Foundation Grants $250K to YWCA Union County and announces 3Q 2020 grants

Westfield – The Westfield Foundation recently granted $250,000 to the YWCA Union County, who is celebrating their centennial year, for the construction of their new building in Elizabeth, which will function as a central hub for all programs.  The building is in close proximity to the Union County Prosecutor and the Courthouse Offices.  The grant was distributed from the Bertha Bogaert fund, a legacy fund established in 2016. 



Pictured: The groundbreaking of the YWCA Union County occurred on September 23, 2020. (l to r): Darielle Walsh (Westfield Foundation Board member), Betsy Chance (Executive Director at the Westfield Foundation), Janice Lillien (CEO, YWCA Union County Board of Directors), Jennifer Vriens (Dir. of Development of the YWCA Union County), and Tina Earley (President, YWCA Union County Board of Directors).



For 45 years, the Westfield Foundation has provided funding support in the areas of the arts, health, aging, historic preservation, social services and civic projects.  The Foundation has granted $7,200,000 to over one hundred local organizations in and around Westfield.

For the third quarter of 2020, the Foundation granted $73,012 from their general fund to 7 organizations.  These funds supported capital improvements such as replacement of flooring, roof and window repair.   Funds will also provide PPE for volunteers, and offer programs for the community, including career counseling, financial management and adult enrichment.  Recipients include: Caring Contact, Youth & Family Counseling Service of NJ, Our House Foundation, Jewish Family Service of Central NJ, JCC of Central NJ, CASA of Union County and the Westfield Neighborhood Council.

In addition to supporting capital projects of established social service agencies such as the YWCA Union County, the Westfield Foundation has also been and important resource of ‘seed money’ for smaller organizations and emerging needs.  Programs started with seed money include: IMAGINE, Roots & Wings, Westfield Symphony Orchestra (now the NJ Festival Orchestra), the WHS Ice Hockey team, and the WHS Rowing Club.   The Foundation also established the Foundation Park for the Westfield community.

Creating a Westfield Foundation Donor-Advised Fund is one way for your family to leaving a legacy to the Westfield community.  By creating a family fund, you make it possible to leave a permanent legacy for your philanthropic interest.  Money to support the Foundation’s mission and grant distribution has been and continues to be provided by concerned and caring citizens of Westfield.

Donate today to help others in need.  Secure donations can be made directly here: https://thewestfieldfoundation.com/donate-now/

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact Betsy Chance, via email, at foundation@westfieldnj.com or by phone at (908)-233-9788.

Van Dellen Scholarship recipients for 2020 announced

Westfield – The Westfield Foundation is happy to announce Emily Ensslin and Ian Gurland as the Clarence H. and Florence Horn Van Dellen Scholarship recipients for 2020. The Van Dellen Scholarship is $5,000 a year for four years totaling $20,000.  The selection criteria for the scholarship are: Community Service, Academic Achievement (top 25% of class), Character, Financial Need and Leadership.

Emily Ensslin

Early in her life, Emily developed a desire to become a nurse and chose activities to support this decision. She has served as a Student Athletic Trainer since ninth grade. As a sophomore, she spent two weeks shadowing an internal medicine physician, both in his office and on visits to Overlook Hospital. Emily also joined the Westfield Rescue Squad, where she is training to attain EMT certification.

Emily has always very involved with community service, especially through St. Helen’s Church by volunteering at St Josephs’ Soup Kitchen in Elizabeth.  She coordinated the making and delivery of 175 handmade blankets for homeless individuals and veterans.

At Westfield High School, Emily was a member of the National Honor Society and earned Honorable Mention Cum Laude on the national Latin Exam.   Emily competed in Crew at WHS and served as captain of the high school team.  

Emily will study Nursing at Northeastern University this fall.  She plans on volunteering as an EMT on Northeastern’s campus.   For fun, Emily loves listening to music, working out (skiing, hiking, biking), hanging out with friends, painting, and making jewelry. 

Ian Gurland

At Westfield High School, Ian demonstrated academic excellence as well as a true commitment to building community and serving others. He shared his passion for science and music through leadership, serving as President of the WHS Science Olympiad Team and as Percussion Section Leader in the WHS Blue Devil Marching Band.

Ian was among the top fifty scorers in the nation in the US National Chemistry Olympiad, was selected for the New Jersey Region Band, and is a National Merit Scholarship Finalist. He also co-led a social skills group for Westfield elementary schoolers and created a student-run technology help desk to aid his peers in adapting to remote instruction.

During the summer months, Ian enjoys performing atmospheric chemistry research at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, improving his piano improv, and spending time with his four younger siblings.

Ian will be attending Brown University in the fall, where he plans to further his studies in science, mathematics and music, and hopes to find new opportunities to serve his community. He also plans to continue working hard to make his peers laugh no matter how hard the problem they are working together to solve.

The Westfield Rotary’s Scholarship Committee also selects several scholarship winners on behalf of funds administered by The Westfield Foundation.   Two top scholarships were awarded in memory of Charles and Florence Wallace totaling $15,000 each to be paid over the course of four years. The recipients are Jeremy Kronheimer (Carnegie Mellon University) and Deborah Obiajulu (Harvard University).                                              

The recipient of the $5,000 Scholarship in Memory of Chester A. Gerdes, is William Litchholt (University of Pittsburgh).   The Wallace $5,000 scholarship was awarded to Casimir Malak (Mason Gross at Rutgers University).  In addition, the Linda Read Memorial Scholarship for $10,000 was awarded to John Czarnecki. The Read Law Scholarships were awarded to Emily Ensslin (Northeastern University), Theresa Lizzo (George Washington University) and Annabella Cerria (University of St. Andrews in Scotland) Since 1975, the mission of the Westfield Foundation has been to provide funding support in the arts, health, aging, historic preservation, social services and civic projects.  In pursuit of these goals, the Foundation has granted over $7,200,000 to various organizations.  Money to support the Foundation’s grants has been and continues to be provided by concerned and caring Westfield residents.