The Good News 
Newsletter from the Christ Child Society of Summit
Spring 2015 Newsletter         

A Message from our Co-Presidents

After a super cold winter and early spring, summer is finally here.  So much has taken place since our winter newsletter, and we are grateful to all of you who made it all happen.  Here are some highlights of all we accomplished in the last few months. 
Our Blankets for Babies day in February was phenomenal -- tons of volunteers of all ages, fun, laughs, food  and, most importantly, blankets that will keep many babies warm and cozy!  It has become a great tradition for our chapter and for the community.  We continued our fun blanket making theme at a "Ladies Night Out" at the Summit Elks in late February.  We received a generous grant from the Elks for the purchase of fleece, and Elks and CCS members came together on a cold winter evening to finish off many more blankets that were in progress from our Blankets day.  Again, food, drinks, fun, friends, family and blankets, all came together to make a great community event!

Also this winter, we received our first ever grant from the Summit Luminary Fund, which will help fund our layette program.  We are so grateful to all the people that work with and support the Luminary Fund and we are proud to partner with such a wonderful organization that does so much for the Summit community.

Our 9th Annual  Baby Shower was our best ever!  Our chairs and their committee outdid themselves with a new set up, a beautiful Mass, delicious food, and uplifting spring-like decorations.  We were overwhelmed by the generosity of our friends and members  and immediately put all donations to good use in layettes assembled and provided to Overlook and Morristown hospitals this spring. 

We continue to provide our members with a little extra something that our other activities may not give us -- the  opportunity to stop and reflect once in a while.  This is something that we feel strongly about, so in addition to two home masses this winter, we held a morning of reflection in April.  The  feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and those who attended were deeply touched by Dennis' message of finding peace through the realization that God is the one controlling our lives -- "Thy will be done."

We all had a great time at Lambi's house for our year-end cocktail party at which we welcomed new members and enjoyed "seasoned" members and friends!  It was a fun way to kick off our important School Supplies Drive while enjoying each others' company.

Have a blessed and relaxing summer -- see you in Septemberl!


Kathryn Colao and Lori White


Our Board 


Past President

 Kathryn Colao and Lori White

 Lambi Newsham
 Margaret Strong (Outreach) 
 Christina Amundson (Communications)
 Terry Andrews (Projects)
 Maura Perier
 Mary Kull
Spiritual Advisors
Fr. Brian Plate and Msgr. Guenther
Save the Date!
September 1-3, 2015 
School Supplies Distribution

September 30, 2015 
General Meeting, 9am  
October 3, 2015 
Rummage Sale

October 27, 2015 
Morning Reflection

November 18, 2015 
General Meeting, 9am

December 1, 2015
Home Mass, 8:30am

January 14, 2016 
General Meeting, 7pm

February 3, 2016
Blankets for Babies

February 9, 2016
Home Mass, 8:30am

April 7, 2016
Baby Shower 

April 27, 2016  
General Meeting, 9am
May 3, 2016  
Home Mass, 8:30am

May 12, 2016  
Cocktail Party


Quick Links

About us 

The Christ Child Society of Summit is a qualified 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to serving children in need in our community.  We are one of over 40 chapters of the National Christ Child Society, a non-profit organization founded in 1887 by Mary Virginia Merrick that is dedicated to serving the needs of children and youth, regardless of race or creed, through the personal service of its members.
It's Time for our School Supplies Drive!
Our School Supplies Drive is underway!  For the last seven years, our chapter has partnered with Bridges Outreach to bring school supplies to children in need in our community. We kicked off this important effort at the Year End Cocktail Party at Lambi's and raised additional funds through a sale of Holly Collection accessories that Kristen DeSantos brought to the party.  During the first week of June, our chapter collects donated supplies.  Before school starts, we sort them out and then distribute them to the students.  It is truly a labor of love that benefits students in our  community! 
During the first week of June, collection bins were located throughout Summit, including the main offices of all Summit public schools, the entrances to St. Teresa's Church and Memorial Hall, and 36 Woodland Avenue.

