The Good News 
Newsletter from the Christ Child Society of Summit

Fall 2013 Newsletter         

A Message from our Co-Presidents
Wow!  On the heels of a fabulous year for the Christ Child Society of Summit, we started our new year with a very successful Rummage Sale that netted our chapter $6,700 to fund our signature programs. We are now 95 members strong and growing. All of our success this year could not have been possible without you -- our members!


Our 7th Annual Baby Shower in March was chaired by two of our newer members, Kathy Gettings and Julie Vlass, who stepped up and ran a flawless event that over 80 women enjoyed.  We've had tremendous success with our layette card program thanks to Angela Schroeder and her committee. Our 2012 Layette Card donations totalled over $2,000, and they've sold over $3,000 in layette cards so far this year. 


Our newest event, Blankets for Babies held in February, was a wonderful day filled with fun and spirit. If you could cut, pin, iron, sew or tie a knot, we recruited you! It was so nice, we did it twice. Thanks to Lambi Newsham's efforts we received a grant from the Summit Elks Lodge #1246, who partnered with us and hosted another Blankets for Babies day in May. 


In addition to our signature events, we've been busy since this spring with visits to Central High School, in-home masses beautifully coordinated by Linda Massengill and Elaine Phipps, a cocktail party, our first-ever scholarship, and our recently concluded annual School Supplies Distribution.  We are especially grateful for the volunteers that helped co-chairs Sally Golding and Jane Murphy collect and sort supplies, and run the "store" of supplies for the qualifying children.


We have just returned, newly energized, from the National Christ Child Conference held in Maryland in September.  What an inspiring group of women (from 40 chapters around the country) all doing amazing work on behalf of children! The National Board supports our chapters with teleconferences, seminars, written guidelines and is always available to lend their expertise on moving our non-profit organization forward. Please consider donating to the National Annual Appeal you recently received to support their work on behalf of children served by all chapters, including three new chapters in formation in Baltimore, Duluth and Denver.  


We would like to thank all our members for attending our meetings, events and Masses and for supporting our signature programs.  We are truly so grateful for your support.  We leave you with the sage words of Mitch Albom:
"The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself 
to loving others, devote yourself to your community around
you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives 
you purpose and meaning." 
Kathryn Colao and Lori White, Co-Presidents

Our Board


Past President

 Kathryn Colao and Lori White

 Lambi Newsham
 Margaret Strong (Outreach) 
 Christina Amundson (Communications)
 Maura Perier
 Terry Andrews

Spiritual Advisors
Fr. Brian Plate and Msgr. Guenther

Save the Dates
November 21, 2013 
General Meeting
9am Memorial Hall
December 3, 2013
Home Mass 8:30am


January 16, 2014
General Meeting 7pm


February 5, 2014
Blankets for Babies 

February 11, 2014
Home Mass 8:30am

March 26, 2014 
Annual Baby Shower


April 24, 2014
General Meeting
9am Memorial Hall

 April 26, 2014

"Elks" Blankets for Babies 


May 6, 2014
Home Mass 8:30am


May 9, 2014 
New Member Cocktail
Quick Links

Annual School Supplies Drive

nullOnce again we partnered with Bridges Outreach to collect and distribute school supplies for the 500 qualifying children in need in the Summit Public Schools.

We were able to assist 323 elementary, middle school and high school students that attended our
 "store" in August.  Through our efforts, the children went to school prepared for the business of learning despite the economic challenges that their families are facing. 
Many thanks to all of the members (and friends) who helped by donating the much needed items, by sorting, by working on the distribution or by working behind the scenes to make it all possible.  

Sally Golding and Jane Murphy,
School Supplies Drive Co-Chairs
Layette Cards Help us Fund our Work
A Christ Child Layette Card is a thoughtful and meaningful gift that supports our Layette Program.  Layette Cards can be given for any special occasion.   
For the first time ever, we are offering a $10 Christmas
layette card.  This handsome flat card is wrapped in cellophane with a gorgeous Christmas ribbon.  This is the perfect teacher gift, stocking stuffer or gift topper. 

Regular Layette cards are offered at $10 (partial layette) or $40 or more (full layette).  All proceeds from all these cards fund layettes for babies in need served through our Layette Program. 
Members and friends can donate in three easy ways:  

1. Buy cards on-line at with payment by credit card using the PayPal system. 

2. Buy cards at the next Christ Child Mass or meeting. 

3. Pick up some Layette order envelopes from the back of St. Teresa  of Avila Church or contact Angela Schroeder at 


Our Layette Card program can make a significant difference to those born without the benefit of essentials we take for granted.  The names of the donors and honorees will be listed on our website.


Angela Schroeder,


Annual Rummage Sale 
Our 5th Annual Rummage Sale took place on Saturday, October 19th at St. Teresa's Memorial Hall and was a HUGE success, netting $6,700 to fund our signature programs.  Our cheerful and very capable volunteers sorted, cleaned, staged, priced and sold the donated treasures beginning on Thursday, October 17th.  We planned our work shifts to enable many of our working members to join in the fun.
It was incredible that, once again, there was a line outside at opening time on Saturday morning.  It's clear that, after only five years, we are meeting a need in our community.  
Our 5th Annual Rummage Sale was a fun opportunity to share our diverse talents and raise funds for our important signature programs in order to serve children in need.  At the same time, the Rummage Sale helped to strengthen our Summit chapter's presence at St. Teresa's and the Summit community.

