This November is our publication’s one year anniversary! In lieu of celebrating, we are dedicating our Thankfulness issue to our local heroes that came together to help the many businesses impacted by Ida. Starting with Steve Grillo at Explore Millburn-Short Hills SID, local school and business fundraisers, Millburn HS students, Junior League of the Oranges and Short Hills, to restaurants that donated meals such as Calabria’s in Livingston, Jack’s Lobster Shack, Gian Marco Trattoria, and all the volunteers that responded to the desperate call. As if Covid wasn’t damaging enough, the cleanup that happened the first three days is only the beginning. Most are paying rent or mortgages, trying to make payroll with no income. Add on to that, paying for cleanup and replacing subflooring, electrical, equipment, inventory and more, draining what savings they have. Some businesses have been a local staple for over 25+ years and others like artist Jesus Nunez, who just signed a lease in May, were trying to establish their business. Jesus, while suffering his own loss, stepped up and acted. Jesus wanted to bring color to the darkness of the mud that blanketed Millburn and offer an easy way to help people who want to donate. He designed an original 60 x 40 colorful art called Millburn Strong that was made into a poster. There are two versions, one that includes the QR code for the Millburn Fund, which Easy Print 123 printed for free, is for businesses to display that makes it easy for visitors to donate. The second version is QR code free, so it reads as art and sells for only $10. Let me say this, 100% of the proceeds of the poster, yes 100% are donated directly to the fund. Jesus is a former Iron Chef who in his own words “used to paint with herbs on a plate and now I paint on canvas”, is married and has two children. There are thousands of passionate and giving residents in our area. I invite you to scan the QR code and donate, even if it’s just $10. Let’s help our entrepreneurs bring back the great places in Millburn we all enjoy sooner than later. Chatham + Short Hills Lifestyle publication will donate a two-page story, both in print and digital, to the highest donor to thank you for your contribution. Who’s up for the challenge?
This article could read like a book to list all the contributors and supporters that made and continue to make a difference. Thank you everyone for all the work, support, and love to our downtown.