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#lovethehub

So much love to celebrate in February!

Love is in the air here in the Hub of the Pascack Valley (along with ALL the snow!)  Here's what your friends and neighbors have been doing in #thehub this February.  In this issue scroll to:

  • CELEBRATING
  • CIVICS CORNER
  • BIZ BUZZ
  • EVENTS
  • #ExploreTheHub

CELEBRATING Connex4NPO! Just a month into the pandemic, Westwood residents David and Roei Mendez saw a need to provide assistance to those who had fallen on hard times under stay at home orders. From the earliest food distributions from their residential garage, the organization has flourished to a dedicated team of volunteers and local partners who have been able to fill a critical gap for individuals and families facing food insecurity. Through forging relationships with food vendors, wholesale distributors, local businesses, private farms, grocers, and charity groups, Connex4NPO built a sustainable pipeline to collect and distribute fresh food to local neighbors, food pantries, and other charitable food service organizations. Donation and distribution partners in Westwood have included Trader Joe’s, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Parkside Community Church, St. Andrew’s Church, Westwood House, Westwood Knights of Columbus, and the Westwood United Methodist Church. This nonprofit corporation welcomes new volunteers and monetary donations which enable them to continue their supply of perishable and non-perishable items to those in need. For more information, see their website at http://Connex4npo.org/ or Facebook @Connex4NPO.

Interested in donating food or money to a local food pantry?  See this listing from Westwood For All Ages. (Photo: FrantVisuals: right to left - Roei & David Mendez and a few Connex4NPO volunteers show their Westwood Love!)

CELEBRATING the “Westwood, NJ” facebook page created by resident Lesley Whyard in 2010 as a place to celebrate the town where she and her husband are raising their daughter. We celebrated Lesley back in April 2020 as part of our “We Are Westwood'' series, but as the page celebrates its 11th year and 6000th “like,” it’s worth mentioning again! From our archives: “The “Westwood, NJ” page has been a constant source of information for our community through celebrations, weather events, positive news, and beautiful photographs that uplift and inform the community at large. She features businesses, church activities, school events, and Borough information for the purpose of keeping us up to date on how to help one another and come together as neighbors.” While @WestwoodNJ is not an official social media outlet for borough information, it is a trustworthy place to find up-to-date local information, news stories, and events as an aggregate of postings from local organizations, businesses, and community initiatives.  (Image: @westwoodnj Facebook page)

CELEBRATING Love in the Hub!  How do we #LovetheHub? We can hardly count the ways! For the past 4 weeks, we've featured photos of business, organization, and resident partners showing their love for all things Westwood! Check out some of these smiling (behind the masks) faces above! Special thanks to MarketHouse, Conrad’s, Muah Makeup and Lash Bar, Tokyo Cafe, all four Ginger stores, Westwood Public Library, Westwood Pets Unlimited, Stack Creamery, Westwood Recreation Department, Westwood Preschool, Meals on Wheels North Jersey, Westwood for All Ages, Connex4NPO, Councilwoman Beth Dell, and neighbors for your participation!  (Photos: Richard Frant, Frant Visuals)

CELEBRATING Westwood Restaurant Appreciation Month - the extended edition! This event was designed to highlight the diversity of 42 eateries who have withstood incalculable tolls to their small businesses during the pandemic shutdowns and limitations on indoor dining and was expected to run just four weeks, HOWEVER, because of unprecedented participation from our local eateries and their generous, unsolicited contributions of prizes, we are able to extend the opportunity to win for a total of 8 weeks, through at least March 12!  Entering is simple and the prizes are BIG! Simply dine out or order in from a Westwood eatery and post a photo on Facebook or Instagram, tagging @CelebrateWestwood so that we see it. You will be entered to win weekly prizes valued at over $150! Upcoming bundles include contributions from Smokin’ Joe’s, George’s Grill, Kimchi Smoke, Granita Grill, Joe’s Craft Pies, Flynn’s Deli, Milan’s Confectionery, Lepore’s Italian Market, and Pompillio’s. 

CIVICS CORNER: 

This monthly column will highlight members of the municipal government, noteworthy municipal initiatives, departments, boards, and commissions.

In February, we are CELEBRATING the Westwood Department of Public Works.  Think you’re tired of all this snow? Imagine how our Westwood Department of Public Works must feel! This winter, the count stands at more than 30 inches of snow and 17 days of below freezing temperatures.  The Westwood DPW put in extra hours during the blockbuster storm on Jan. 31-Jan 2 with all hands on deck - err, on the plow controls.   That storm left us with 22 inches of the fluffy white stuff which has only begun to melt!