Once again a HUGE THANK YOU ALL for your continued commitment!

Lambi Newsham and Bev Luehs, 

2013 Rummage Sale Co-Chairs

News from the Spirituality Committee

We have decided to focus on our popular Home Masses because these have proven to be a meaningful way to gather together and share.  

We are thankful for the many members who have opened their homes for this very special purpose like Christie McGinn, Marianna Hurrell and Kathryn Colao.  We listed the dates of remaining Home Masses in the "Save the Dates" section of this newsletter to help you plan ahead.  

Please let Elaine Phipps know if you have a special loved one you would like us to keep in our prayers.  We will add their name to our prayer list, which is brought to our Mass gatherings.  Prayer requests can be made at any time.


We gratefully acknowledge the stewardship of Linda Massengill, who has taken on other commitments and is no longer chairing this committee, and we remind you to pray for the canonization of our founder with the following prayer that Msgr. Guenther shared with us:


Listen to our prayer sweet Jesus

You're the one we dearly love

Grant that soon our Mary Virginia

May be made with Saints above.


Elaine Phipps,

Spirituality Chair 

Annual Baby Shower
Memorial HallOur 7th Annual Baby Shower was a beautiful celebration full of joy and fellowship.  Over 80 members and friends attended and contributed gifts or donations toward our signature layette program.  We gratefully acknowledge your generosity, which makes it possible for us to help children in need. 

One of the highlights of the Annual Baby Shower was the presentation of the 2013 Mary Virginia Merrick Award to Theresa Sweeney.  Theresa exemplifies the spirit of our founder, Mary Virginia Merrick, in both her enthusiasm for any project and her dedication to improving the layette process.


Theresa makes sure that there is a hand knitted item and a beautiful warm blanket in every layette bundle.  This year, Theresa initiated and co-chaired our first annual "Blankets for Babies" Day.  Her efforts resulted in a very successful event with nearly 100 volunteers showing up to make over 100 blankets in just one day!  Theresa's leadership and devotion in furthering the mission of service for children is very much appreciated and an example to us all.  


Our 8th Annual Baby Shower will take place on 

Thursday, March 26th.

Save the date!    


Kathy Gettings and Julie Vlass, Co-Chairs


Layette Update

celtic shower 2011 1Our permanent storage space for our layette donations and assembly in Lower Memorial Hall has made our work more efficient.  To date we have delivered 94 layettes to Overlook and 80 layettes to Morristown.


Save the Date:  

Our next assembly will be Friday, November 15th at 9:00am.  We will assemble 48 layettes on that day, for a year to date total of 222. 


Our first Annual "Blankets for Babies" Day (B4B) in February was a resounding success. It was a tremendous source of goodwill for our St. Teresa community. We want to thank Janet Keller who was instrumental in helping us with the process of making a fleece blanket. We acknowledge the generous grant from Summit Elks Lodge #1246, which allowed us to host another  B4B Day in May.  This grant helped us to keep up our tradition of "including one in each layette."  We accomplished the following: 


Elks B4B Day
104 blankets completed, 46 in process
27 blankets completed, 134 in process


Save the Dates for next year:  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 (CCSS B4B Day), and
Saturday, April 26, 2014 ("Elks" B4B Day)


We are grateful for the many members, friends and parishioners who responded to make these days such a success, and to all who answer the calls to assemble our layettes.  
Thanks to everyone...we are making a difference!  If you are interested in helping with assembling, shopping for, or delivering layettes, please contact Theresa Sweeney at


Jean Fiory, Sally Golding, Margaret Strong and Theresa Sweeney,

Layette Committee

Knitting Angels Update

We are always looking for individuals or groups to make handmade baby hats to bring that special personalized touch to our layettes.  This is one of the ways in which we make our service special and unique.  Any style or pattern is welcome.  
We gratefully acknowledge Janet Keller's stewardship of this committee and we currently are looking for a chair or co-chairs to serve as a resource for members interested in knitting.  In the meantime, if you or a friend would like to make a hat (or two), please contact Christina Amundson at

The Early Learning Center at Central High School 

We had a very busy year at the Infant and Toddler Learning Center at Central High School!  We looked for many opportunities to make the teen mothers feel special and appreciated while encouraging them to finish their education even though they are raising a child, including "feel good" gifts on Christmas, Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. We also held a Job Readiness Workshop in May to help students look for a job over the summer or after graduation.  In addition, we took class photos to give to the staff and parents

Like last year, we donated backpacks and school supplies to help prepare the teen mothers for their new school year.  We increased our volunteer visits to twice a month, due to increased interest from all our wonderful new members!  The staff is so happy to see our "extra sets of hands" when we arrive.   