Many thanks to those Christ Child members who responded to our call for volunteers to deliver and/or pick up donation boxes at the listed locations -- the drive could not happen without you! Members also can help by donating some of the following new items:
- Binders (1", 2" and 3")
- Three-hole pencil cases
- Subject dividers
- Two-pocket folders
- Marble composition books
- Loose leaf paper (wide and college ruled)
- Spiral notebooks (wide and college ruled)
- Eight-pack colored pencils or thin markers
- #2 pencils and erasers
- Pens (blue, black and red)
- Highlighters
- 3"x 5" lined note cards
- Glue sticks
Between August 1-31, you can drop supplies off at Bridges Oakes Center (120 Morris Avenue, Summit) - the entrance on Russell Place.

Last August, our efforts provided 385 elementary, middle and high school Summit students that were eligible for free or reduced lunch with new backpacks and schools supplies. The year before that 350 students received supplies.  The need clearly is growing in our area and it's great to be able to have such a meaningful impact and help the students get right to the business of learning. 

Later in the summer, we will be reaching out to our membership to help sort and distribute the supplies.  Bridges will be collecting donations independently during the month of August.  For planning purposes, here are the critical dates:
  • 9/1  Set-up at Bridges from 9:00am 
  • 9/2  Distribution from 9am-12noon
  • 9/3  Distribution from 4-6pm
Be on the lookout for the e-mail with the online sign-up link in early August.  We happily welcome students in need of service hours to help with the set up on September 1st but, to preserve the dignity of the children receiving supplies, only adults will participate in the distribution. This is a terrific hands-on project and a great way to meet other Chapter members.  

News from the Spirituality Committee

We celebrated our intimate Home Masses at the home of Marjorie Waltzinger in February, and the home of Lisa Clark in May.

Somehow, each Home Mass was a unique experience but always such a good opportunity for us to enjoy each others' company as we recharged our spiritual energies to continue to serve children in need in our community. The get-togethers that followed were a great way to get to know each other too!  We extend our thanks to our very gracious hostesses, Marjorie Waltzinger and Lisa Clark, who opened their homes for us to enjoy such wonderful fellowship. 

In the hopes of further enhancing our spiritual energies, we added something unexpected to the schedule this year: a "Morning of Reflection" that was the Board's gift to our hard working members!


On a sunny spring day in April, we gathered at St. Joseph's Shrine in Stirling for our first spiritual morning reflection.  Dennis Corcoran, Pastoral Associate at Christ the King Parish in New Vernon, spoke to the gathered group on "spirituality for an anxious age."  His talk helped bring perspective to the busy, crazy lives we live.  Our gathered members were enthralled with his amusing anecdotes and inspirational stories about spirituality and how to incorporate it into daily life.  Co-president, Lori White said "His talk resonated with me for days as I tried to integrate his suggestions to overcome what we can't control and focus on maintaining a healthy spiritual life."  It's amazing how an hour and a half away from the pull of daily life can give one so much perspective!  In addition to a great speaker and topic, our members also enjoyed the serenity and peaceful surroundings at St. Joseph's Shrine (pictured above)... a beautiful place to reflect and take us out of our daily routine.   


It was an insightful and inspirational morning for those members who attended.  For those of you who were unable to join us, we will be hosting another reflection with Dennis Corcoran on October 27 (a Tuesday).  You don't want to miss!  Look out for an e-mail with the details... 


As the National Christ Child Society continues to make headway in the cause of the canonization of our founder, Mary Virginia Merrick, we urge you to continue to pray the following prayer that Msgr. Guenther learned as a child and shared with us at one of the Home Masses that he celebrated:

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. 


Please contact Elaine Phipps at if you have a special loved one you would like us to keep in our prayers.  We will add your loved one to our intentions at Home Masses. Prayer requests can be made at any time.  
The Rummage Sale is Coming!

Save the Date!
Our Annual Rummage Sale will take place on
Saturday, October 3, 2015
at St. Teresa's Memorial Hall

Look for that treasure that you no longer need and save it for our upcoming Rummage Sale.  We can always use toys, jewelry, art, household items, small appliances, small furniture, children's books, sports equipment and tools. 

Feel free to bring your saved treasures to our General Meeting on September 30th!

Layette Update

Since the last newsletter, we have assembled 156 layettes. In fact, this past week we put together 60 for Overlook  Hospital in response to an increase in boy births. Both Overlook and Morristown Hospitals, regularly receive the layettes that we assemble throughout the year. We are now providing our layettes in the practical, reusable blue bags featured in the picture.  We regularly contact those members who have expressed an interest in working various facets of layette assembly, from shopping for needed baby clothes to delivering the finished layettes. If you are interested in helping with layettes, contact Cheryl Mullery at .  


