Friday, August 7, 2015

SPOTLIGHT: Blair Beinhaker Friendship Award

Looking back...

The Blair Beinhaker Friendship Award
Blair showed how you can be a best friend to many and give of yourself selflessly, even under adverse conditions. She was brave, courageous, and never lost hope... always loving and kind.

Friends nominated friends...

Honoring Friendship:
- A young woman whose courage, and spirit brings out the best in others
- With Hope and confidence she faces adversity
- Through her warmth and sweetness she teaches others to enjoy life
- Through integrity and strength of character she helps others respect their classmates and themselves.
- She is a selfless team player.

2003- Leigh Piccolo
2004- Talya Lyon
2005- Brittany Blankmeyer
2006- Erin Hazen
2007- Elizabeth Hodge
2007- Alicia Ryan
2007- Dianna Simon
2008- Molly Hess
2008- Krista Scorsune
2009- Moire Kelly
2009- Carolyn Barrett
2010- Brenna Lade

Hug Someone Today

Hugging therapy is definitely a powerful way of healing. Research shows that hugging (and also laughter) is extremely effective at healing sickness, disease, loneliness, depression, anxiety and stress.

Research shows a proper deep hug, where the hearts are pressing together, can benefit you in these ways:

1. The nurturing touch of a hug builds trust and a sense of safety. This helps with open and honest communication.

2. Hugs can instantly boost oxytocin levels, which heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.

3. Holding a hug for an extended time lifts one's serotonin levels, elevating mood and creating happiness.

4. Hugs strengthen the immune system. The gentle pressure on the sternum and the emotional charge this creates activates the Solar Plexus Chakra. This stimulates the thymus gland, which regulates and balances the body's production of white blood cells, which keep you healthy and disease free.

5. Hugging boosts self-esteem. From the time we're born our family's touch shows us that we're loved and special. The associations of self-worth and tactile sensations from our early years are still imbedded in our nervous system as adults. The cuddles we received from our Mom and Dad while growing up remain imprinted at a cellular level, and hugs remind us at a somatic level of that. Hugs, therefore, connect us to our ability to self love.

6. Hugging relaxes muscles. Hugs release tension in the body. Hugs can take away pain; they soothe aches by increasing circulation into the soft tissues.

7. Hugs balance out the nervous system. The galvanic skin response of someone receiving and giving a hug shows a change in skin conductance. The effect in moisture and electricity in the skin suggests a more balanced state in the nervous system - parasympathetic.

8. Hugs teach us how to give and receive. There is equal value in receiving and being receptive to warmth, as to giving and sharing. Hugs educate us how love flows both ways.

9. Hugs are so much like meditation and laughter. They teach us to let go and be present in the moment. They encourage us to flow with the energy of life. Hugs get you out of your circular thinking patterns and connect you with your heart and your feelings and your breath.

10. The energy exchange between the people hugging is an investment in the relationship. It encourages empathy and understanding. And, it's synergistic, which means the whole is more than the sum of its parts: 1 1 = 3 or more! This synergy is more likely to result in win-win outcomes.

There is a saying by Virginia Satir, a respected family therapist, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.” 


Over the years, the BBFF has awarded scholarships to honor loved ones.  Instead of focusing on academics, recipients of the scholarships were awarded by showcasing other aspects of their personalities from kindness and friendship to being their true selves.

Here is a recap of the scholarships we have awarded:

The Madelyn Lillianfeld Kindness Award
This award honored a senior girl with a positive attitude, warmth, tenderness, caring, a sense of community, family, and a contagious passion for life.  Madelyn Lillianfeld exemplified all these qualities.

Recipient: Devon DeGilo

The Poppy Award
Born in Brooklyn, Nelson Farber was a real New Yorker and die hard Giants fan.  At the age of 83, 'Poppy,' passed on just one week after dancing his heart out at a family Bat Mitzvah.  He lived his life to the fullest and beat to his own drum.  He was co-owner of 'Mike & Nellie's' restaurant and as a daily presence, he had a unique way of making everyone he met feel special around him.  Nelson was a family man, married to Harz for fifty years and lovingly known as Poppy to his seven grandchildren.

Recipient: Christopher Marshall

The Donna Gindes Fine Arts Awards
Donna was a Morristown High School graduate whose life ended abruptly in her fifties.  She has a strong passion for writing and enjoyed the fine arts.

2006- Madeline Hals
2007- Kristina Parrillo
2008- Williams Woods
2009- Jason Wicks
2010- Amanda Murphy

The Edward Lieberman Poppy Award
Edward Lieberman, also known as Poppy to his family and friends, was an overall great guy. As a veteran of World War II, Poppy was dedicated to patriotism and kindness. He was a humble man who worked seven days a week for many years, to afford his family a better life. He had an ongoing love for his country and for the generosity towards others.

Recipient: James Murphy

Donnie Roberts Community Service Award
Donnie Roberts was a bright, gentle, funny 32 year old whose life was ended abruptly.  He was a real family man. He was the father of three and enjoyed his children immensely. He was a bit of a rebel and thought outside the box. Donnie was very community oriented, was interested in all religions, and got along with everyone.

Recipient: Alex Rosa

Julie Lyn Zeller Kindness Award
Julie was a beautiful, fun-loving, energetic eight year old whose life was cut short by a drunk driver.  In her short life, she exemplified kindness to older people and was a very loving, outgoing child who was always the center of the party.  She loved to entertain...her eyes twinkled and she sparkled.  She loved dance and gymnastics.  She had a great sense of fashion and many friends.

Recipient: Kara Cannestro