Category Archives: Charity

#HipNJWeddings: Brides Against Breast Cancer

Calling all brides-to-be!

#HipNJ went behind the scenes at the Brides Against Breast Cancer event. There were ample opportunities for brides to come in and purchase designer dresses at a discount, with all proceeds going to breast cancer efforts!

To “ensure that no one has to face cancer alone”, the Brides Against Breast Cancer contributes to programs for cancer patients and their families all over the country.

In Weehawken, #HipNJ’s Sam Selvaggio met with show manager Mya Widmyer to learn more about Brides Against Breast Cancer. Mya told us that this charity event is hosted in over 170 cities around the country, bringing in six to seven hundred deeply discounted couture and designer wedding gowns to these events. (That’s a TON of fab dresses!) They even include local area wedding vendors as well.

It’s a one-stop shop for the brides, and 80% of proceeds go straight to funding free programs for cancer patients and their families. Mary Kay makeup even offers a drawing at this event for brides to get a free makeover, facial, and gift certificate!

One bride-to- be, Alex, is really excited about this event and chose to participate in the dress shopping here instead of purchasing a dress on her own.  She shares that her fiancé’s aunt died of breast cancer, so to Alex and her fiancé this event personally meant a lot.

For more info on this amazing event, visit

#MSUMonday: Autism Awareness Event

#HipNJ recently attended a great benefit for Autism at Montclair State University. It was a night of standout performances from Jersey Girls such as Laura Benanti and Jodi DiPiazza!

Laura Benanti, Tony Award winning Broadway star says, “rates of Autism are increasing and we still haven’t figured out why.” She says it’s important not only to figure out why it’s going on, but to educate people on how to interact with people that have the disease.

Gina McGlone, a professional singer, agrees with us that it is such a beautiful thing to gather and display the great talent here for this benefit event. She thinks it’s excellent to be a part of all of this and shows her loving support for the cause.

Sunda Croonquist, a professional comedian, refers to herself as a “homegirl from jersey” and loves that she can come back to the state for such a phenomenal cause! Autism, she says, holds a big place in her heart as her daughter’s best friends is autistic.

Jodi DiPiazza had a phenomenal performance at this event. She beautifully performed “On the Street Where You Live” and it was a hit! Co hosts Allison Langenohl of Farleigh Dickinson University and Danielle Iannetta of Montclair University both thought the event was an amazing experience to be able to host. It’s “something you don’t normally see on campus” says Danielle and it ended up being a “great show for a great cause!”

#HipNJ: The Face of Bangz

#HipNJ’s Gina Cernielia hosted a great event this past winter at the Bangz Salon & Wellness Spa in Montclair. At The Face of Bangz event five finalists walked the runway and explained why their charity of choice deserved to win the grand prize through the “Bangz Better World Foundation”. An esteemed panel of judges chose the winner.

Amber Delany was one of the finalists who is a board member of the Children’s Cancer Society. She says she’s “all about giving back” which is why her charity should win.

Angelica Stiskin is an artist, performer, and choreographer who believes what is done at Bangz is an incredible thing and believes being hospitable as a staff is a must.

Reyna Ramos, an aspiring model and actress, thinks she should win because her “personality outshines many people”. She believes sometimes its not about beauty, it is how you treat people.

Kristina Olszewski works for Cerebral Palsy People of New Jersey. She says she should win because she’s very real. She does this kind of stuff every single day at work. She volunteers and helps her community on a day-to-day basis.

Last but not least Carrie Lane Pearlman, an advocate for The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, “believes she is a good role model for girls everywhere”.

Co-owner of Bangz, Dominick SanServero, says charity is the most important thing. The Bangz Better World Foundation gives back to every charity possible. To see the finalist interviews and find out who won, check out #HipNJ’s segment above!