Tag Archives: hip new jersey

The Gloria Foundation: “Taste of Italy” Event

By Kenneth Barilari

#HipNJ spoke with Karen Arakelian, founder of The Gloria Foundation, about the foundation and its recent “Taste Of Italy” event.

The Gloria Foundation, founded in 2013, is a non-profit initiative helping victims of domestic violence. Their mission is to help provide resources to local safe houses and domestic violence organizations.

Arakelian told us that she founded the foundation in memory of her mother Gloria, who was a domestic violence victim. “I thought about what really formed me into who I am. Watching what she went through made me not ever want to depend on anyone,” she said.

Her mother went through a divorce in the 1970’s, a period during which divorce was highly stigmatized. Her mother had not worked and did not drive. After the divorce, she had to get her own job, learn to drive, and learn to be self-sufficient. This inspired Arakelian, and caused her to realize that she wanted to start something to give back.

The 3rd annual “Taste of Italy” event was held on September 28, 2016 at Design Consign in Fairfield. It was an evening of tasting delicious Italian specialties from the area’s finest restaurants, sampling wine from the beautiful countryside of Italy, and listening to live music under the stars. The event featured caviar by Calvisius Caviar and vodka by Claremont Distillery.

What inspired the event? “First of all, I’m Italian,” Arakelian jokes. “I love to entertain.”  This event was not just for fun. It also supported a great cause. Proceeds went to Partners for Women and Justice, a non-profit organization that provides free legal help in New Jersey to low income, abused victims of domestic violence.

They managed to raise around $15,000. About 100 people were in attendance, not including volunteers. “It’s a beautiful thing when the whole community chips in. It really is a team effort,” Arakelian said.

Every seven minutes, someone reports a domestic violence issue in New Jersey. For more information, head over to The Gloria Foundation’s website.


National Frappe Day

Craving a good frappe in the morning before you head to work? Try one of these coffee houses throughout New Jersey to get your morning caffeine fix on National Frappe Day.

9 Bar Cafe in Jersey City

American Bulldog Coffee Roasters in Ridgewood

Essential afternoon deliciousness. ❤️✨? Yummy coffee pick me up!! #coffeefliicks

A photo posted by Ella Berkeley (@eatwanderwear) on

Bean Vault Coffee in Hoboken

Bluestone Coffee Company in Montclair

Brunch after the photo shoot. Eggs Benedict & Lattes. ❤️❤️

A photo posted by s u s i e m c k e o w n (@susiemckeownphotography) on

Cloveberry in Spara

Thanks @kuhteen for sharing a meal with us!! ☺️?☕️ Tag Cloveberry to be featured on our Instagram ??

A photo posted by Cloveberry (@cloveberry) on

Make sure to check one of these places out to warm up. Happy National Frappe Day!

Shaun O’Hara on the Shaun O’Hara Foundation

Shaun O’Hara, former NY Giant great, sat down with Joanna Gagis on “Life & Living” to discuss the Shaun O’Hara Foundation, which was set up to help fight cystic fibrosis and other life-threatening diseases.

O’Hara started the foundation in 2009 along with his wife Amy. He states that the foundation wants to “help increase knowledge and education in life-threatening diseases that affect children.” They hoped that after helping to cure cystic fibrosis, their main benefactor, they could then move to another epidemic.

“I got to know a young man named Sean Squires when I was playing,” O’Hara states. He recalls meeting Squires and knowing him for a year before knowing about his battle with cystic fibrosis. This inspired him to learn about the disease and to begin fighting for a cure.

Cystic fibrosis is an orphan disease, meaning it impacts less than 200,000 individuals in our country. “Yet, the orphan disease label comes from the fact that it gets zero federal funding. Our government doesn’t give any money towards research and towards finding a cure.”

He goes on to say, “My wife and I said, this is something we can get behind. Let’s use my name and our contacts to try to make CF stand for Cure Found.”

To learn more about the Shaun O’Hara Foundation, head over to their website.