In The News

The following 2 magazine stories, 7 NeighborNews stories and 3 press releases have been released or published in 2014 and within the past six years:

Cedar Hill CDC Selected As Partner of 2014

In this April 22, 2014 press release Cedar Hill CDC was selected by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Morris, Bergen, Passaic & Sussez, Inc. as 1 of 2 partners of 2014.

Bridget Burke Weiss 2014 Interview

In this March 12, 2014 Neighbor News interview, Bridget discusses her role as Lady Bracknell in the Oscar Wilde play The Importance of Being Ernest. Bridget also talks about her past theatre performances and her role as Executive Director at Cedar Hill CDC.

Mentors Honored

On February 25, 2013 following The Best Of Chefs Dinner, Mtn. Lakes students were honored for mentoring in this May 1st Neighbor News story.

Sailing Camp Articles

During the summer of 2012, Mountain Lakes High senior Gina Tomarchio and other volunteers held a Sailing Camp for a small group of our students, as described in 2 Mountain Lakes Living magazine articles.

Art Contest Winner

This most recent of five stories in the NeighborNews is about former Cedar Hill student, Leonella Moyoli winning an art contest.

NJ Fireman's Home Press Release

As part of our student's community service programs, a number of our students visited the NJ Fireman's Home to assist the residents in creating their own Jack-O-Lanterns.

Art Show Story

Our 1st Annual Art Show on February 11, 2011 was held in the Boonton Rec Center.

The art show culminated Isabelle Laurenzi's Girl Scout project for her Gold Award, which is equivalent to Eagle Scout for young men.

Isabelle and several of her fellow seniors at Mountain Lakes High School also performed chamber music during the show—all of which was a great success.

Santa's Helpers Story

This Neighbor News story appeared several years ago in a local newspaper on December 24, 2008 and covers the CDC's very first formal Christmas party and dinner for our children.

The party, complete with presents handed out by Santa himself, was the idea of employees of Hennion and Walsh, the corporation who sponsored the entire event.

Cedar Hill CDC Holiday Concert Story

This is a published, local newspaper story that also appeared in the December 24, 2008 issue of the NeighborNews-Boonton-Boonton Twp-Mountain Lakes Edition.

Our students, and particularly our young ladies, developed their singing talents in Mrs. "B's" many rehearsals for our annual talent show and Angel Tree Ceremony caroling.

Last year they felt confident and poised enough to entertain the residents of the Fireman's Home in Boonton for retired firemen throughout the state of New Jersey.

Their first venture was a rousing success and much appreciated by the retired firemen residents.

TaeKwonDo Press Release

This story is a press release of the introduction of a martial arts program to the CDC under the expert, volunteer direction of instructor Andrew Jennings.

The class has proven so popular with our students that Mr. Jennings now teaches two groups in seperate classes at the Boonton Recreation Center.

Under Mr. Jenning's direction the children are not only acquiring the skills of Taekwondo, but they also learning respect, composure and discipline.

During the past year, under Mr. Jennings instruction, his students have reached their first level by earning their yellow belts.



Cedar Hill CDC Selected As Partner of 2014


news release of cedar hill cdc selection as partner

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Neighbor News Interview With Bridget Burke Weiss


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Mountain Lakes Students Honored For Mentoring


headline     scan
mentor photo   with child

Mountain Lakes Club NJ-On February 25th 2013 Cedar Hill Community Development Corporation awarded their 1st annual "Excellence in Mentoring Awards" to three Mountain Lakes High School students.

Julia Kirshenbaum, Gwenny Schiller & Gina Tomarchio were recipients of this prestigious award for their volunteerism in mentoring students in the Community After School Program of Cedar Hill CDC of Boonton.

The three outstanding mentors meet weekly with students and help with homework tutoring, leadership, role modeling and friendship.

All three candidates demonstrated outstanding qualities of commitment and maturity by also volunteering in the program's summer camp.

Gina Tomarchio created and implemented a sailing camp at Island Beach Lake this past summer. The camp met every Friday in July and students were taught skills in sailing, swimming and knot tying.

photo of big brothers-big sisters group 1

PHOTO COURTESY OF BRIDGET BURKE WEISS

Excellence in Mentoring Award recipient Julia Kirshenbaum
"big sister" with her "little sister" Dori Medel.

Eight local restaurants generously donated their delicious food for the program's "4th Annual Best of Chefs" fundraiser: The Mountain Lakes Club, Suzi Cakes of Boonton, The Station of Mountain Lakes, Sazon Latino of Boonton, The Quiet Man of Dover, Wah Yan Chinese Kitchen of Boonton Café Canela of Boonton all made the evening a tasty success.

The evening, held at the Mountain Lakes Club, was a huge success. With over 140 donors in attendance celebrating and acknowledging Mountain Lakes High School students who mentor students weekly in the program.

