Late last month, the community of Denville New Jersey came together (carefully!) in support of Cancer Hope Network, raising funds and awareness as part of their annual Pink Witches Night Out. This year was a little different than others – with social distancing and newly-added safety measures. But the goal was the same – to help people facing cancer.

The month-long community celebration kicked off with an early morning ribbon cutting in early October and culminated in the official Night Out, held this year on October 22. Community members bought tickets, made donations and coordinated masks to match fabulous hats, businesses donated swag bag items, hosted sales and planned giveaways. Our friends and community partners at Saint Clare’s Hospital once again served as the event’s primary sponsor.

“I started this event 8 years ago because I knew how difficult it was to lose someone and even harder still not to talk about them everyday, Pink Witches allows me to connect with other people who have lost loved ones and even more importantly to encourage those who are fighting, to keep fighting! It’s a true community event,” said Meg Olenowski, who owns Sisters Boutique.

“It’s been amazing to watch this event grow over the last eight years. We have made some wonderful friends along the way, like Cancer Hope Network. Cancer Hope Network is an organization who changes lives daily. Working with such a deserving charity was a great motivation to our team and our event participants. We feel lucky to call them a partner.”

Several Denville businesses got in on the act, adding their own twists to the fun. Floriography Designs collected donations from shoppers. Bishops Cut & Color highlighted Cancer Hope Network volunteers and clients with what we’re certain is the best window display of 2020.

“We were thrilled to be a part of the Pink Witches celebration again in 2020,” said CHN Executive Director Cynthia Gutierrez Bernstein. “The Denville community has embraced Cancer Hope Network, providing critical financial support and helping to raise awareness of our services. I’m happy to report that, in addition to the donations and social media shares, nine Denville residents asked to learn more about becoming a CHN volunteer. This circle of support is especially meaningful in these challenging times and we are truly grateful.”

The event raised more than $6,000 to underwrite Cancer Hope Network’s mission. Meg Olenowski, one of the event’s founders, joined Danielle Grayson of Downtown Denville, Brandy Johnson of Saint Clare’s Hospital and CHN’s Director of External Affairs Sarah Miretti Cassidy for a wind-whipped check presentation.

Photo: Tony Lusardi, Tap Into News

 “Pink Witches Night Out brings together three things that I love – the Denville community, Saint Clare’s Hospital and Cancer Hope Network. As a veteran social worker and healthcare professional, I’m particularly proud of the work Saint Clare’s Hospital is doing to keep our community safe while saluting survivors and ensuring cancer patients and the people who love them receive the support that they need,” said Brandy Johnson, Senior Oncology Social Worker at Saint Clare’s Hospital.

“Throughout the year, we collaborate with Cancer Hope Network to make that happen. As the community’s hospital, we are thankful to the Pink Witches committee, Downtown Denville and the entire community for making this year’s event a success.”