Westfield Year in Review: Most Inspirational Stories of 2011

Patch takes a look at people who went out of their way to do good in 2011.

During 2011 Westfielders young and old went out of their way to help those in need.

Throughout the year, many volunteered to raise funds to benefit Carly Pfeiffer, the daughter of third generation Westfield firefighter Jim Pfeiffer, who 2010. 

In February, a group of to help organize a comedy night to benefit Pfeifer, whose grandmother June Pfeifer is a paraprofessional at the school.

Come May, crowds jammed the in Cranford to support the Carly Pfeifer Fund, which was set up in the wake of Pfeiffer’s death by the Westfield FMBA to raise funds for the education of his then one-year-old daughter with his wife, Christine.

Carly Pfeiffer wasn't the only recipient of the FMBA's generosity. The organization also held a paintball fundraiser to benefit the Mariesa and Tallia Maglione, whose firefighting father after a 15-month battle with cancer earlier in the year.

Sara Soriente is more than just 's earth science teacher and assistant volleyball coach. This past July, Soriente added the title of tour guide to her resume as she led 11 students on and the coast of Mozambique to examine the bush and coral reefs.

This wasn't the first time the Cranford native traveled far from home to benefit others. The 28 year old also chose to spend her 2010 helping earthquake victims.

Two sets of siblings, Starita, formed lemonade stands with the purpose of raising funds to help the above Ferraro's.

Nancy Gruskin's husband Stuart died after being struck by a bicycle delivery person going the wrong way on a one-way street in midtown Manhattan on April 28, 2009. to transform her husband's death into a way to prevent others from suffering the same misfortune.

After nearly two years of bicycle safety advocacy work, Gruskin's bill was signed into law by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2011.

Raised in Westfield, currently works in San Francisco for the non-profit Futures Without Violence. As the group’s director of public communications, O’Connor, 34, works directly with parents, coaches, teachers and teens to teach about the damaging effects of abuse against women and girls, different perspectives on manhood and masculinity, and how to foster healthy personal relationships.

In August, a 14-year-old Westfield resident and son of Executive Director Sherry Cronin, received an award for his efforts to rid Westfield of graffiti.

Attorney and Westfield resident started Cause 4 Paws in 1999 and has rescued approximately 200 cats per year by placing them in foster care while she and fellow volunteers find suitable homes.

, stock trader and philanthropist, offered his unique approach to sharing the wealth. His outside-the box style of giving begins with finding supply and then using it to fulfill a need.

In December, the Westfield resident donated more than 160 sweatshirts to Family Promise in Summit. Another way Trigaux is giving to others, he's for Patch

, founder of Itsmylocker.com and GenerationTextOnline, tours the state and country encouraging parents and educators to take an active role in keeping children safe online. Her involvement in youth ministry at the is what led her to begin her crusade for cybersafety.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »