201-996-9100 Bergen Office or 201-533-4407 Hudson Office

hipNews Winter 2019

Heightened Independence & Progress - Our staff

hipNews Winter 2019


hip’s Newest Initiative:  SAFE AND SECURE SOLUTIONS

Have you ever had a key break off in a lock but didn’t want to call a locksmith because of the cost of the service call?

Are you still keeping a spare key under the mat hoping that no one will know it’s there?

Do you simply need to change the locks on your door to protect your security?

hip has the answer to this and other questions that you may have about protecting your personal space and make it easier for you to come and go in the community. We have launched our latest service, Safe and Secure Solutions in an effort to help individuals with disabilities and seniors pay for the costs associated with:

  • The cost of a locksmith service call (up to $125).
  • The provision of lock boxes that are designed with a secure code that you can set and share with a trusted friend, your home health aide or the Meals on Wheels volunteer.
  • The provision of up to three door locks to ensure your safety if you need to change the locks for any reason.

This service has been made possible by the Bergen County Division of Community Development through their Community Development Block Grant Program.  The application process is very simple.  To qualify you need to be:

  • a person with a disability (18-60) or
  • a person over age 60 and
  • a Bergen County resident

The guidelines for financial eligibility are based on individual and family income and will consider the cost of extraordinary medical expenses.

Our Care Managers will be on the lookout for those in need as a part of their home visit assessments but you can also be evaluated by calling the hip Bergen office and asking for Maria who will send out an application packet.

hip’s Annual Dinner Dance

Saturday, April 6th is Game Day for hip’s Annual Dinner Dance and Night of Entertainment!  This year’s theme is Baseball, as we Take You Out to the Ballgame at the Fort Lee Recreation Center (1500 Stillwell Avenue) with First Pitch at 6:30 p.m.  The evening will feature our Hall of Fame DJ Gary Morton as well as dining, dancing and the chance to win an array of prizes.  During the 7th Inning Stretch we will introduce the members of hip’s very own All-Star team comprised of individuals who have been Most Valuable Players to hip’s growth and success over the years (see page 3).

Invitations are in the mail, but if you haven’t received yours tickets can be purchased by calling Trish Carney in the Bergen office at 201-996-9100, ext. 11.  Tickets are $50 per person and must be reserved no later than Friday, March 29th.

Don’t Strike Out!  Step Up to the Plate now and get ready for a fun-filled evening!

Stepping Out With hip!!!

We are pleased to announce that hip has received a grant from the Fund for the New Jersey Blind to provide Ballroom dance lessons to hip consumers who have vision loss.

The dance instructor, an individual who also has vision loss, wants to share his passion for ballroom dancing by giving our consumers the opportunity to prove that they can get out on a dance floor and freely strut their stuff. This is all about stepping out of our comfort zones and trying new things.  Participants are guaranteed to gain confidence and become even more empowered to take on new challenges.

There will be a total of six 3-hour lessons spread over March, April and May offered in 2 locations. On the first Wednesday of each month the lessons will be given at The Temple Beth Or in the Township of Washington and on the fourth Monday of March and April and the third Monday of May (due to the Memorial Day holiday) at The Secaucus Public Library. In June we will have a celebratory Tea Dance where everyone can try out their new skills.

This initiative has been met with enthusiasm from our consumers and we’re really looking forward to seeing what the instructor has in store. He will use lots of verbal and tactile ways to communicate so all can easily follow the instructions.  We will have a DJ present for all 7 events and will be providing refreshments so call Trisha at 201-996-9100 ext. 19 if you’re interested in signing up.

hip’s Annual Meeting

On Thursday, November 8th hip’s Board, staff and consumers gathered at the Fort Lee Recreation Center for our 2018 Annual Meeting.  Following a light supper President/CEO Brian Fitzgibbons reviewed hip’s many accomplishments during the past year, and elections and re-elections to the hip Board of Trustees took place.  Mary Turner, a Registered Nurse from Dumont, was elected as a new member of the Board while Karen Canellos, Lottie Esteban, Rick Hodgman, Anna Navatta and Joe Tomasko were re-elected to new terms.

