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!

Tom Coughlin Jay Fund

A Day at MetLife Stadium with the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund

The Tom Coughlin Jay Fund recently invited fifty special families to experience MetLife Stadium as a VIP for its annual Stadium Tour & Sundae Blitz! Attendees of this once-in-a-lifetime experience got to roam the New York Giants locker room, try on equipment, and posed for photos wearing Super Bowl rings.

The Tom Coughlin Jay Fund, founded in 1996 in honor of former Boston College football player Jay McGillis by legendary NFL head coach Tom Coughlin, helps families tackle childhood cancer by providing financial, emotional and practical support. Since its inception, it has granted $11 million to 5,000 families with children suffering from cancer. #HipNJ‘s Lisa Marie Latino spoke with some of the members that make up this vibrant community.

“Our slogan is that we want to “Be There” for families,” explains Mary Jane Pulzello, program director for the foundation. “We want to give them a couple hours to forget about cancer and have fun.”

One of the standout children on hand was Patrick Baumann, winner of two college scholarships by the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund and the New York Giants. Patrick recently graduated from Fordham Preparatory School in New York City where he was a co-captain of the Varsity Squash team. Patrick was born three days prior to the attacks on 9/11 and has lived his whole life just a few blocks from Ground Zero. In 2009, he was diagnosed with Stage IV Wilm’s Tumor.

“I’m so appreciative of the Jay Fund’s support and the opportunities they provide,” says Patrick, who will be attending Penn State University in the fall (cancer-free!)

For more information and to donate to the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund, visit TCJayFund.org.

Landon Collins Celebrity Softball Game

While football season is still far away, it didn’t mean that a few New York Giants couldn’t test their skills on the softball diamond this past Saturday, June 8 in Rockland County, New York. Thanks to the likes of Giants superfan Joe Ruback known as “License Plate Guy”, Washington Redskins safety Landon Collins and former Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, the official “Landon Collins Celebrity Softball Game” became a charitable success for everybody involved.

Within the actual event there were games that featured offensive players against defensive players. This included some competitive, but also humorous showdowns in dodgeball, kickball and softball.

The goal of this year’s event was to help raise money for St. Christopher’s, Inc. in their efforts to provide clinical and residential services for children.

Even though Collins is no longer a Giant, he felt like it was important for him to come back to New York and host the event again. “It’s an honor to be back and to say goodbye to my friends, my family and my fans,” said Collins in reference to the magnitude of the softball game.

With the ticket purchases from many Big Blue fans, along with other charitable donations, Ruback and Collins helped raise $30,000 for St. Christopher’s, Inc. In an Instagram post after the game, Ruback said, “This check puts our three-year total over $100,000. Thank you all who came out to support. Can’t wait till next year.”

While the future of this softball game remains a bit unclear, Jacobs couldn’t help himself from grabbing the microphone at the end of the night to express his desire for the Jets to show up to next year’s event. The close proximity rivalry just might be the perfect play call to raise even more money for their desired charity.

NJ Sharing Network: 5K Celebration of Life

The NJ Sharing Network is a non-profit organization that aims to help connect organ donors with patients in need of important transplant procedures.

Jan Hines is an assistant director for the organization and was happy to sit down with #HipNJ’s Lisa Marie Latino to spread the awareness of organ donating throughout New Jersey.

The headquarters is located in New Providence, New Jersey and is home to a team of about 180 employees looking to help patients in anyway they can. “We work to facilitate the gift of life for patients who are waiting for an organ or tissue transplant,” said Hines in regards to what the organization does on a daily basis.

Sunday, June 2 marks the organization’s 5K Celebration of Life at the New Providence headquarters. The event is set to host 10,000 participants and will further help spread awareness and honor organ donors, along with their families.

Along with this exciting affair coming up, the Garden State will be hosting the Transplant Games of America in July of 2020 for the first time ever. The national event will focus around athletic competitions to celebrate the success of organ transplantation.

If you are interested in registering to become an organ donor, sign up for their advocacy night, join the 5K Celebration of Life and learn more about the Transplant Games of America, visit www.njsharingnetwork.org to help get involved and save more lives.