For more information about the Westwood DPW please see www.WestwoodNJ.gov.  There you will find information on trash and recycling collection, leaf collection, special collection days and more.  While you're there, be sure to sign up for the borough's NewsFlash by clicking on the "Notify Me" button and selecting NewsFlash. (Photo: Councilman Christopher Montana)

BIZ BUZZ

CELEBRATING the much anticipated opening of B&S Kitchen! This new concept eatery on Westwood Ave brings high quality ingredients and a mission to “capture your heart and stomach, by bringing you satisfying healthy dishes.” Oh, and the B&S? That stands for bread and salad. Yes, please! Their ingredients are organic and sustainably sourced. The spot is co-owned by the owners and chefs at Bop N’ Sushi, right around the corner on Broadway! Grand opening ribbon cutting coming soon! Have you tried B&S Kitchen yet? When you do, be sure to tag us and #dinethehub!

CELEBRATING local businesses supporting local businesses! Nothing makes us smile more than when local businesses extend a hand to help their colleagues down the block. We strongly believe in the power of a rising tide which is why we’ve celebrated things like when Lepore’s Italian Market offered fridge space to Flynn’s Deli during an unexpected 2020 blackout, or the ways in which adjacent businesses offered their sidewalk space to food uses to expand seating during the warmer months. This month, we wanted to extend a special shout out to Conrad’s for sharing the love all season long, but particularly working overtime on social media to share social media posts from Westwood retail, dining, and service businesses! Those little boosts and shares all add up! 

A second round of APPLAUSE goes out to Playa Bowls which gathered participation from dozens of Westwood businesses including Beyond the Barre, Ginger N Cream, Hunt and Orchard, Mirror Mirror Gifts, Muah Makeup and Lash Bar, Serene Spa Boutique, Ludovica, Society Femme, Threads, and Urbann Touch to create an impressive raffle basket. Entrants were required to follow all participating business’s social media accounts, thus elevating the footprint and reach of all involved! These moments, as well as the daily intra-business shoutouts rock! In Westwood, our community truly extends beyond residential neighborhoods and into our commercial district! 

CELEBRATING the return of outdoor dining and Arts on the Avenues! We all agree that 2020 was rough, but it was made a little bit more bearable by the ways we could all get out and enjoy safe, socially distanced company with neighbors and friends while shopping, dining, or strolling in Westwood! We are happy to report that the lively outdoor dining, shopping, and strolling atmosphere has been made possible once again through a unanimous vote by the Westwood Borough Council to reauthorized pertinent resolutions originally proposed in Spring 2020 by the Mayor’s Economic Recovery Panel, through March 31, 2022.  The Governing Body has also reauthorized its resolution so that Celebrate Westwood’s very well received “Arts on the Avenues” may continue this spring-fall throughout the Central Business District. Thanks Mayor & Council!  The call for artists of all types is now open! See below for details! 

(Photos Clockwise: B&S Kitchen, Conrad's, FrantVisuals, Playabowls Westwood)

EVENTS

ARTS ON THE AVENUES SEASON FUNDRAISER in partnership with Cafe Anello this Sunday, February 28 - Must pre-order! 

Celebrate Westwood believes in the special community building ability of small artistic performances, especially in this time of physical and social distancing, when many artists and businesses that support local arts have been impacted by closures and safety regulations. By designating several locations downtown as outdoor performance areas, the Borough of Westwood has enabled Celebrate Westwood to help create a safe, inviting atmosphere in which to enjoy the arts, whether for a few minutes while shopping or longer while enjoying a meal outside. We look forward to another exciting season and are working to create a modest budget from which to pay our talented, featured artists for their time. If you enjoyed music and visual arts in downtown Westwood in 2020 and can’t wait for the 2021 launch, we hope you will consider ordering this delicious curbside meal!    

Not feeling hungry but still want to make a donation?  Go to our GiveButter page to make a contribution. 

The Anello Feeds First Initiative began when owners John Vitale and Alissa Napoletano-Vitale saw the need to give back to front-line workers and first responders in March 2020, the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Since its start Anello Feeds First has served more than 25,000 meals and has expanded to include its popular Sunday Curbside Dinner which serves as a fundraiser for residents in need and local non-profits.   To see their offerings visit www.cafeanello.com.

CALLING ALL MUSICIANS, DANCERS, ARTISTS, and CREATIVES! Arts on the Avenues, the encore! Celebrate Westwood is pleased to continue our Arts on the Avenues series for its second year, May - October 2021. Applications are now open for artists and performers of all types to be considered for our upcoming seasons. Artists do not need to be Westwood residents, however, local applicants will be given priority of selection. For full details and the application, please see https://www.celebratewestwood.org/arts-on-the-avenue 

#shopthehub every day, but especially on Saturday 3/20 when Westwood small businesses will be offering unique sales and special in their shops. Check out @CelebrateWestwood on Facebook and Instagram for participating businesses and details as they become available, and look for the shiny balloons decorating the central business district to indicate participating locations!  

#ExploreTheHub

There's a lot happening around Westwood and we encourage you to visit these links to learn more about events, classes, groups, promotions, updates and more!  

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