Day: September 7, 2023

Governor Murphy Signs Bipartisan Bill Protecting Against Lawsuits Designed to Suppress Free Speech

‘Uniform Public Expression Protection Act’ Establishes Expedited Process for Dismissal of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) 

September 7, 2023

TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today signed the ‘Uniform Public Expression Protection Act’ to protect people from meritless lawsuits intended to intimidate them for exercising their free speech rights. Powerful entities and individuals often use lawsuits and litigation threats to punish and silence those who might speak unfavorably about them. The bipartisan legislation will enable defendants to seek the expedited dismissal of such lawsuits, commonly referred to as ‘Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation’ (SLAPP), which have historically been used against journalists, academics, advocates, and whistleblowers – among others.

A SLAPP is generally used to silence individuals or organizations from publicly criticizing or bringing legitimate issues to light about an individual or entity with greater power and resources.

“For far too long, the powerful have abused the justice system to suppress free speech through illegitimate lawsuits,” said Governor Murphy. “By pursuing meritless court cases, these powerful parties aim to silence their critics by making it impossible for those with fewer resources to spend the time and money necessary to legally defend themselves. This law will expedite the process to get these cases dismissed on behalf of the journalists, small businesses, activists, and countless others who have been unfairly targeted by these lawsuits over the years.”

If a SLAPP is initiated, the bill (S-2802/A-4393) now allows eligible defendants to file paperwork requiring the plaintiff to demonstrate the basis for the lawsuit and requiring the court to consider the issues in an expeditious manner. This process will enable these kinds of cases to be dismissed quickly, and at less expense to the defendant, rather than being drawn out in court.

In addition to the expedited timeline, other related legal proceedings may be paused until the request for an expedited dismissal is resolved. The bill also allows defendants in some cases to recover legal fees if the lawsuit is dismissed.

“People should be able to speak their mind on the issues that matter most to them without the fear of becoming ensnared in an expensive, time-consuming lawsuit,” said First Assistant Attorney General Lyndsay V. Ruotolo. “The law signed by Governor Murphy today makes it much more difficult to use the legal system as a weapon, with the intent to bully individuals into silence. New Jersey is proud to become the latest state to enact a law that discourages, and creates a streamlined process to dismiss, baseless lawsuits that improperly target the lawful exercise of free speech.”

With this bill signing, New Jersey joins a host of other states in adopting an anti-SLAPP law and becomes the sixth state to specifically enact particularly strong protections based on the Uniform Law Commission’s ‘Uniform Public Expression Protection Act.’

Sponsors of the legislation include Senator Joseph Lagana and Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, as well as Senator Jon Bramnick and Assembly members Carol Murphy and Kevin J. Rooney.

“Lawsuits should not be weaponized as a means of silencing someone speaking out about a controversial issue,” said Senator Lagana. “This legislation will protect residents against frivolous, ill-intentioned lawsuits and insulate them from the financial hardships these cases can produce.”

“Money and power shouldn’t be tools to muzzle the voices of critics and whistleblowers,” said Assemblyman Mukherji. “While our democracy thrives on free speech, frivolous SLAPP lawsuits aim to stifle that freedom. With this law, we’re handing back the microphone and the pen and providing a powerful remedy so that journalists and citizens can confidently speak up without fear of unwarranted retribution.”

“Many states throughout the country have enacted laws specifically aimed at discouraging SLAPP suits. Until today, those statutes did not exist in New Jersey,” said Senator Bramnick. “Anti-SLAPP suit laws allow the defendant in a suit to file a motion that permits the court to dismiss the lawsuit for being without merit. This legislation will enact something similar in New Jersey so that people can exercise their First Amendment rights without the fear of getting bogged down in legal proceedings.”

“Too often SLAPP suits have been used to silence criticism through costly and time-consuming legal proceedings. It’s a shame that bad actors have exploited our legal system to effectively strip outspoken New Jersey residents of their First Amendment rights,” said Assemblywoman Murphy. “Today, we are taking a stand by expediting the dismissal of these lawsuits, doing away with this intimidation tactic, and protecting freedom of speech in our state.”

