Bertha E. (Betty) Bogaert was a long-time resident of Westfield who died at the age of 94 on May 12, 2016. Betty was born in 1922 in Bayonne, NJ. After graduating from high school she pursued her interest in art and became an accomplished artist in her own right. She enjoyed nature and all of the arts. Her fascination with other cultures and their languages culminated in her later years when she participated in Chinese language and culture classes. She also had diverse philanthropic interests. She was predeceased by her first husband, John Langstaff, in 1981, and also by her second husband, Alphonse Bogaert, in 1990.
Consistent with her philanthropic interests, Betty chose to leave 100% of her residuary estate to the Westfield Foundation. This phenomenal bequest, amounting to over $7.5 million was used to create the Bertha E. Bogaert Fund.
The Trustees of the Westfield Foundation determined that they would hold these funds to be used for significant, major projects serving the Westfield community and its neighbors. To date, the fund has made the following grants:
$400,000 to the Town of Westfield for the Mindowaskin Park Playground;
$200,000 to the Westfield Y capital campaign;
$125,333 to Union County College to purchase two vans to transport students from the Cranford train station to the Cranford campus, and also between the Cranford, Elizabeth and Plainfield campuses;
$140,000 to the Miller Cory House Association to replace roofs on the Miller Cory House buildings with historically accurate materials; and
$250,000 to the YWCA Union County to help rebuild their headquarters in Elizabeth which was destroyed by fire in September of 2019.
The Westfield Foundation Bogaert Grant Committee does not accept unsolicited grant applications. If an organization serving the Westfield community feels it has a project which would potentially be appropriate for a Bogaert Grant a one-page summary of the project may be forwarded to the Foundation at P.O. Box 2295, Westfield, NJ 07091 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The letter will be reviewed and a response provided.