A last minute emergency prevented the scheduled keynote speaker, Bergen County Surrogate Michael Dressler, from attending the meeting.  In his place former hip Board member Paul Aronsohn, the recently appointed Ombudsman for Individuals with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities and their Families in Governor Phil Murphy’s administration, shared the duties of his position with the audience.  He was followed by a presentation by hip Board Chair Anna Navatta, an attorney at Northeast New Jersey Legal Services, who discussed the importance of making a will.

The Calendar Raffle is Coming Back!

Watch your mail in April for a chance to buy a ticket in our Annual 66 $unny Day$ of $ummer Calendar Raffle!  We’re starting one month later this year, with tickets drawn each weekday during July, August and September.  Five winning tickets will be drawn each week, with a specific cash prize designated for each day.  With the purchase of just one $20 ticket you’ll have 66 chances to win – and if you do win, your ticket will be re-entered into the raffle for the chance to win again!  You could even be the lucky winner of the grand prize of $200 on September 30.  Remember, you have to be in it to win it!  Good Luck!!!

Braille by MTS

The hip project, Multimedia Transcription Services (MTS) is celebrating 25 years committed to promoting literacy and equal access to written information for those who are blind and use braille for reading.

We are using this silver anniversary to expand our reach beyond the schools that we typically serve and have contacted libraries, museums, theaters and hospitals to make them aware that braille removes obstacles to success and improves the enjoyment of all print material for braille readers. We will continue to offer personalized services such as newsletters, agendas, invitations and announcements.

We are redesigning our marketing materials, revising our name to “Braille by MTS” to get a better position on web searches and creating a separate website. We continue to offer competitive pricing and are proud of our reputation in the business of hiring only the best seasoned transcribers in the country.

We are happy to respond to all braille inquiries and requests at all times.

We Mourn…

The following members of our hip family passed away in February:

Jim Corbett, long-time member and advocate

Elizabeth (Bette) Pfeuffer, mother-in-law of hip President/CEO Brian Fitzgibbons

Sylvia Schwartz, Life Member, long-time generous benefactor and step-mother of hip Founding President/CEO Eileen Goff

Meet hip’s All Star Team!

In keeping with the Baseball theme of this year’s Dinner Dance we are pleased to recognize the following individuals who, as Most Valuable Player’s in a variety of positions, have contributed to hip’s growth and success over the years.  Our All-Star Team is comprised of the following players:

EILEEN GOFF, the Founding President/CEO of hip, is a Champion of Independent Living!  In 1980 she secured federal funding which established Heightened Independence and Progress as the first Center for Independent Living in New Jersey.  Dedicated and forward-thinking, for thirty-seven years she directed hip’s growth as she developed a variety of programs to enhance the lives of individuals with disabilities.  Eileen has been a tireless advocate in supporting the full inclusion of people with disabilities in their communities as well as a role model for countless individuals with vision loss and a Disability Ambassador for the able-bodied community.  In recognition of her life’s work, in 2018 Eileen received a $5,000 Making a Difference Award from the Russ Berrie Foundation which she directed to hip to support our consumers in attaining their highest level of independent living.

CHRIS BLACK has been an Angel to hip families each Christmas for over 15 years.  If she wore a red suit we would call her Santa Claus!  Through her caring efforts as the Coordinator of the Giving Tree at St. Peter the Apostle Church in River Edge, a countless number of individuals and families who would have otherwise been forgotten during the holidays have received an abundance of gifts including warm clothes, linens and household items, toys and supermarket gift cards each year.  Modest about her efforts on behalf of others, Chris and her family have also provided generous financial support when an emergency situation arose for a family affiliated with hip.