“I am a proud champion of diverse discourse. New Jersey must discourage those who weaponize the legal system to intimidate detractors, because it impedes healthy debate,” said Assemblyman Rooney. “Free speech in New Jersey is protected under the Constitution, but with this bill signing, the law will stand up for the vocal citizens who are too often silenced by money and power.”

“I am thrilled that New Jersey has enacted the Uniform Public Expression Protection Act (UPEPA), a strong anti-SLAPP bill that protects filmmakers, journalists, and everyday citizens from attacks on their First Amendment rights,” said Charles Rivkin, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association. “Under the leadership of Governor Murphy and the state legislature, New Jersey has become a major hub of film and television production, making it ever more urgent and important that the state protect the principles of free speech and artistic freedom on which a thriving creative ecosystem depends. Thank you, Gov. Murphy and the bill sponsors, Senator Joseph Lagana and Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, for working to enact UPEPA. On behalf of the MPA and our member studios, we look forward to further strengthening our excellent relationship with the Garden State.”

“The right to free speech is a cornerstone of our democracy, and we commend Governor Murphy and the bill sponsors for protecting this foundational right by making this bill law,” said ACLU of New Jersey Executive Director Amol Sinha. “This bill will help protect the public against serious and continuing threats to free speech in New Jersey by limiting the harms that people can face for speaking out on important public issues. The ACLU-NJ fights for New Jerseyans’ rights every day and we are proud to say that our rights have stronger protections today.”

“The enactment of the ‘Uniform Public Expression Protection Act’ represents a significant milestone for the State of New Jersey,” said Peggy Arbitell, Executive Director of the New Jersey Press Association. “This legislation, which enables early resolution of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP), is designed to thwart lawsuits intended to intimidate or punish those engaged in constitutionally protected activity. The New Jersey Press Association strongly and enthusiastically supports this legislation, which now places New Jersey with the majority of States that recognize the importance of robust anti-SLAPP laws.”

“Anti-SLAPP laws provide essential protections for journalists and news organizations to be able to quickly dismiss meritless lawsuits from powerful parties seeking to intimidate, punish, or chill their reporting,” said Lisa Zycherman, Deputy Legal Director of Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. “Journalists must be able to report stories about matters of public interest without fear that the subjects of their coverage will target them or their newsroom with costly, baseless legal proceedings. These kinds of protections are vital to preserving the unflinching journalism that informs communities, exposes wrongdoing, and holds public figures and officials accountable.”

“This new law will protect the constitutional rights of those who engage in public protest or who advocate on issues of public importance. Too often, unjust lawsuits known as Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP), are filed not for the purpose of seeking justice but to punish or prevent people from exercising their constitutional rights,” said Patricia M. Giordano, Esq., President of the New Jersey Association for Justice. “We thank Governor Murphy for supporting the right to free speech and signing this important legislation into law. We also thank Senators Lagana and Bramnick, Assemblymen Mukherji and Rooney, and Assemblywoman Murphy for shepherding this important affirmation of constitutional rights through the legislative process.”

“After unanimous passage in both the Assembly and Senate, New Jersey municipalities appreciate the Governor signing this legislation that protects the local government’s ability to function, without hampering the ability for residents to communicate, and ensuring that the threat of frivolous lawsuits is greatly diminished,” said Michael Cerra, Executive Director of New Jersey League of Municipalities.

“We thank Governor Murphy for signing this important legislation that will protect the rights of communities to fight back against development proposals that have a detrimental environmental impact on their neighborhoods,” said Allison McLeod, Policy Director for the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. “Unscrupulous developers have long utilized SLAPP suits as a way of silencing local voices. This law will enable community groups to voice their opinions on critical issues involving warehouse sprawl, water quality, and other conservation matters.”

Wakefern Recalls ShopRite Bowl & Basket Specialty Hawaiian Teriyaki Spice Rub

Select 2.3-ounce container may contain undeclared allergen

September 7, 2023

Keasbey, NJ – Wakefern Food Corp. is voluntarily recalling its ShopRite Bowl & Basket Specialty Hawaiian Teriyaki Spice Rub due to mislabeling. Some of the product may contain black sesame seeds, a known allergen not listed on the ingredients label.