Layettes are the signature and founding project for the National Christ Child Society and every Christ Child Society chapter in our country provides layettes to needy newborns in their area. Layettes are one of the common threads that weave us together with all of the other CCS chapters. All chapter layettes are different, but all include the necessary items to get a newborn started in life. Our layettes include 5 onesies, 2 pajamas, 1 outfit, 1 hat, 2 receiving blankets, 1 miscellaneous item, one handmade fleece blanket and a knitted sweater and/or hat. In the winter months, we also provide a warm snowsuit to babies who need them.  In fact, our layette program has five distinct pieces: our Baby Shower (to collect donations of baby clothes), multiple Layette Assemblies (to actually put together the layettes), Blankets for Babies (to make the practical fleece blankets that we include), Tiny Toppers (to knit the adorable hats that we include), and Layette Cards (to raise needed funds for the program). All of these, make possible the over 250 layettes that we regularly assemble and provide to needy infants. They also provide our members many different ways to get involved.  


Some wonderful children have recently helped the Christ Child Society in meaningful ways:   

Oak Knoll School Brownie Troop #40375 made 8 adorable fleece blankets for us, and donated enough layette items for nearly 5 complete layettes!  We are very grateful for these kind-hearted young women.   

Special thanks to Kendal, who generously chose to use some of her communion money to purchase items for our layettes!   
Many thanks to many members, friends and parishioners who 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! 
Blankets for Babies

Was it only three years ago that Theresa Sweeney proposed this event? Then, it seemed like a monumental undertaking to set up various stations to cut, sew, iron, and fringe the blankets.

Now, it has become a "well-oiled machine" with music and separate stations set up to facilitate the easy and orderly assembly of the blankets. As the pictures on our website show, our 3rd Annual Blankets for Babies Day was a fun and productive event-- full of laughter, good company and, of course, tons of blankets!
We braved the polar vortex and met at Memorial Hall on a very cold February 4th (...working in our coats until the building warmed up).  It's amazing what we can accomplish in a single day with the help of our friends of all ages in the community! 

Whether you came for one shift or many, our separate "work stations" were able to accommodate all different levels of experience. We started the day with 98 blankets in various stages of completion. In the end, we cut, sewed, ironed and tied our way to 182 cute and practical fleece baby blankets
and the day just flew by.  As if that weren't enough, our efforts led to the production of an additional supply of 167 blankets in process, just waiting for our next gathering to be completed.  It was a wonderful day of community, hard work and fellowship!

We purchased the fleece for the blankets with a generous grant from Summit Elks Lodge #1246.  Their generosity extended beyond the grant to hosting a Ladies Night Out event to support our efforts. On February 26, Elks and Christ Child members and friends came together to help us finish 77 blankets.  It was great fun to
gather in such a social atmosphere with music, food, sangria, and lots of colorful blankets!  We are so grateful to the Summit Elks Lodge #1246 for their generous grant and for hosting such a fun event.  CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS
Save the Date!
Our next Blankets for Babies Day will take place on
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Annual Baby Shower


2015 Baby Shower  
Despite potential weather issues and one of the coldest winters in recent memories, our Baby Shower took place as scheduled on March 25th and was, in the words of Co-president Kathryn Colao "really, really special from start to finish."  First of all the set-up was very different.  Dispensing with the rows of chairs set up for the Mass and celebrating the Mass at the tables led to a more comfortable and elegant event.  
Memorial Hall was completely transformed into a graceful Spring garden.  The food was absoulely delicious. Father Gregory Salamone treated us to an inspiring Lenten Mass with music by Angela Intilli and Gregory Scime.  The event was fun, full of goodwill, laughter and reunions.  We even were reunited with Marion Talian, who is a great Christ Child supporter (and knitter) and travels each year to Summit for our Baby Shower. It was wonderful to see members of all ages coming together to help us build layettes.

With your help, we raised enough monetary and in-kind (translated "adorable") donations to put together almost 150 layettes.  That's about half of the layettes that we distribute to needy infants in our community each year!  We are grateful for the continued support of St. Teresa of Avila Parish and for the beautiful "red wagon" knitting kit that Wool and Grace contributed for our door prize.

