Tri-County Red Cross Get Together At Cafe Vivace In Plainfield–April 23, 2008

PLAINFIELD, NJ–On Wednesday night, the Tri-County Chapter of the Red Cross here in New Jersey that covers portions of Union, Somerset, and Middlesex Counties, held a monthly happy hour at Cafe Vivace on South Ave in Plainfield. Greg Machos of Hurricaneville, who gave a donation to the organization in the aftermath of the flooding that gripped Bound Brook and Manville in April 2007 when a rare Spring Nor’easter brought a ton of rainfall, was contacted by CEO Nathan A. Rudy, and came down to take part in the festivities.

Rudy, who had served on the Borough Council in nearby North Plainfield at the time of Hurricane Floyd, has only been on the job for nine months, but already has made a tremendous impact in the local chapter in terms of morale, organization, and renewed energy and excitement. This chapter of the Red Cross covers much of Union County with the exception of the towns of Westfield, Mountainside, Springfield, Summit, New Providence, and Berkeley Heights, several communities in Middlesex County such as South Plainfield, Piscataway, and Dunellen, and Somerset County towns such as North Plainfield and Watchung. Two offices cover this region including one onf West Front Street in Plainfield, and another over on Jefferson Avenue in Elizabeth. One of the new initiatives that Rudy has started is the happy hour, which is once a month alternating between Cafe Vivace in Plainfield near the Fanwood border, and Suspenders in Union near Kean University.

The purpose of the get together is to bring together all the volunteers, donors, and other key people that help the Tri-County Red Cross execute its mission for the people they serve. Not only does the Red Cross, which has gone through a great deal of upheaval in recent years, put in resources to help those recovering from floods, severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and blizzards, but also more common and localized tragedies such as fires. It was a great opportunity to not only discuss the latest news, especially concerning State Farm’s decision not to renew policies for some Jersey shore homeowners as well as the possibility of a $500 billion dollar hurricane by 2020, but also things in everyday life such as TV shows, restaurants, and other personal interests. Some volunteers shared stories about their experiences helping those in Texas in the wake of Hurricane Rita back in September 2005, and memories of the disastrous floods from Floyd. There were about flooding in some of the nearby towns such as Plainfield, South Plainfield, Bound Brook, and North Plainfield while the topic of helping those in South Florida, who are still recovering from Hurricane Wilma was also brought up (by Machos).

It was a very nice atmosphere in the restaurant with the hors d’Oeuvres, pasta, and chicken as well as the cash bar. All in all it was a great experience, and a fun way to get to know some of the people, who try to help others in a time of need. If you live in the Tri-County area of Union, Somerset, and Middlesex counties in New Jersey, and are interested in either becoming a volunteer, or giving a donation, you can contact Nathan Rudy at either, or via phone at (908)-756-6414 extension 17.