From the beginning, our work at Central High has given us an opportunity to fulfill our mission of "Challenging Poverty: One Child at a Time." Mary Virginia Merrick, the founder of CCS is quoted: "....personal contact with the needy for the love of Christ develops true charity and gives it vital force."  It is in this spirit that we will continue to build on our relationships with Central High. We look forward to many other opportunities to acknowledge the blessings that these children bring to the lives of their teen parents (and to our lives too).  


Volunteer hours are flexible and during the school day, making this service opportunity suitable for people with children of their own.  Please contact Kathryn Colao at if you are interested in visiting and volunteering at the Early Learning Center Central High School.

Membership News


The strength of the Christ Child Society of Summit is its active membership and we welcome members throughout the year.  


Our "new" members tend to jump right in--many new members have already visited Central High, helped with layettes, taken leadership roles in our organization, hosted Home Masses or come to our rummage sale, "Blankets for Babies" days and our Baby Shower. Our chapter is excited to welcome 26 new members since January!  Our newest members are:  
Angeli Breen
Ann Marie Browne
Margaret Carpinelli
Patti Crowl
Madeline Doyle
Barbara Fleming
Kathi Franolich
Sharon Haggerty
Marian Imperatore
Maria Jacobello
Tracy Keegan
Jeanne Lawler
Allison Lees
Louise Maney
Elisa Mezzacappa
Christine Murphy
Sherri Persche 
Elaine Phipps
Kelly Quinn
Liz Stewart
Cindy Schluter
Laura Sullivan
Michelle Towell
Marjorie Waltzinger
Alison Wilson
Cathie Wesdyk


Please welcome them when you see them around town or at our next event.  Most have already jumped right in and helped us make a difference in the life of a child.  


Although our chapter was just chartered in September 2010, many members have been with us since the early days when we were a fledgling, provisional chapter.  We would like to recognize the following people who have been members for five years or more:
Terry Andrews
Judy Birle
Kate Burns
Susan Cagnassola
Marilyn Chambeau
Kathryn Colao
Marianne DeSantis
Tracy Forsyth
Donna Groskoph
Cindy Hurley
Marianna Hurrell
Mary Kull
Ann Marvin
Amy McCarthy
Gery McKenna
Jane Murphy
Lambi Newsham

Maura Perier
Marybeth Robb
Angela Schroeder
Tracy Stabler
Jill Stanley
Margaret Strong
Beth Tully
Lori White

Thank you to all of the members who are spreading the word about Christ Child and bringing so many people to our organization!  We plan some of our activities during the day, in the evenings and even on weekends so that our members can make at least one despite their busy schedules. Please feel free to talk to your friends about the good work that we do at the Christ Child Society of Summit and to invite them to our meetings and events. 

To join our Summit chapter, simply visit our website and follow the prompts or contact our Membership Chair, Betty Ann Lecky, at


If you are an existing member, please remember that dues are payable each January.   You can pay your dues on line at our website  Don't forget to keep us informed of any changes in your email address, mailing address, or phone number.  Contact Betty Ann at with any changes, or if you have a friend who is interested in joining.  

Christ Child Society of Summit Scholarship

Last Spring, our Chapter awarded its first annual scholarship of $2,000 to Jackie Balandiuk, a Summit High School senior who is now attending Boston University to study psychology.  

A committee chaired by Maura Perier, our Chapter Treasurer, and consisting of Christina Amundson, Jackie Browne, Allison Lees and Bev Luehs reviewed and evaluated 28 applications before selecting the winner. Board members met Jackie and her very happy mother, Vanessa, at the Summit High School Guidance Office to present the scholarship. Congratulations to Maura and the entire Scholarship Committee for doing such a valuable service to help a child reach her full potential!

Looking for a Few Good Women...

Uncle Sam
The Christ Child Society of Summit wants YOU!
Would you like to "shadow" our experienced chairs as they manage their programs, and perhaps take on a leadership role in the future?  Rummage Sales, School Supplies, and Central High School all need another hand at the helm. We also need someone to do some grant writing. You don't have to be experienced -- just willing!  Please consider donating a bit more of your time and talents to the Christ Child Society and help us succeed in our mission to make a difference in the lives of children in need. Contact Lori White at if you are interested.
To learn more about our activities and opportunities visit our website or contact the following:  
Baby Shower
Julie Vlass at
Kathy Gettings at
Central High School 
Early Learning Center
 Kathryn Colao at


Theresa Sweeney at
Margaret Strong at 

 Knitting Angels

Currently Open
Contact Christina Amundson at
School Supplies Drive

Jane Murphy at
Sally Golding at
Layette Cards
Angela Schroeder at
Rummage Sale
Lambi Newsham at
Bev Luehs at
Prayer Intentions/Mass

Elaine Phipps at
Newsletter/email Blasts
Christina Amundson at
Christine Murphy at

Kathryn Colao at

Betty Ann Lecky at
The Christ Child Society Prayer
"Remember in the sacrifice of Your own and only Child, 
all children everywhere throughout the world, 
and grant that, like Your Son, as they increase in years, 
they may grow in grace and wisdom before You, and in the sight of all, 
for the improvement and saving of the world.
 Jesus, the Friend of little children, bless the little children of the world."