Each year, we present the Mary Virginia Merrick Award at our annual Baby Shower.  This award, named after our founder, is given annually to one of our members who exemplifies our founder's giving spirit. Jean Fiory received the 2015 Mary Virginia Merrick Award because of her dedication to her work in so many aspects of our Chapter. 

J ean is ubiquitous in our Layette Program and takes on any and all tasks from shopping to making blankets to assembly.  As a mother and grandmother, Jean shops for the needy children that she may never meet like they are her own family, and she delights in putting together layettes with items that complement each other thinking always of the joy that the young mother will feel when she opens up her Christ Child Layette...and how sweet the baby will look.  Jean brings her joyful dedication to many of our other programs too.  In many ways, Jean exemplifies that loving personal touch that our founder wanted to bring into the lives of needy children.  
We thank Jean for her dedication and for the joy she brings to her work and to those who work with her.  It's infectious!

We are so blessed with the many members and friends who contributed to such a beautiful and fun event.

Save the Dave!

Our 11th Annual Baby Shower will take place on  

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Layette Cards Help us Fund our Work
Look for our layette cards after our Home Masses and signature events.  All proceeds from these cards fund layettes for babies in need served through our Layette Program.  There are many ways to purchase these cards: 

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.

Layette Cards are offered at $10 (partial layette) or $40 or more (full layette).  Our Layette 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 at


Our layette cards are available for purchase throughout the year.  Visit our website from wherever the summer finds you, or contact Laura Sullivan at to order cards.

Parenting Programs at Central High School 

Our chapter expanded its parenting programming for the teen parents at Central High School this spring with meaningful educational programs that were relevant to the teen parents.  Presenters included Mary Beth Cahill, pediatric nurse practitioner and owner of The Savvy Parent (a local business that educates expectant and new parents); Elisa Mezzacappa, pediatrician; and Barbara Fleming, certified K-8 teacher -- all parents themselves, and all members of our chapter.

These talented women presented programs on First Aid for Infants and Children; Your Baby's Dental Health; and Reading with your Baby - Promoting Literacy Development in your Child, respectively. 
Each program presented material that helped the teen become a better parent, with give aways that included medicine dosing spoons and dosing charts, teething charts and information on becoming a patient at Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, and copies of that classic Goodnight Moon and writing journals.  The teens appreciated these programs and actively participated in the presentations.  Although they are now parents, these teens are still children raising children. The focused information that they received in these programs will help them understand their roles as parents and, we hope, will lead to better lives for them and their children. Our work with these young parents is a part of the National Christ Child Society's program initiative "Challenging Poverty, One Child at at Time." 
In addition to parenting programming, Christ Child members looked for opportunities to provide the teen parents at Central High School with gifts and goodies throughout the year to nurture them and build their self esteem.  In December, we provided gifts for the babies from the Advent Giving Tree, a Christmas book from CCSS, and gift bags for the parents (as well as goodies and supplies for a party); flowers, small gifts and goodies on Valentine's Day; and small gifts and goodies for the teen moms on Mother's Day.  We also took class photos and individual portraits of the babies (sometimes with the parents), and gave each child a set of photos.  Our aim is to let these teen moms and their babies know that someone loves them unconditionally because, in the words of our founder "Nothing is too much to do for a child" -- even a child who has become a mother and is raising a child of her own. 
Membership News


The strength of the Christ Child Society of Summit is its active membership and we welcome members throughout the year. Since our Winter Newsletter, our chapter welcomed the following new members:

Courtney Alberta         Maureen Alvridez          Cathy Fischetti 
Lois Melka                   Christine Murray            Sue Roberts 
Shelly Scott                 Rosalie Szynal               Miriam Zahn 
Please welcome them when you see then around town or at our next event.

We send our heartfelt CONGRATULATIONS to our member Karen Infantini on the birth of her beautiful triplets:  Veronica, Joseph and Theresa!     


This year we restructured our membership dues in order to better address our chapter's needs.  Many members added the national dues to their chapter dues payments, giving us the ability to use that amount directly for our chapter's programs.   Some members went above and beyond donating additional funds when they paid their dues and we would like to recognize their generosity.


