Yesterday afternoon, the Verona Juniors hosted the Regional Spelling Bee at HB Whitehorne. All of the students did a great job. I was especially proud of our Verona students!

I was also very proud that our club stepped up to help the State. I'd like to thank Denise Verzella for bringing the water and for videoing the bee, Tara Heintjes for graciously agreeing to be a last-minute judge and working the registration table, and Lesley Hayes for moving tables, working the registration table, and general organization. I know that the ladies from the Federation really appreciated the help! I too was thankful for such a wonderful representation of our Club!

Thanks all,
Kristen, President
Verona Junior Woman's Club
We want to give a huge thanks to everyone who helped with the Tricky Tray!  We are so proud that the club came together to host such an amazing fundraiser!  

Christine McGrath, Second Vice President, Tricky-Tray Co-Chair
Carrie Moylan, Treasurer, Tricky-Tray Co-Chair
On Saturday, January 11th, approximately fifty 4th and 5th graders participated in the annual Spelling Bee competition held at H.B. Whitehorne Middle School.  The Junior Woman’s Club of Verona would like to thank all the children who participated and congratulate our winners.  Congratulations to Christian Castner, 3rd place (HBW), Veronica Domyslawski, 2nd place (OLL), and Karina Squilanti, 1st place (HBW).

Thank you to our judges Mayor Robert Manley, Principal Jeffrey Monacelli and Principal Julie DiGiacomo who kindly volunteered their time for the morning.  Thank you to Larisa Zulic and Denise Verzella from the Verona Juniors who organized the event.  Finally, thank you to Verona Juniors President, Kristen Donohue, who announced the words.
(From left to right) Spelling bee winners from left to right, Christian Castner (3rd place), Karina Squilanti (1st place) and Veronica Domyslawski (2nd place).
The spelling bee winners and the judges pose for a picture. (From left to right) Mayor Manley, Principal DiGiacomo, Christian Castner, Karina Squilanti, Veronica Domyslawski and Principal Monacelli.
The Junior Woman's Club of Verona inducted seven new members to the club this past Wednesday evening at the Essex Fells Country Club.  The club would like to welcome Lesley Hayes, Tara Heintjes, Kelly Lucente, Karin O’Dell, Joanna Rybak, Marissa Sperling, and Diana Weeks. 
Standing from left to right, Kate Kelly (Junior Woman's Club co-membership chair), Karin O'Dell, Marissa Sperling, Diana Weeks and Meg Walsh (Junior Woman's Club co-membership chair). Seated from left top right Kristen Donohue (Junior Woman's Club President), Joanna Rybak, Tara Heintjes, Kelly Lucente, and Lesley Hayes
The Junior Woman's Club of Verona, the Woman's Club of Verona and the Juniorettes recently participated in "Hearts of Hope." Participants painted ceramic hearts with inspirational messages and designs that will be donated to patients in the NICU at St. Barnabas. Thank you to all who participated, especially Sarah Latson, Junior Woman's Club First Vice President, who organized the event, and Joni Jasterzbski, the art teacher at F.N. Brown and Brookdale who helped with the event. It was a wonderful night, filled with wonderful women, for a great cause.
Due to the overwhelming generosity of the community and our partnership with Abdallah Khetir, Walgreens-Verona store manager, and Alex, Manager of Bagels N More, we were able to give 28 filled backpacks, along with two coupons for a free lunch, to our town's Health & Social Services Program Coordinator, Connie Pifher, to distribute to Verona families in need. There was a backpack for every child who needed one! We're very thankful to everyone involved in making our "Packs with Purpose" initiative successful.
A special delivery!
Juniors' Collection at Walgreens!
(l-r) Federation Secretary and Co-Chair Lorri Caffrey and President and Co-Chair Kristen Donohue.
The Junior Woman’s Club of Verona recently wrapped up a very successful year and received numerous honors at the annual convention of the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs – Junior Membership.

The Juniors’ 2012-2013 fundraising efforts included “Flags Out Front,” in honor of veterans, as well as the club’s first-ever Holiday Vendor Market and its annual Bunny Brunch and discount-card sales. All of these fundraisers benefited from tremendous community support and enabled the club to donate nearly $10,000 to Verona schools and other Verona organizations, such as our fire department, rescue squad, library and PBA. These donations include three $1,000 scholarships to Verona High School seniors graduating in June, as well as funds for all of the local schools, elementary through high school. The Juniors also provided supermarket gift cards to families in need.

In addition, the Verona Juniors donated nearly $3,000 to other local, national and international charities, such as the Human Needs Food Pantry, the Valerie Fund, the Seeing Eye, Essex County CASA and Restore the Shore. In April, the Juniors were able to raise more than $300 for Prevent Child Abuse NJ when they “planted” a pinwheel garden outside the Verona Community Center to raise awareness about child abuse.

At the state convention in April, the Junior Woman’s Club of Verona was the only group to receive the Unity Award for its work with the local Woman’s Club and Juniorettes. The Verona Juniors brought home nine other awards, including first place for communications, first place for advocating for children and first place for working with Family Promise, a special state project. Additional recognition related to the club’s work with women’s history, performing arts and state projects connected to the Valerie Fund and the Seeing Eye, as well as its fundraising, leadership and membership efforts. In addition, the 2012-13 president, Kristen Donohue, was placed on the Honor Roll, the highest individual honor a club member may receive.
Verona Junior President, Kristen Donohue (center), presenting a check to the Verona Fire Department Chief Harvey Goodman (left), along with Ken Gerlach (right).
Sandy Bowman, the Vice President of the Verona Rescue Squad receiving a check from the Verona Juniors President, Kristen Donohue (right)
The Junior Woman’s Club of Verona recently held its annual Senior Dinner at the Verona Community Center. The event drew nearly 100 senior residents and featured food from Lombardi’s of Cedar Grove.

Members of the Verona High School girls’ lacrosse team and the Juniorettes also played a role in making the event a success, as they offered their assistance throughout the evening. Their hard work was very much appreciated.

The crowd enjoying the night at the Senior Dinner.
Junior’s Fundraising Chair, Christine McGrath, distributing information about an upcoming Fundraiser.
Dinner guests were asked to write a letter to the soldiers during the meal. Pictured Mel Conk and Charlie DePalma.
I'm thrilled to announce that our club received 10 awards! One of the most exciting awards was the "Unity Award," which is given to only one Juniors club in the entire state of New Jersey! The Unity Award was for "Bridging the Gap" between Junior, Women's and Juniorette Clubs.

We should be extremely proud of everything our club did last year! A huge thank you to Sarah Latson for writing such a fantastic report!! We do such great work and it's important that our report reflects all of our efforts. Thank you to everyone who gave their time and energy to the Juniors last year. This was a collective effort and we should all be very proud! Yippee!

I'd like to thank Lorri Caffrey and Sarah Latson for joining me in New Brunswick today. It was a great opportunity to meet other Juniors and to get new ideas for our Club. I'll speak a little more about Convention when we have our Business Meeting in May.

In Junior Spirit,
Kristen, President of the Junior Woman's Club of Verona

List of Awards

Winner-Unity Award

1st Place:

  • Golden Key (Communications/Press award)
  • Advocates for Children
  • Special State Project-Family Promise

2nd Place:

  • Women's History
  • Arts/Performing
  • State Project- Valerie Fund/Seeing Eye

3rd Place:

  • Fundraising
  • Leadership
  • Membership

Verona Junior Woman's Club