The recall impacts 2.3-ounce ShopRite Bowl & Basket Specialty Hawaiian Teriyaki Spice Rub containers, with the UPC code: 04119008066. The product was sold at Wakefern supermarket banners ShopRite and The Fresh Grocer. To date, there have been no reports of illness associated with this product recall.  

“We are advising customers who purchased the recalled product to return it for an immediate refund or replacement,” said Wakefern Spokesperson Maureen Gillespie.

ShopRite has reached out to Price Plus® club card customers who purchased this product to alert them to the recall. For more information, customers may call 1-800-746-7748.

About Wakefern Food Corp.

From a small, local cooperative that began with eight grocery store owners, Wakefern Food Corp. has grown into the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States. Founded in 1946, the cooperative comprises nearly 50 member families who today independently own and operate hundreds of supermarkets under the ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage, and Fairway Market banners in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. For more information, please visit

Trenton Man Charged Attempted Homicide, Robbery, Aggravated Assault And Weapons Offences In Hamilton Township

September 7, 2023

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Hamilton Police reported that on Friday August 18, 2023, at approximately 9:02 p.m., Officers were dispatched to the area of South Olden Avenue and East Franklin Street on a report of shots fired. Upon arrival Officers located a victim who was shot several times on the 600 block of East Franklin Street. The suspect, who was described as a black male wearing all black, fled the scene towards South Olden Avenue. The victim, a 43-year-old male from Hamilton, was taken to Capital Health Fuld for treatment. His injuries were not life threatening, and he was treated and released. An investigation was conducted by Hamilton Police who obtained surveillance footage of the incident that showed the suspect ambush the victim shooting him several times including once at close range, and then robbing the victim of his money and cell phone. The suspect fled the area towards South Olden Avenue and was last seen walking down South Olden Avenue towards Trenton. Officers were able to recover evidential items and through video surveillance, identify the suspect as Michael Bagwell, 31, of Trenton. A warrant was signed against Bagwell and he was arrested in Trenton on Wednesday, September 6th by Hamilton

Police Detectives and the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Unit.

Bagwell was charged with Attempted Homicide, Robbery, Aggravated Assault, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, Possession of Weapon for Unlawful Purpose, and Possession of a High- Capacity Magazine. He was transported to the Mercer County Correctional Facility pending a detention hearing.

The Hamilton Police would like to thank the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, Trenton Police Department, and New Jersey State Police Crime Suppression Unit for their assistance in the investigation.

Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective James Rickey of the Hamilton Police Division Major Crimes Unit at (609) 689-5822 or the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at (609) 581-4008.

Michael Bagwell, 31, of Trenton. Bagwell was charged with Attempted Homicide, Robbery, Aggravated Assault, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, Possession of Weapon for Unlawful Purpose, and Possession of a High- Capacity Magazine. He was transported to the Mercer County Correctional Facility pending a detention hearing.

Murphy Administration Approves $450 Million in School Construction Funding

Use of $350 Million in State Debt Prevention Funds Will Save Taxpayers Millions

September 7, 2023

Trenton, NJ – Today the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) and the New Jersey Schools Development Authority (SDA) announced the approval of nearly $450 million in school construction funds to address critical facilities needs in 261 school districts throughout the state.

Of this $450 million in construction, $350 million will come from the State’s Debt Defeasance and Prevention Fund, which was established two years ago to help pay down existing debt and avoid incurring new debt by funding projects outright rather than incurring new borrowing. This move is expected to save the State and taxpayers roughly $350 million in total as opposed to issuing 30-year bonds at current interest rates.

“This funding is part of a state and local partnership that will invest in hundreds of school projects while saving a significant amount of taxpayer dollars. Coupled with an infusion of local funding, this collaboration will generate more than $1 billion in important upgrades to schools throughout New Jersey,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “Ensuring our students receive a world-class education in a first-rate learning environment while relieving the pressure on local taxpayers is a top priority of my Administration.”