Cedar Hill Community Development Corporation is the only not for profit after-school program for low income working families in the town of Boonton. For eleven years the program has provided a safe haven for children with homework help, arts programming, Tae Kwon Do, Yoga, Dance, Gymnastics, computer literacy, field trips, Boy Scouts, mentoring by Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Northern Jersey, and the one-on-one attention of a dedicated staff and distinguished volunteers.

If you would like more information Cedar Hill CDC, or to learn how you can help, please contact or visit their website: www.cedarhillcdc.org, or call, 973-263-9959.

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Mountain Lakes Summer Sailing Camp


Mountain Lakes Living Magazine Articles

Article One

first sailing    camp magazine article

Article Two

2nd sailing     camp magazine article
continued from above
sailing camp       article 2 continued

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Former Student Wins Art Contest


Boonton Middle School student Leonella Moyoli, a former Cedar Hill student, has won a Visual Art Program Cover Contest sponsored by the Mayo Performing Arts Center with the theme "Celebrate the Arts!" Congratulations Leonella.

photo of student and artwork

Press Release, October 27, 2011: Cedar Hill CDC Brings Fall Fun To The NJ Fireman's Home


Pumpkin decorating at the New Jersey Firemans Home
3 retired firemen, 2 Fireman's Home staff members, 2 Cedar Hill staff members and 10 Cedar Hill CDC students

NJ Fireman's Home Boonton - On Thursday, October 27th students of Cedar Hill Community After School Program for working families in Boonton, packed up their art supplies and headed over to the NJ Fireman's Home to help the retired firefighters decorate pumpkins for halloween.

The children, in K-6th grade, were dressed in their hospital scrubs (generously donated to their program as art smocks) and set up their paint, glitter and brushes. They then went to work assisting the residents express their creative side by creating their own spooky Jack-O-Lanterns.

Cedar Hill Community After-School Program, in rented facilities at St. John's Episcopal Church, is a not-for-profit agency which works with low-income families in the Boonton Area, providing enriching programs and a safe haven for students after school.

A primary goal for this school year, is for the children to learn about and participate in community service. For further information about our After School and Summer Camp Programs, and many photos and videos of the children's activities, please visit their home on the web at www.cedarhillcdc.org

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Cedar Hill Holds 1st Annual Art Show


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The following story appeared in the December 24, 2008 issue of NeighborNews Boonton-Boonton Twp.-Mountain Lakes edition:

Santa’s helpers spread early cheer


(by Lisa Kintish - December 24, 2008)

From left: Bill Walsh, Julia McConville, Samantha Seekamp and Rich Hennion

Santa Claus paid an early visit. There was entertainment, and a holiday feast, but for one little girl, the best part of the celebration was receiving brown Hannah Montana shoes.

Good cheer was plentiful at the Christmas party thrown on Dec. 13 for the children enrolled in the Cedar Hill CDC after-school program. The hosts were the employees of Hennion and Walsh, a Parsippany-based brokerage company. It would be easy to quip that for a brief time, the company was transformed into the North Pole, or to quote from “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” or to use any number of holiday article cliches, but that would disservice the children, the employees, and the specialness of the afternoon they shared together.

On a simple level, the party was a fun moment, while on a more complex level, it showed that generosity and kindness continue to thrive in Morris County even during a recession.

Hennion and Walsh’s employees from Rockaway, Dover, Montville, and other towns all pitched in to better the season for the 32 Boonton children, from kindergartners to sixth graders, who are from low-income homes.

As Bill Walsh, a partner in the firm, noted, giving back to the community is important to his company and has been since it was founded 19 years ago.

“It is the culture we breed,” he said.

Steve Kowalski reads “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” during the party hosted by Hennion and Walsh for children who attend the Cedar Hill CDC after-school program in Boonton.

Therefore it was not surprising when two young employees, Samantha Seekamp and Julia McConville, both administrative assistants, presented the idea of giving to the Cedar Hill children, who meet at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Boonton after school. The women heard about the program while searching for a group of children to assist.

The women were not looking to do a toy drive or make a donation, but to truly enhance the Christmas of some local children. The party included presents as requested by the children along with clothes, shoes, and socks - items that are much needed by growing youngsters.

There was plenty of food with turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, and desserts served on nice tablecloths and dishes - not paper.

Walsh seemed truly touched by this when he said of the women, “They wanted to make it as personal an experience as they had growing up. A home-cooked meal.”

Everybody at Hennion and Walsh was involved, be it with shopping, wrapping, or some other party detail. This included Walsh and his partner Richard Hennion.

Walsh said, “We’re funding all this, but we’ll get our hands dirty like everyone else.”

Besides shopping and helping to serve food, the partners read a story about Santa Claus and shoes. Steve Kowalski, the company’s senior vice president, read “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

Bridget Burke-Weiss, program director for Cedar Hill CDC, cheerfully recounted how the children “squealed when they opened their gifts.” She talked about all the special moments, such as when Santa called each one up for a gift specifically for that child and the fact that they really liked the shoes.

Said Burke-Weiss, “I was surprised. I didn’t think it would mean that much to them.”