LILLIAN CIUFO was a dedicated member of the hip Board of Trustees for more than a quarter of a century, from 1991 to 2017.  As our Fundraiser Extraordinaire, Lillian aligned hip with numerous new and unique sources of income which enabled our Center for Independent Living to become a vibrant organization for people with all disabilities.  Following the untimely death of her only daughter in 2000, she directed that memorial contributions be sent to hip which resulted in the establishment of Laura’s Legacy, a fund administered by hip which provides financial assistance to individuals and families when one-time support can make a difference in their lives and no other funding is available.  Lillian organized many fundraisers to benefit hip as well as others specifically for the benefit of Laura’s Legacy, and to date this fund has provided over $45,000 worth of assistance to hip consumers.  It is also thanks to Lillian that we found our must-have Hall of Fame DJ Gary Morton to entertain us at our Dinner Dance each year!

JEAN CSAPOSS joined the hip Board of Trustees in 1988 and ended her tenure thirty years later in 2018.  During this time she shared her leadership skills as she served one-term as Second Vice-President as well as multi terms as Board President, and was an active member or chairperson of many Committees including the Executive, By-Laws, Nominating and Fund Development Committees.  She was also a key player on the Relocation Committee when hip moved from Englewood, where it started as a program of another social service agency, and leased its own office space in Hackensack.  Jean also served as Editor of hip’s newsletter for many years and has been the literary genius for many of hip’s brochures and other publications.  A Life Member, Jean has been a generous supporter of hip over the years.

RHEA HESS has been a dedicated hip volunteer for over 30 years.  When seeking meaningful activities after retiring from a career in retailing and semi-retiring from a catering company, she met hip’s Executive Director Eileen Goff, a former neighbor with whom she had lost touch with who mentioned that she needed a reader, and as the saying goes, “the rest is history.”  Volunteering at hip practically became a full-time job for Rhea, as she not only served as a reader but also tracked the agency’s inventory of office supplies, duplicated audio-cassettes, managed the consumer database for mailings, and chaired our Annual Pot O’ Gold Raffle for many years.  Rhea retired from these duties earlier this year as she prepares to relocate out of state.  We thank you Rhea for many jobs well done and wish you all good things in this next chapter of your life!

JOHN KOCH, a Life Member of hip, has been providing financial support to our Center for Independent Living in a variety of ways for many years.  A dedicated Rotary Club member for over 50 years, John lives their motto of “Service Before Self” in his everyday life as he tirelessly works to assist individuals in need.  He has a special passion for the Rotary’s Gift of Life Program, a worldwide human assistance initiative intended to help the children of the world who are in need of corrective heart surgery.  John is truly a Goodwill Ambassador for hip as he cultivates a mutually supportive relationship between hip and his fellow Rotarians.

MARTHA MULLIGAN has also been an Angel to hip’s consumers each Christmas for many years.  A parishioner of St. Peter the Apostle Church in River Edge, Martha is the #1 Elf to Santa (aka Chris Black)  as she helps to make Christmas special for a countless numbers of consumers who do not receive gifts from anyone else.  Martha downplays her efforts, but each year she is the one who carefully checks that the items requested by hip’s consumers have been purchased, and if necessary does last-minute shopping to secure their “perfect gift.”  Personally and professionally Martha and her husband have directed significant financial support to hip for the benefit of our consumers and the agency as a whole.

STEPHANIE THOMAS became hip’s very first member in 1981 and has been a dedicated volunteer ever since. No job is too big or too hard for Stephanie – in fact, nothing makes her happier than a big project or major mailing.  Her fingerprints can probably be found on every piece of mail that hip has ever sent out, dating back to hip’s early days in Englewood when our newsletter, the hipNews, would be delivered to her home and she would work on the mailing labels from her living room.  Always eager to help, Stephanie also assists with office projects as well as the decorations and baskets for our annual dinner dance.  Just like the Post Office’s motto, neither rain nor sleet nor snow can keep Stephanie away from hip and it is a pleasure to name her to our All-Star Team!

Thank You and Congratulations to Our All-Star Team!

Why Do You Need A Will?

