Thursday, March 12, 2009

And the Winner Is . . . . .

Congratulations to Carol Pungello for winning this year's Silver Spoon Award at the annual College/Shore District Spring Conference. The Junior Friday Club of Hightstown was host to this year's fun filled event, themed A Very Merry Un-Conference. Carol's recipe was so delicious, I had to put it on our blog for all to try.

Roasted Eggplant Spread
from the Barefoot Contessa Family Style

1 medium eggplant -peeled
2 red bell peppers, seeded
1 red onion, peeled
2 garlic cloves, minced (I cheated and used the kind from the jar)
3 Tbsp. good olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp tomato paste (add after roasting)

Preheat over to 400.

Cut eggplant, peppers, and onion into 1" cubes. Toss them in a large bowl with the garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them on a baking sheet (I lined the baking sheet with non-stick foil) Roast for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are lightly browned and soft, tossing once during cooking.

Cool slightly.

Place the vegetables in a food processor fitted with a blade, add the tomato paste, and pulse 3 or 4 times to blend. Taste for salt and pepper.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

This is the Princeton Area Junior Woman’s Club favorite time of year. From September until the 3rd week in December, our goal is to fulfill the wishes of over 1,200 children of Mercer County’s Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS). We work tirelessly to make sure everything runs smoothly for these girls and boys who, at the very least, deserve to have their Christmas wishes come true. While others are out shopping for friends and family, you’ll find our members hanging wish tags on trees at MarketFair or shopping with carts overflowing with gifts bought with generous financial donations of members of our own community.

Princeton Area Junior Woman’s Club Timeline:


1) Contact all previous companies who participated in the Wish Tree project.
We check to see if they still want to participate.


1) Receive names and wishes, supplied to us from DYFS caseworkers, of what the children want for Christmas. A Committee goes through the list with a fine tooth comb to make sure that we have sizes, correct toy names, etc.

2) Contact Girl Scout of West Windsor, Plainsboro and East Windsor to make ornaments for our wish trees.

3) Work with our corporations, including PNC Bank in Princeton, Marketfair Mall, and CFMA who without them, this couldn't happen. They each generously supply a tree and collect presents for the wishes given to them. MarketFair, especially, handles the most gifts. Their employees and customers truly come to the aid of the less fortunate in a huge way. MarketFair even provides a room to store all the gifts we receive. Although storing presents sounds like a small endive, image 700+ wrapped gifts. It is a mountain of Christmas gifts.

4) Then we call the MOST important people Bohren's Moving Company. Each year, they generously donate time and a truck to move all 1200 + gifts from each company and take it to the DYFS Facility in Trenton. Without them there is no way that we could do this.


1.) Receive ornaments from Girl Scouts.

2.) Each member is assigned a tree. It is their responsibility to write gift tags with the child’s name, wish’s, casework, etc.

3.) Let the monitoring of the trees begin.

4.) Pray that people will donate money to pay for any wishes that are not being fulfilled. Thankfully our wishes get fulfilled too.


1) Crunch time. Monitoring trees to make sure the wish tags are moving quickly enough. Move wish tags from company’s trees to Marketfair Tree to make sure that the wishes are fulfilled.

2) Now the fun stuff. Whatever money has been generously donated, we now use for shopping. This is the best kind of shopping. Power shopping. We take the list of the children whose tags were not removed and shop for them. Members break up usually in groups of 2 and shop till we drop. It’s the most fulfilling shopping you will ever do.

3) Deliver any late drop off packages. Things happen and people are not able to drop the gifts off in time. So the members happily drop off any late gifts in time for Christmas. We have been known to drop gifts off on Christmas Eve.

You may wonder why we do this. Yes, we are crazy. But we are also mothers, daughters, sisters, friends and we know that this does make a difference, one child at a time. Do we wish we didn’t have to do this? Yes, our “Wish Tree” wish is that no one was in need. Unfortunately that hasn’t happened, so we are there. We are a small group, or as we have dubbed ourselves “The Small but Mighty”. If you would like to join us and make a difference, let us know at

Friday, September 5, 2008

PAJWC is Tooting their own Horn

Our annual May "Plant Sale" has raised over $1,600.00 this year. This money is given back to local charities in our community. I'm not sure everyone knows what goes into this event. Gasko's Nurseries generously sell us, at a discount, their wonderful plants. This enables us to sell to our "customers" at a very reasonable price. One of our members takes on the task of organizing all the paperwork. Each PAJWC member sells to friends, family, co-workers. After all the orders are put in, our members then go to Gasko's and picks up the plants. We then deliver them to our "customers". Our customers get beautiful plants delivered to their door at a great price and for a good cause! So, we would like to thank not only Gasko's Nursery but the generous people in our community who buys our plants and to our members who participated in this event.