Members joining at Benefactor Level ($250+):    

Jackie Browne                             Nora McLaughlin

Marybeth Robb                            Theresa Sweeney


Members joining at Patron Level  ($100+):

Christina Amundson            Terry Andrews                   Judy Birle                       Anne Marie Browne

Kathryn Colao                      Patty Crowl                       Judith Evangelista          Stefanie Faris

Cara Forrest                         Christina Galiardo            Amy Goldy                      Patricia Huston

Marian Imperatore                Mary Kull                          Kathleen Laughlin           Bev Leuhs

Lucy Lord                             Caroline Maldonado         Cheryl Mullery                Jane Murphy

Christine Murray                   Lambi Newsham              Lauren Pardo                  Eileen Rath

Sue Roberts                         Sheila Schlageter             Shelly Scott                     Liz Stewart

Laura Sullivan                      Rosalie Szynal                  Claire Toth                      Lori White


Thank you to ALL our members for their generosity and support and for giving that most precious gift, your active participation in our programs.  This wonderful gift of personal service is what makes our organization so vibrant nearly 150 years after its founding.  


Many thanks 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 at , or contact either the Membership Chair or the Membership Recruiting Chair 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 at  Don't forget to keep us informed of any changes in your email address, mailing address, or phone number.  Contact Kathi Franolich at with any changes, or if you have a friend who is interested in joining.  

Notice of Bylaw Changes and Election 
At our General Meeting on September 30, we will be asking you to vote for bylaw changes and for a slate of officers to fill vacant positions. 

After looking at our current organization and the expanding work of our Chapter, the Board of Directors recommends the creation of two new officer positions:  the Vice President - Projects and the Vice President - Membership.  This will require the following change to our bylaws:

Section 9.01  The elected officers shall be a President or Co-Presidents, a Vice President - Outreach, a Vice President - Communications, a Vice President - Projecs, a Vice President - Membership, a Secretary and a Treasurer, and such other officers as the Board of Directors shall from time to time determine to be appropriate for the governance of the Chapter.

The Nominating Committee proposes the following slate of officers to fill vacancies:
  • Treasurer:  Tina Whitman
  • Vice President - Projects:  Terry Andrews
  • Vice President - Membership:  Kathi Franolich
 The Board of Directors recommends these changes. 

Support the Christ Child Society While Shopping at Amazon!

You can raise needed funds for our Summit Chapter while shopping at Amazon! 

Amazon's Smile Foundation donates 0.5% of your eligible purchase to the charity of your choice.  In fact, AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support the Christ Child Society of Summit every time you shop, at no cost to you (same products and prices).  

Here's how:  Just click  On your first visit to the site, type in "Christ Child Society of Summit" in the search line at the bottom of the page to go to the list of charities.  Then, select the Christ Child Society of Summit NJ.  That's it!  You can use your existing Amazon account or set one up.  From then on, each time you sign in, you will see a small legend at the top that says "Supporting the Christ Child Society of Summit NJ" at the top of the page.  SUPER EASY!!!


We encourage you to sign up for AmazonSmile and help us create another source of funding for our many projects that touch the lives of so many children in need in our community. 

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?  If you enjoyed one of our events, consider lending another hand at the helm for next year. Or interested in doing some grant writing, editing our newsletter or helping run our website? You don't have to be experienced -- just willing! 

Already, Tina Whitman has stepped up to be our upcoming Treasurer and Marianne DeSantis has stepped up to co-chair the Rummage Sale.  We will support your "learning curve" and make sure that you get the help that you need.  Please c onsider 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. C ontact Lori White at if you are interested.
Listed below are some of the generous and talented women who are already giving their time.
To learn more about our activities and opportunities, visit our website or contact the following:  
Baby Shower
Julie Vlass at
Sheila Schlageter at
Blankets for Babies
Central High School 
Parenting Programs 
Theresa Sweeney at 

Kathryn Colao at 


Cheryl Mullery at
Margaret Strong at 

 Knitting Angels/Tiny Toppers
Maria Ciaravalli at 
Cynthia Tarantino at 
Lori White at 
School Supplies Drive

Jane Murphy at
Sally Golding at 
Layette Cards
Laura Sullivan at 
Rummage Sale
Lambi Newsham at
Bev Luehs at
Marianne DeSantis at 
Prayer Intentions/Mass

Elaine Phipps at 
Newsletter/email Blasts
Christina Amundson at 
Angeli Breen at 

Kathryn Colao at 


Membership Recruitment

Kathi Franolich at

Betty Ann Lecky at

Maura Perier 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."