A will ensures that you are able to:

  • Avoid the laws of your state dictating how and to whom your property is distributed
  • Decide who will inherit your property and what they receive
  • Choose the legal guardian for any children, ensuring their future
  • Choose your personal representative so that your estate will be handled and distributed by someone you know and trust
  • Specify funeral and burial instructions
  • Retain your privacy

Anna closed by stressing that even though it’s a topic that many of us would rather put off “until tomorrow,” the truth is that every adult should have a will.

NFB’s NEWSLINE Now Available on Amazon Alexa

Subscribers to the National Federation of the Blind’s (NFB) NEWSLINE can now access it hands-free on any Amazon Alexa product.  This includes the Echo and the Echo Dot.  Just say, “Alexa, open National Federation” and after providing this information every feature of the program will be available by voice commands.

You can ask Alexa to read any of the five New Jersey newspapers that are available as well as the New Jersey Grocery Ads.  At  your command Alexa will also read from a list of thirteen national newspapers  including The Wall Street Journal, thirty-two news services including CNN and ESPN, and over 500 newspapers from every state as well as magazines including international publications.  News and information about the Talking Book and Braille Center, the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and the New Jersey Chapter of the NFB can also be obtained.

NEWSLINE is sponsored in New Jersey by the NJ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired and is available at no cost to individuals who cannot read print material as well as people who have difficulty turning pages.  Further information can be obtained by calling NFB at 866-504-7300.

The Bergen County Transit Connector

Several months ago Bergen County, in conjunction with Bergen County Community Transportation, launched a service that will be very valuable to individuals with disabilities, seniors and those folks without cars who want to get around Hackensack.

The Transit Connector will travel between the two railroad stations at Essex and Anderson Streets and cover many destination points in the city including the Bus Terminal, the County Office Complex and Hackensack University Medical Center. This is an accessible vehicle and can be boarded at NJ Transit Bus stops that are marked “Transit Connector”.

hip appreciates this free service and hopes that it becomes more successful as Hackensack continues with the many construction projects throughout the area. A hip group will be planning a field trip to evaluate the program.

Have You Renewed Your Membership for 2019?

Every October, with the start of our new fiscal year, hip invites new and renewing members to join our great organization for another year.  Why belong?  hip makes things happen for people with disabilities and your support helps us in our efforts to enhance the independent living of people with disabilities.  You get something as well!  The benefits of membership ($20 for a Basic Membership, $25 for a Family, and $35 to give “a little extra” as a Contributing Member) include reduced costs for some hip special events, priority acceptance when space may be limited, and the opportunity to participate in the Bergen PAC’s Arts Access Program in which you can receive free tickets to select performances such as comedy shows, musical concerts and other exciting entertainers.  Membership forms can be downloaded from our website www.hipcil.org or requested by calling the Bergen office at 201-996-9100 or the Hudson office at 201-533-4407.  Get hip!  We thank you for your support!

hip Thanks…

hip receives many contributions from individuals and the community throughout the year.  We thank the following for their recent exceptional generosity:

Michael and Marie Cook

The Esteban Family

First Presbyterian Church of Hackensack

Eve and Mort Levinson

Lions Club of River Edge

Mary and Anthony Yorio

We also extend our heartfelt thanks to the wonderful parishioners of St. Peter the Apostle Church in River Edge and the generous participants in the Bergen Volunteer Center’s “All Wrapped Up” Holiday Gift Giving program.  This year the holiday season was brightened for a record number of 70 individuals who received an assortment of gifts including warm clothes, household items, toys, games, sporting goods and gift cards.