“This funding demonstrates our ongoing commitment to providing safe, modern learning environments,” said Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, Acting Commissioner of Education. “In addition, improving the physical and safety conditions of school buildings improves working conditions for teachers and elevates the pride and support of the school community as a whole. This funding will benefit countless students in hundreds of schools throughout New Jersey.”

“The advancement of these projects further ensures high-quality learning environments for students and staff, addressing issues that can affect health and safety including replacement of leaky roofs and inefficient boilers,” said Manuel Da Silva, SDA Chief Executive Officer. “This grant funding impacts hundreds of local communities around the state by helping districts leverage resources to pay for important school facility projects while continuing to bolster the State’s construction industry.”

The NJDOE determined the selection of school projects receiving grant funds, and the grants are administered by the Schools Development Authority. School projects were identified by need, such as essential building systems upgrades like the repair or replacement of structural components, mechanical/heating and cooling, and electrical systems; building roofs; and to resolve building code issues. The funding will provide for numerous high-priority upgrades including 320 HVAC systems, 79 boilers or water heaters, and 211 roofs.

Besides the $449.9 million in state funding, local contributions totaling $598.5 million are estimated to bring the total cost of construction to more than $1 billion. The state-funded grants represent at least 40 percent of eligible costs for projects in the Regular Operating Districts (RODs) to address health and safety issues and other critical needs.

Statewide Summary of 2023 ROD Grants
Total Cost of Projects$1,044,599,377
State Share$449,993,347

Funding for the school construction initiative was made possible through legislation signed in 2022 and grant funding from SDA allocations.

A list of districts receiving state construction funding is attached to the bottom of this news release.

“Where we invest taxpayer money reflects our priorities and we will always put our kids first,” said Senate President Nicholas Scutari. “Now, with the help of union workers, our schools will be safer, and more inviting for our children and teachers.”

“This critical funding is the latest investment we are making in New Jersey’s school districts,” said Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin. “By providing financial support for these construction projects, our school districts can focus on investing in our children and our teachers, without worrying about allocating funds for costly building repairs. This is another example of how our prudent fiscal management is enabling us to give money back to local communities. This funding serves as local tax relief. Without it, the costs for these necessary repairs would otherwise come from local taxpayers.”

“With schools closing early all over the state this week due to the heat, it is clear our educational infrastructure is not only dated and deteriorating but also ill equipped to handle our changing climate,” said Senate Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz. “While it is just a start, it is wonderful to see money getting out the door to allow districts to make much needed improvements to their facilities. I look forward to seeing the impact these projects have on the children of New Jersey.”

“This investment affirms our commitment to provide all New Jersey students with a high-quality education,” said Assembly Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald. “We know that a safe and comfortable learning environment is critical for student focus. These construction projects are essential for our school facilities to continue to live up to the high standards we have set for our best-in-the-nation public education system. I’m thrilled for the hundreds of communities across the state that will benefit from today’s announcement.”

“Schools are the centers of children’s lives and they deserve buildings and facilities that encourage progress during this critical time in their development,” said Senator Paul Sarlo, Chair of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. “In collaboration with our local partners, we are making much needed investments in the classrooms and other physical spaces that will support their academic growth.”

“Many New Jersey schools are in need of serious improvements and repairs, whether it be a new roof or the installation of central air conditioning,” said Senator Gopal, Chair of the Senate Education Committee. “This funding will go a long way in ensuring our children can continue to receive the high quality education we’ve come to expect.”

“Today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to working together with the Governor to advance school improvement projects throughout New Jersey,” said Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, Chair of the Assembly

Education Committee. “These funds are a result of collaborative efforts in the most recent budget and beyond. We look forward to seeing districts utilize this funding to help complete critical repairs so that administrators and teachers can focus on providing the best possible education for our children.”