Another annual event is our Backpack Drive. One of our members, Marie Levine, organizes this event every year. She coordinates with Homefront to get just what each child needs. This year, we not only got 25 backpacks filled with supplies, but an outfit for their first day of school. We also were able to give school supplies to the Plainsboro Food Pantry. Again, we would like to thank all the generous people in this community for making this "Drive" a huge success.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Princeton Area Juniorettes are at it Again!

We are so proud of our Princeton Area Juniorettes! So far this year they have done two community service projects.

On Saturday, May 31, 2008, they held a hugely successful food drive for the Plainsboro Food Pantry. Despite the monsoon like weather, the girls stood outside of Superfresh in Plainsboro and collected money and food supplies from very generous and wet residents in the area. On Monday, June 1, 2008 they lugged bag after bag from the parking lot to the 2nd floor food pantry. The girls enthusiastically sorted everything they collected.

Not resting on their laurels, they assisted in the first West Windsor Bike Rodeo in conjunction with the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance on June 7, 2008. This successful event had the girls explaining proper bike safety to young children. This was such a success that they can't wait to have the Juniorettes back next year.

The girls are also having a backpack drive. The PAJ in conjunction with Homefront are accepting backpacks, backpack supplies and even new sneakers and shoes for Homefront sponsored children. Contact for more information. The drive ends August 1st, so start gathering backpack supplies now!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

We are so proud of our new Juniorettes and the contributions they are already making to our group. Here is an article that was just published in our local paper. We look forward to more wonderful contributions these great ladies will be making. Wish Tree

West Windsor and Plainsboro young women created the Princeton Area Juniorettes, a branch of the Princeton Area Junior Woman’s Club. The two groups are sponsoring a WishTree in the MarketFair Mall. The members collaborated to gather more than 1,200 wishes for underprivileged children in the area for the holidays. They will be wrapping gifts at MarketFair Mall during the busy holidays. According to Mardana Naidu, publicity officer for Princeton Area Junior Women’s Club, donations will be presented to area charities. Officers and members from High School South include Kezia Opie, president, a sophomore; Rachel Degnan, vice president, a freshman; Allie Pungello, treasurer, a sophomore; Gabrielle Opie, recording secretary, a freshman; and Rachel Carandang, corresponding secretary, a sophomore.Members from South include freshman Jennifer Cardinale, Rinku Punjabi, and Kelly Scanlon; and sophomore Priya Saksena. High School North students include Jackie Kercheval, a sophomore; and Joanna Tsuo, a freshman.Community School students include eighth graders Kacie Craven and Emily Jones; and seventh graders Emily Carnevale, Bryn Gorberg, Sarah Jones, and Komal Sankla.Their leaders are Elizabeth Carnevale, president of the women’s group; and co-advisors Judy Gorberg and Kathy Lane. The group meets monthly to choose projects to benefit the community.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Children's Specialized Hospital of Hamilton's Toy, Book and Craft Drive

As many of you know, I'm collecting toys, books and crafts for the Childrens Specialized Hospital in Hamilton as part of a coordinated effort by the Princeton Area Junior Women's Club. Each month, I make a drop-off to the hospital with all of your donations. These toys bring a lot of joy to children who have gone through, or are going through a very tough time. Many of them have very little. Did your kids get things for Birthday/Christmas/Hannuka that they didn't want or already had, or just aren't interested in? You could donate them. Anything you can give will be appreciated. As always, you can drop off at my house, or I can pick up. You can email me at if you have any questions.



Wednesday, September 5, 2007

News From the District

It’s time for the seventh inning stretch – what is your club doing to hit a home run for….

Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation !!

** Come to State Fall Conference on October 13 and meet Theresa Valentino – book her to speak at your club or District meeting **

Help make the CSH of New Brunswick Family Center a useful resource for parents!

The following items need to be purchased for the center. Please send a check to JM Finance Chairwoman Patti Stetser earmarked with items you wish to fund.

Magazine Shelf Organizers - $10 Sitting Area Chairs - $130
Copier - $250 Scanner - $280
Fax Machine - $70 Reading Lamps - $40
Printers - $100 Sitting Area Tables - $225
Fax Machine - $70 Magazine Racks - $30
Wireless Laptops – $1000
Shop for a Cause!

Buy a ticket for Saturday,October 13th for $5 and save 20% all day at Macys!
For tickets, contact Theresa at Keep track of the number of tickets you order for reports. Buy a stack and sell them to friends and neighbors!
Currently, the home team (Jersey Juniors) is suffering a low hitting average – who will step up to the plate and be the power hitter??