We Welcome the Following New and Renewing Members of hip for 2019:


Jeanne Aimone

Roselyn Altman

Peter Ambrose

Kevin Angelini

Carl & Janice Arnold

Matthew Arnold

Chandan Bagchi

Ethel S. Ball

Patricia Barksdale

Bernice and Barbara Baron

Megan Barron

  1. Baumann-Dasilva

Annie Been*

LaVerne Ben-Mansel

Gilbert Benson*

Darrell & Tamiko Bethea*

Christine & Ron Black

Paula Bloom

Jerry Bojko

Barbara Brave

Mario Brusco

Donte Bullock

Scott & Debbie Buckwald

Anna L. Bures

Mildred & George Bullerdick

Eileen C. Burke

Daniel Calabrese

Brenda & Jerry Calabrese

Tonielle Cardinalle

Irene Carley

Mary & Al Carney

Trish Carney*

Kay Chase*

Patricia Ciccone & Family

Jaesoon Choi

Sonia Cordova-Chumpitaz

Lillian Ciufo*

Sandy Condal

Barbara B. Comerford, Esq.*

Michael & Marie Cook*

Jim Corbett (RIP 2/19)

Alicia M. Cotugno

Jim & Jean Csaposs*

Ivan Cueva

Mary F. Culver

Howard Cutler

Joan D’Angelo

Carol Dass*

Jen’e Davis

Michael Delgado

Ralph M. DeSimone

Martha DeYoung

Anthony Dinaro

Marian and Karen Doria

James F. Dougherty

Barbara Dublin*

  1. Robert Duffy*

Dennis Dusevic

Patricia & Dave Ebel*

Austin Epstein

Lottie Esteban*

William & Stella Fellinger

Karen Mae Ferolino

Betty Fetzer*

Yolanda Fisher

Brian Fitzgibbons

Karen Fitzgibbons

Warren Williams & Virginia Flynn

Katherine Fotopoulos

Christopher Gagliardi & Lynda Monahan

Gerardine Galvin

Laurie Galvin

Glenn Gardner

Paul F. Gaughran

Dorothy Genoni

Eileen Goff*

Alan Gold

Patricia Guy

Alice Hamburg

The Harries Family

Alfred Harvey

Bojane Heap

Rick & Arlene Hodgman*

Henry Hof

Linda Horvath

Kenel Hyppolite

The Jacobs Family

Arthur Jusu-Davies

Hanneh Kalyoussef

Leah Katz

Stefanie Keiser

Timothy Kerr

George Kidney

Clark King

Joan F. Klug*

John Koch*

Lorena & Ana Kos

Adam Krass+

Diana LaForge

Jeanne LaRaia

Virginia L. Laughlin

Hannah Lawton

Louise Lee

Susan Lee

Dr. Marion Levine & Justin Schulman

Eve & Mort Levinson

Rhea Levy

Chili Li*

Gloria Lieberstein*

Judith Liebman

Roy Lippin*

Margaret Lusch

Joanna Mallard

Lorraine Martocci

Joan Martorella

Ann Melone*

Cobey Mayer

Dr. Frances Meyer*

Kathy Lynn Moore

John Mulholland

Madeline Murray

Sophie & Gracie McCain

Gail Frazier-McFadden

Brian McGrath

Anne & Brendan McMahon

Ann McVey

Anna P. Navatta, Northeast NJ Legal Services +

Leonard J. Nicolosi, CEO, North Jersey Friendship House, Inc.+

Hyacinthe Nkurunziza

Clinton & Josephine Oates

Jorge Olivares

Mario Olivares

Beatrice Olivetti

Michael Outwater

Chris Paraskevacos

Andrew Pecorella

J.S. Perlman & Company+

Daniel Pettineo

Ursula Pico

Marianne Pigoncelli*

Dr. Sandra R. Pinkerton

Jonathan Pixley

Anne Marie Prendergast

Cecelia Ragland

Joe Revello

Judith & Ralph Rice

Gilbert & Stephenie Robinson

Claudia Ross

Ryan Roy

Beverly & Dick Ryan*

Nita Salileng

Mary Sanfilippo

Marie Sawyer

Sherry Schulz

Stephanie & Barbara Seid

Laurel R. Seidler

Amisha Shah

Judith Shaw

Mark, Daria & Andy Sidlauskas

Barbara Simon

Chandravati Singh

Donn Slonim*

Lynn Smith

Michael Smith*

Jeffrey St. Germain & Family*

John Stanik*

Stephanie Thomas

Richard S. Touma

Janet Tolliver & Joseph Molee

Joseph M. Tomasko

Ivis & Alberto Trejo

Thomas Tuzzio

Charle Urspruch

Danny Vaca

Joe & Jane Valenti

Carol Viceconte*

Ron Vida

Anne Burton Walsh*

Philip & Linda Webster-Cennerazzo*

Joan & Richard Wechsler

Janice Willett*

Peter & Kathleen Wirt

Anthony & Mary Yorio*

Cindy Zirkin

Nancy, Barry & Cheryl Zweben                                           + = Corporate Member