CountyDistrictEstimated Project CostState Share
AtlanticAbsecon City832,000332,800
 Egg Harbor City673,608516,665
 Egg Harbor Township15,162,0006,591,932
 Galloway Township4,000,0001,624,664
 Greater Egg Harbor Regional2,000,0001,076,500
 Hamilton Township697,840353,959
 Linwood City423,950169,580
 Margate City2,628,9631,051,585
 Ventnor City1,454,838581,935
 Cliffside Park1,791,966716,786
 East Rutherford685,820274,328
 Elmwood Park1,706,900682,760
 Englewood City7,382,0002,952,800
 Fair Lawn3,797,6651,519,066
 Fort Lee1,417,500567,000
 Glen Rock774,548309,819
 Hackensack City5,092,9592,037,184
 Ho Ho Kus334,909133,964
 Mahwah Township11,041,3374,416,535
 New Milford6,038,3502,415,340
 North Arlington2,988,7001,195,480
 Northern Valley Regional1,525,125610,050
 Palisades Park1,086,600434,640
 Park Ridge836,700334,680
 Pascack Valley Regional1,872,058748,823
 Ridgefield Park Township6,230,4102,492,164
 Ridgewood Village12,745,6655,098,266
 River Edge3,052,0001,220,800
 Rochelle Park Township777,926311,170
 Saddle Brook Township4,133,5001,653,400
 Upper Saddle River2,973,2951,189,318
CountyDistrictEstimated Project CostState Share
 Westwood Regional13,482,0845,392,834
 Woodcliff Lake2,878,1501,151,260
 Wyckoff Township3,445,0001,378,000
BurlingtonBeverly City1,246,926498,770
 Bordentown Regional595,000238,000
 Burlington County Vocational8,499,0003,399,600
 Burlington Co Special Services14,239,7495,695,900
 Burlington Co. Vocational10,192,0414,076,816
 Edgewater Park Township1,696,885921,755
 Evesham Township86,40034,560
 Lenape Regional4,635,9361,854,374
 Moorestown Township4,237,0601,694,824
 Mount Holly Township650,717260,287
 Eastern Camden County Regional5,069,2502,027,700
 Gloucester Township17,035,5248,027,041
 Laurel Springs27,60014,991
 Pennsauken Township858,450548,280
 Sterling HS District609,839368,986
 Voorhees Township1,216,000486,400
 Voorhees Township2,937,0001,174,800
 Winslow Township6,406,5402,821,447
Cape MayCape May City6,375,0002,550,000
 Ocean City10,501,8164,200,726
CumberlandDeerfield Township1,249,250563,693
 Hopewell Township295,201125,931
 Upper Deerfield Township868,912483,971
EssexBloomfield Township43,147,57017,259,028
 Caldwell-West Caldwell9,178,5203,671,408
 Cedar Grove Township123,00049,200
 Fairfield Township130,00052,000
 Glen Ridge3,087,7601,235,104
 Livingston Township4,049,0001,619,600
 Millburn Township7,768,9353,107,574
 South Orange-Maplewood8,687,7713,475,108
 West Orange Town141,90056,760
CountyDistrictEstimated Project CostState Share
 Franklin Township3,398,7901,359,516
 Harrison Township567,112226,845
 Monroe Township4,008,0251,946,205
 South Harrison Township585,000234,000
 Washington Township9,921,2573,968,503
 West Deptford Township2,993,4191,197,368
 Woodbury City930,000635,114
HudsonBayonne City11,028,5704,654,589
 East Newark670,000413,415
 Kearny Town6,396,0463,073,652
 Secaucus Town9,447,7003,779,080
HunterdonAlexandria Township992,100396,840
 Clinton Town3,799,9981,519,999
 Delaware Township1,338,000535,200
 Delaware Valley Regional1,524,750609,900
 East Amwell Township480,000192,000
 Holland Township516,700206,680
 Hunterdon Central Regional15,170,0076,068,003
 Kingwood Township804,700321,880
 Lebanon Township2,522,6001,009,040
 Readington Township552,115220,846
 South Hunterdon Regional2,350,000940,000
 Tewksbury Township2,079,520831,808
MercerEast Windsor Regional14,259,5205,959,595
 Hamilton Township24,480,6309,792,252
 Hopewell Valley Regional10,892,0004,356,800
 Mercer Co Special Service14,627,2965,850,918
 Robbinsville Township17,125,0006,850,000
 Cranbury Township1,738,638695,455
 Edison Township3,341,1641,336,466
 Highland Park776,697310,679
 Monroe Township10,125,1704,050,068
 North Brunswick Township8,661,1003,464,440
 Old Bridge Township23,067,1209,226,848
