brooks of Orange is the New Black and model Joan Smalls.

This event especially hit home for New Jersey native great Cruz, who is half-Puerto Rican. “Puerto Rico is near and dear to my heart…Anytime you get to raise money for a great cause and for a cause like Puerto Rico and their disaster relief, you can’t ask for a better place to do it and a better organization [than CareOne] to facilitate it.”

CareOne’s event, held at the Skylight Clarkson North in New York City, raised more than $4 million in support of hurricane-relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Prior to “Starry Night Masquerade,” CareOne embarked on an October 11th mission trip to Puerto Rico where staff visited hospitals and spoke with physicians and patients on the ground to evaluate how best to address the immediate needs of the island’s medical community.

The event’s emcee, CNN’s Jason Carroll, was so moved by the outpouring of love from the attendees: “These people here tonight are making an effort to really make a change, and I’m so honored to be a part of it.”

Thanks to the generosity of CareOne’s supporters, the company plans to continue providing help to the citizens of Puerto Rico and are scheduling follow-up trips in the coming weeks and months!

“We have found that each person can make a difference when they come together, and we are going to continue to do so,” proclaimed Elizabeth Straus.

For more information, visit Care-One.com.

Childhood Friend of Christina Grimmie Shares Memories of Late Singer (HipNJ Exclusive)

By Kenneth Barilari

Singer Christina Grimmie of Marlton was fatally shot on Friday night after performing at The Plaza Live in Orlando, Florida. #HipNJ had the opportunity to speak with her childhood friend and next door neighbor, Kristen, about her memories with the singer.

Grimmie started posting covers of popular songs on YouTube in 2009 and quickly gained popularity. In 2014, she auditioned for The Voice with a stunning rendition of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” that made all four judges turn their chairs. She joined Adam Levine’s team and finished the competition in 3rd place.

THE VOICE -- "Live Finale" Episode 621B -- Pictured: (l-r) Adam Levine, Christina Grimmie -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

THE VOICE — “Live Finale” Episode 621B — Pictured: (l-r) Adam Levine, Christina Grimmie — (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)


In February and March 2016, Grimmie opened for Rachel Platten on her Wildfire Tour, where she performed songs from her latest EP, Side A.

Kristen said they both attended Vacation Bible School growing up, where they would rehearse Bible songs together. Grimmie was always performing in their hometown, “whether it was in a basement or a bar,” making it clear that singing was her passion from a young age.

Grimmie attended Cherokee High School, where she sang in the choir and participated in Cherokee Idol, the school’s annual singing competition.

When Grimmie joined The Voice, “the whole town was behind her,” Kristen said of their hometown. She said that the singer received tremendous support every step of the way.

Grimmie has given the world a ton of memorable performances, both on The Voice and on her own YouTube channel. Her cover of “Party in the U.S.A” has become her widely popular on YouTube, with over 12.5 million views to date.

Kristen recalled one song that stood out to her, Grimmie’s cover of David Guetta and Sia’s “Titanium.”

“It made me melt. It was incredible,” Kristen said. Grimmie’s cover of “Titanium” now has over 18 million views.

When she first heard the news of Christina’s injuries that would later become fatal, Kristen could not believe it. “I woke up to my phone blowing up with the news. It was devastating. I’m still in shock I cannot believe she’s gone,” she said.

Flowers and pictures have been placed around the Fallen Chief Memorial and Marlton will hold a candlelight vigil in the singer’s honor tonight.

When asked how people that knew Christina would describe her in three words, Kristen responded, “Talented, kindhearted, and independent.” Christina Grimmie’s talent and compassionate heart will be remembered always, and her voice will live on through the memories she gave to both her fans and those who had the opportunity to get to know her.