Calendar of Events


Ballroom Dance Lessons for Individuals with Vision Loss

March 6                      12 – 3 pm        Temple Beth Or, Washington Twp
April 3                        12 – 3 pm        Temple Beth Or, Washington Twp

May 1                          12 – 3 pm         Temple Beth Or, Washington Twp

Empowering Women Support Group

March 21                     11 am – 1 pm   Bergen hip Office

April 18                       11 am – 1 pm   Bergen hip Office

May 16                        11 am – 1 pm   Bergen hip Office


Book Club


March 8                       11 am – 1 pm   Bergen hip Office

April 5                         11 am – 1 pm   Bergen hip Office

May 10                        11 am – 1 pm   Bergen hip Office



Ballroom Dance Lessons for Individuals with Vision Loss

March 25                    1 – 4 pm          Secaucus Public Library and Business Center
April 22                      1 – 4 pm          Secaucus Public Library and Business Center

May 20                       1 – 4 pm          Secaucus Public Library and Business Center


Celebratory Tea Dance for All Ballroom Dance Participants

June 5                          12 – 4 pm        Secaucus Senior Center

Youth Transition Workshop for Students and Parents

March 23                     2 – 5pm           Galo Community Center at Lincoln Park in Jersey City

Emergency and Fire Safety

April 4                         11 am – 1 pm   Hudson hip Office

Disability and Wellness Workshop

April 13                       11 am – 1 pm   Hudson hip Office



AVL Peer Support Group Meetings

March 4 – Young Adult Peer Conference Call

March 6 – Older Adult Peer Conference Call

March 7 – Secaucus Public Library and Business Center

March 12 – Fort Lee Recreation Center

March 12 – North Arlington Senior Center

March 20 – Temple Beth Or, Washington Township

March 28 – 5 Corners Library Jersey City

April4 – Secaucus AVL Group

April 9 – Fort Lee Recreation Center

April 9 – North Arlington Senior Center1111111

April 15 – Combined Young and Older Peer Conference Call featuring a Guest Speaker from CBVI

April 17 – Temple Beth Or, Washington Township

April 25 – 5 Corners Library Jersey City

May 2 –Secaucus Public Library and Business Center

May 14 – Fort Lee Recreation Center

May 14 –North Arlington Senior Center

May 14 – Young Adult Peer Conference Call

May 15 – Temple Beth Or, Washington Township

May 16 – Older Adult Peer Conference Call

May 30 – 5 Corners Library Jersey City

June 4 – Young Adult Peer Call

June 6 – Secaucus Public Library and Senior Center

June 6 – Older Adult Peer Conference Call

June 11 – North Arlington Senior Center

June 27 – 5 Corners Library Jersey City

Please call the hip Office to confirm that the meetings will take place.

Save the Date for Our Annual Picnic!

Tuesday, June 18th at the Englewood Boat Basin

Check Your Mail in MAY for Registration Information


Anna Navatta


Betty A. Fetzer


Richard M. Hodgman


Joseph Tomasko


Thomas Bengaff

Karen Canellos

Lottie Esteban

Roy Lippin

Hyacinthe Nkurunziza

Anne Marie Prendergast

Mary Turner

Brian Fitzgibbons, MPA, CRC


Annual Dinner Dance 2019

Annual Dinner Dance 2019

Saturday, April 6, 2019, 6:30 P.M. – 11:00 PM








Heightened Independence and Progress



Our Annual Dinner Dance and Night of Entertainment

With a Baseball Theme

Game Day:  Saturday, April 6, 2019

First Pitch:  6:30 P.M.