 South Plainfield3,330,0001,332,000
 South River1,589,118783,879
 Woodbridge Township1,582,192632,877
MonmouthAtlantic Highlands1,084,015433,606
 Freehold Regional1,080,000432,000
 Freehold Township3,536,0001,414,400
 Hazlet Township2,986,7501,194,700
CountyDistrictEstimated Project CostState Share
 Henry Hudson Regional853,613341,445
 Howell Township17,395,6256,958,250
 Little Silver2,860,6001,144,240
 Marl Township1,749,510699,804
 Matawan-Aberdeen Regional22,120,0008,848,000
 Middletown Township7,499,7012,999,880
 Millstone Township3,727,9431,491,177
 Ocean Township4,622,7601,849,104
 Red Bank1,014,000405,600
 Red Bank Regional4,732,0001,892,800
 Rumson-Fair Haven Regional1,095,791438,316
 Sea Girt483,600193,440
 Shore Regional2,123,130849,252
 Spring Lake2,834,6241,133,850
 West Long Branch817,463326,985
 Chester Township4,009,4871,603,795
 Dover Town3,997,5002,836,626
 Florham Park4,744,8811,897,952
 Hanover Township1,701,600680,640
 Harding Township1,906,620762,648
 Jefferson Township1,892,200756,880
 Long Hill Township930,000372,000
 Mendham Township1,979,459791,784
 Montville Township3,257,8221,303,129
 Morris Hills Regional706,146282,458
 Morris Plains3,426,1801,370,472
 Morris School District8,441,6503,376,660
 Mount Olive Township3,334,0001,333,600
 Mountain Lakes2,260,500904,200
 Parsippany-Troy Hills Township468,176187,270
 Pequannock Township2,905,5001,162,200
 Randolph Township4,000,5031,600,201
 Rockaway Township1,263,064505,226
 School District of the Chathams4,373,2201,749,288
 West Morris Regional3,378,2501,351,300
OceanBerkeley Township563,904225,562
 Brick Township11,484,9664,593,986
 Central Regional3,354,3921,341,757
 Lacey Township5,600,0002,240,000
 Little Egg Harbor Township1,251,900500,760
 Plumsted Township2,706,0001,082,400
 Point Pleasant6,721,5382,688,615
 Stafford Township4,546,6851,818,674
CountyDistrictEstimated Project CostState Share
 Toms River Regional200,00080,000
 Clifton City15,094,3006,037,720
 North Haledon1,213,886485,554
 Pompton Lakes1,139,051455,620
 Prospect Park4,052,4002,948,255
 Wayne Township2,387,029954,812
 Woodland Park3,807,5401,523,016
SalemMannington Township131,54652,618
 Oldmans Township1,668,315667,326
 Pittsgrove Township2,100,0001,063,602
 Quinton Township260,665120,785
SomersetBedminster Township5,576,6202,230,648
 Bernards Township20,545,2998,218,120
 Bound Brook4,635,0401,854,016
 Branchburg Township3,025,9131,210,365
 Bridgewater-Raritan Regional17,745,3047,098,122
 Green Brook Township3,195,0051,278,002
 Hillsborough Township1,018,650407,460
 Montgomery Township6,167,5502,467,020
 North Plainfield6,639,3194,292,672
 Warren Township879,700351,880
SussexAndover Regional1,217,100486,840
 Byram Township1,393,300557,320
 Frankford Township787,700315,080
 Green Township324,300129,720
 Hampton Township856,000342,400
 Hardyston Township1,078,000431,200
 High Point Regional1,200,100480,040
 Kittatinny Regional999,764399,906
 Lafayette Township755,700302,280
 Newton Town5,369,5452,686,169
 Sandyston-Walpack Township255,527102,211
 Sussex County Vocational1,153,100461,240
 Sussex-Wantage Regional485,300194,120
 Vernon Township4,352,6461,741,058
UnionClark Township1,440,250576,100
 Hillside Township1,196,500555,208
 Linden City5,021,4682,008,587
CountyDistrictEstimated Project CostState Share
 New Providence124,31049,724
 Rahway City1,018,120448,081
 Roselle Park4,595,0002,064,460
 Springfield Township2,676,2871,070,515
 Summit City12,606,5005,042,600
 Union Township326,500130,600
WarrenAllamuchy Township11,734,1984,693,679
 Franklin Township1,369,380547,752
 Great Meadows Regional592,500237,000
 Lopatcong Township2,694,8701,077,948
 Mansfield Township942,200376,880
 North Warren Regional1,474,725589,890
 Warren Hills Regional3,055,7801,222,312
 White Township1,050,457420,183

