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!

Boomer and Carton Charity Hockey Game

#HipNJ attended WFAN’s Boomer and Carton celebrity hockey game at Ice World in Middletown to benefit the Nichols Family Trust and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation’s “The Big Idea” initiative.

Boomer & Carton had guest of honor Mike Nichols on their show, which sparked the inspiration behind this great event. Mike suffered a spinal cord injury while playing hockey for Monroe High School. The Nichols Family Trust teamed up with the Christoper & Dana Reed Foundation. Together, they pushed “The Big Idea” initiative to raise funds for spinal cord research with a focus on epidural stimulation.

The Christopher & Dana Reed Foundation’s mantra is “Today’s care. Tomorrow’s cure.” They are dedicated to improving the lives of people with spinal cord injuries through grants, information, and advocacy. They brought this passion to the hockey game and were able to raise funds for this worthy cause.

Fans and supporters showed up from all parts of New Jersey to see some of hockey’s greats, including Ed Hospodar, Bruce Driver, Colin White, Grant Marshall, Randy Velishchek, Steve Webb, Ron Greschner, John McLean, Aaron Asham, and Brian Mullen. Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton even hit the ice and were ecstatic about the turnout for the event.

If you’re an avid hockey fan, then this #HipNJCares segment is definitely for you!

For more information on the Nichols Family Trust, please visit MikeyStrong23.org. For more information on the Christoper & Dana Reeve Foundation, please visit ChristopherReeve.org.

joe torre, andy pettitte

Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation Gala

Joe Torre and the New York Yankees are synonymous with class, and that was on full display at Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation‘s 12th Annual Celebrity Gala.

A-listers from the worlds of sports, media and Hollywood collided on the Pier 60 red carpet, and #HipNJ’s Lisa Marie Latino was there for it all.

“Joe is a wonderful human being, and he does so much to change the lives of women.  I’m proud of everything they do,” said television personality (and proud #HipNJ resident!), Dr. Mehmet Oz.

Safe at Home Foundation was founded in 2002 by Joe and his wife, Ali Torre.  Joe and his siblings were victims of domestic violence growing up, and he wanted to “stop the cycle”and save lives.

“It’s hard to dig back into your childhood and tell some dark stories about what happened to you personally,” said Yankees great David Cone.  “Not only does that take courage, but to take the step to do something about it says a lot about the man that he is.”

The gala, who honored Yankees legend Andy Pettitte, supported the Foundation’s programming initiative, Margaret’s Place, named in honor of Joe’s mother. This violence prevention and intervention model offers students an opportunity to explore issues of violence in a stable, non-threatening environment, while helping them understand that they are not alone or to blame. There are currently 11 Margaret’s Places in New York City and Los Angeles, where they have reached more than 45,000 students through countless school-wide campaigns, healing activities, educational opportunities, and private and group counseling.

“I’m here to support Joe because I love him so much, he’s a great guy and he’s done so much to the city of New York,” said television personality Meredith Vieira. “He’s done so much…particularly for kids who live in abusive homes.  What he’s saying is you’re not alone, and you need to talk, and there is hope.”

“We know we’re doing something that works,” said Joe.  “We’ve had kids come in our program who were thinking about joining a gang, and all of a sudden they are going to college.  We want to let them know when they come out the other end of this thing, they have a shot and we’re going to be there for them.”

For more information, visit JoeTorre.org.

billy and ashley streiter

#HipNJ Cares: Billy and Ashley Streiter

Drinking and driving is never the “hip” thing to do.  In this special #HipNJ Cares segment, we learn about one family’s tragic story that could have easily been avoided.

Billy and Ashley Streiter were smart, beautiful and well-liked young adults who grew up in Florham Park with their loving parents, Deborah and Bill.  Billy had dreams of becoming a lawyer, and was a student at Seton Hall Law School.  Ashley’s goal in life was to help children, and studied special education at Kutztown University.

However, on April 5, 2003, those hopes were dashed.

On that terribly rainy, early Saturday morning, Billy was at a friend’s house and stranded without a ride.  Wanting to be responsible, he called his sister to pick up him and his friend.  Despite the weather and the time, Ashley jumped out of bed and drove thirty minutes for her brother.

On the way back to Florham Park, Ashley’s car had been disabled.  While waiting for help on the Garden State Parkway, they were hit by a speeding drunk driver with a suspended license.  Ashley and Billy were dead before paramedics arrived.

No parent should have to bury their child.  In Deborah Streiter’s case, she had to bury her only children, at the same time.  But instead of having the situation consume her, she has used this platform to make a positive difference in the world.

Deborah and her husband award scholarships in their children’s honor each year to their respective schools- KutztownSeton Hall Law, University of Rhode Island, and Hanover Park Regional High Schoolamong others.  The family, with the help of Billy and Ashley’s friends, hold fundraisers throughout the year to supplement the fund.  Deborah and Bill also do many public speaking engagements, and were even the subject of a Pulitzer Prize-winning photo.

#HipNJ’s Lisa Marie Latino sat with Deborah Streiter, and she bravely shared her story.  We hope you remember her words as you venture out this holiday season, and always.

For more information, visit ForBillyAndAshley.com.