The reason for the gift of shoes, explained Burke-Weiss is that children go through shoes quickly and the price gets ever more expensive. Some of the children were particularly in need of new footwear because their old shoes were falling apart. The new shoes purchased by Hennion and Walsh were brand names, items that Burke-Weiss said, “were not what would be in the family budget, not something that was going to happen.”

Of the entire day, she said, “It was really nice, we depend upon the generosity of donations. The parents were touched that they had the party for the children.”

As for the guests of honor, besides finding the day to be a lot of fun, their impression depended upon their age.
Burke-Weiss said, “For the younger children, there was the magic of Santa. For the older children, they realized it was a gift. They realize the act of generosity.”

The children also had the opportunity to give. Besides sending thank-you cards after the fact, the kids showed their appreciation with songs, “Come All Ye Faithful” and a Yuletide medley. This was not the first time the children performed, nor will it be the last. Already they have entertained the residents at the Fireman’s Home and will be singing at other area nursing homes.

“We are trying to find ways for them to give back because people have been giving to them,” said Burke-Weiss.

The children’s singing did touch the adults in the room. McConville described it as “awesome” and said that the party surpassed her expectations.

The day was not just about tangible presents, but also memories. McConville took from the day the memory of the children running to hug Santa Claus as he tried to enter the room and of her helping the children play with their new toys.

“As a company, we like to give back to the community so we can change the lives of other people and bring wealth to them as well,” she said.

It is probably yet another cliché to say it is difficult to determine who was more touched that day and who received more, the adults or the children. But in the end, that does not really matter.

Giving is not limited to December. The big fundraiser for Cedar Hill CDC, which operates in connection with Boonton recreation, is to make summer camp possible for the children. For more information, visit www.cedarhillcdc.org.

Lisa Kintish can be contacted at kintish@northjersey.com.

Photos courtesy of Hennion & Walsh, Inc.

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The following story is from the 24Dec2008 NeighborNews - Boonton-Boonton Twp-Mountain Lakes Edition:

Cedar Hill CDC Students' Holiday Concert At Boonton's Fireman's Home


PHOTO COURTESY: BRIDGET BURKE-WEISS
From left: Zanib Ahmad, Bianca Marc, Ayla Smith, Amy Zaniewski, Kaia Mobley, (seated) Retired Fire Fighter Danny Schnorrbusch, Erica Richards, Leia Bruno, llana Mina, Kotton Lee and Ciera Jamison

Cedar Hill's after-school students spread some holiday cheer to retired firemen . . .

On Friday, Dec 12, students of Cedar Hill CDC Community After-School Program Drama Club sang holiday favorites for the residents of the New Jersey Fireman's Home. First-grade girls of School Street School and fifth and sixth-grade girls from John Hill School performed group numbers as well as solos.

The retired firemen enjoyed the performance so much that the president of the Resident Council, Leonard J. Dante, and Activities Director Lillian Aleman invited the girls to return in the spring to present their second annual fashion show.

Cedar Hill Community After-School Program at St. John's Church is a not-for-profit agency, which works with low-income families in the Boonton area, providing a safe haven for students after school. A primary goal for this school year is for the children to learn about and participate in community service.

For information visit the Web site at www.cedarhillcdc.org.

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Press Release - TaeKwonDo Instruction Begins at Cedar Hill CDC


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From left: Andrew Jennings, Craig Hill

On Monday September 29th, 2008 the students of Cedar Hill Community After School Program for low-income families in Boonton, were treated to a Martial Arts Exhibition performed by Master Craig Hill, Instructor Andrew Jennings and their protégées of HoSan Taekwondo of Randolph, which is owned by Grand Master Y.H. Kim, and is one of seven HoSan Taekwondo schools in New Jersey.

The exhibition launched the new partnership of HoSan Taekwondo with Cedar Hill CDC in offering free classes to all students enrolled in the after school program.

The seven person team ranged in ages from 8 to 45 with skill levels of pre black belts to 4th degree black belts. The program included the basic steps to beginning Tae Kwan Do as well as very advanced techniques.

The children of Cedar Hill CDC After-School Program were enthralled watching the demonstrators jump five feet in the air and break solid wood boards with their hands, feet and head.

Taekwondo is an unarmed martial art and the national sport of South Korea. It is the world's most popular martial art.

According to instructor Andrew Jennings, "We at HoSan Taekwondo feel that all children that are interested in this sport should have the opportunity to experience it. Not only is it excellent exercise for their bodies, it has the added benefits of teaching mental and ethical discipline, justice, etiquette, respect, and self-confidence."

Bridget Burke-Weiss, Program Director of Cedar Hill Community After-School Program added, "The students were so impressed with the exhibition, especially seeing children their age so advanced in the art. They kept saying "look—she is only in third grade and she can do a flying side kick—I want to learn to do that!"

For more information please call Cedar Hill CDC at 973-263-9959 or visit their website at www.cedarhillcdc.org.

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