Gofundme Raised $31K For Family Of 21-Year-Old Who Passed Away From Drowning In Beach Haven, NJ

September 7, 2023

BEACH HAVEN, NJ (OCEAN)–Gofundme has verified a fundraiser for a 21-year-old male that lost their life in Beach Haven in a drowning accident in Beach Haven, NJ on Labor Day Weekend. The family has identified the man as Edwin Antonio Made Sanchez, from the Dominican Republic. Emergency workers, lifeguards and the public reportedly formed a human chain to search for him. He was found and was pulled from the surf and rushed to a local hospital in an ambulance where he passed away.

A Gofundme “Help Fulfill a Young Dreamer’s Last Wish” was set up and raised $31,060.00 before being closed by the family. “The organizer has currently disabled new donations to this fundraiser.”

The family says, “We want to thank everyone who donated. We are filled with gratitude with all your kindness. We have closed the donations. Thank you so much.”

Dear friends and kind-hearted supporters,

We are reaching out to you today with heavy hearts and a profound sense of loss. Made’s beloved family member, Edwin Antonio Made Sanchez, who was just 21 years old, had dreams as big as the sky. Tragically, his life was cut short, leaving everyone shattered and grieving. Edwin had recently traveled from the Dominican Republic to work diligently, with a sole purpose in mind – to build a better future.

Edwin was an avid reader and a young man full of dreams. He aspired to achieve so much in life, from providing for his loved ones to creating opportunities for his family to join him in the USA. Despite his young age, he carried a remarkable sense of responsibility and determination.

It is our deepest desire to honor Edwin’s memory and grant him his final wish – to be laid to rest in his beloved homeland, the Dominican Republic. Your generous contributions will help cover the expenses required to transport him to the Dominican Republic, as well as assist with the funeral costs. All additional funds will be given to his mother and father. 

Edwin wanted to build a house for his mother in DR. One of his dreams will hopefully come true even though our heart aches with pain and loss. May his soul shine bright in the sky and his presence bring joy to everyone who sees him up there smiling down on us. 

Please help us bring him home to his mother and father. They are devastated that they can’t be here with their son. Their hearts have shattered and just want to hold their son in their arms, one last time. 

Every dollar counts, and your support will not only provide comfort to his grieving family but also help fulfill the dreams Edwin held so dearly. Let’s come together as a community and make a difference during this difficult time.

Please donate and share this fundraiser with your friends and networks to help us reach our goal. Together, we can ensure that Edwin’s dreams live on in our hearts, and his journey home is filled with love and dignity.

Thank you for your compassion and generosity.

We originally added Jeimy Hirujo, fiancé of Edwin’s cousin, since he is able to send the funds directly to Edwin’s mother without a fee. Nevertheless, GoFundMe wants to verify information so we will change it to another beneficiary. We are in contact with GoFundMe to see if we can add an oversee bank account for Edwin’s brother, Esmerlyn Omar Made Sanchez, or his aunt here in the USA, Celide Made who Edwin was visiting. 

With heartfelt gratitude,

Made Family

Good evening, if you are reading this, my name is Luke Ferreras. My cousin and I were swimming today in Beach Haven, NJ where unfortunately we were caught in a rip tide. I was able to get out safely but he was not able to. I simply ask for help raising awareness. God Bless!

Good morning all, we have created a gofundme page for the funeral and travel costs for him to be able to send his body to our family in the Dominican Republic where he was due to go back to in a few days. If you’d like to help or share. Thank you all.

— Luke B. Ferreras, MBA, Cousin to Edwin Antonio Made Sanchez