Fort Lee Recreation Center

Stillwell Avenue

Fort Lee, New Jersey

Here’s the Pitch: 

Join Us as We Welcome the Start

of the 2019 Baseball Season


Recognize hip’s Very Own All-Star Team!

Chris Black, Christmas Angel

Lillian Ciufo, Fundraiser Extraordinaire

Jean Csaposs, Multi-talented Long-term Board Leader

Eileen Goff, Founding President/CEO, Champion of Independent Living

Rhea Hess, Tireless and Dedicated Volunteer

John Koch, Outstanding Benefactor

Martha Mulligan, Christmas Angel

Stephanie Thomas, Tireless and Dedicated Volunteer

Batter Up

The Funds Raised at our Grand Slam Event will Support the Many Diverse Programs

that hip Provides for People with Disabilities

Step Up to the Plate,
Hit a Grand Slam and
Round the Bases


Takes You Out to the Ballgame!


Our Annual Fun-filled Dinner Dance and Night of Entertainment

With a Baseball Theme

Music by Entertainer Gary Morton

Dining, Dancing, Prizes and Surprises

Play Ball!  Get hip!

Saturday, April 6, 2019

6:30 – 11:00 P.M.

Fort Lee Recreation Center

Tickets:  $50 per person/Table of 10:  $475

VISA and MasterCard accepted

Advance reservations required – accepted until Friday, March 29th

For additional information call Trish Carney at 201-996-9100, ext. 11

hipNews Fall 2018

Heightened Independence & Progress - Our staff

hipNews Fall 2018


How We Spent Our Summer of 2018

hip’s summer schedule of activities started right after our successful Dinner Dance and it seems like we never stopped making presentations, participating in fun activities and creating opportunities for individuals with disabilities to participate in their communities.

  • Sponsorships
    • We helped to support two big Bergen County events:
      • The 2nd Annual Bergen County Care Fair
      • The Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Bergen County Division of Disability Services
    • Presentations
      • Lunch-time chats about hip at the Wallington and Ridgefield Park Senior Centers where we highlighted our Care Management Programs, Modification Access Project (MAP) and Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP).
      • NJ Stakeholders Meeting where we began our discussions with the community of veterans about our Assistive Technology Grant
      • Fort Lee’s “Proud to be Stigma Free” Day where we greeted members of the community to commemorate the designation of the borough as a Stigma Free Zone.
      • Community Development Block Grant technical meeting. hip presented on the “Safe and Secure Solutions” Initiative that will repair/replace locks for people with disabilities and provide other safety measures.
    • Events
      • The 30th Annual Bassmasters Fishing Outing – About 15 hip members and two staffers spent the day enjoying the sunshine and the sport of fishing.
      • The Aurora Nonprofit Challenge 5K Walk – This was the fourth time that the organization of concerned young people put the program together. The staff and members of the Board joined other organizations to raise funds for their specific causes.
      • The Annual hip Picnic – The highlight of the summer, which is always fun for hip members and staff
      • The 66 Days of Summer Calendar Raffle – We made our Friday noontime drawings special by having a different guest pick the tickets each week. Congratulations to our Grand Prize winner, Carol Dass!
      • Fair Housing Celebration – hip staff joined the Fair Housing folks to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the agency that fights discrimination in housing. Sen. Cory Booker joined the celebration and gave special recognition to Lee Porter.
    • Collaborations
      • Bergen County Workforce Development Board – hip’s presence is felt on the Executive Committee, Full Board and the Disabilities Sub-committee.
      • Bergen County Departments and Divisions such as:
        • Human Services
        • Senior Services
        • Disability Services

This August marked my first full year at hip and I can honestly say that every day was an opportunity to learn something new, establish important collaborations in both counties and spend time with our consumers. As I look forward to the next year I’m most excited to continue to work with the terrific staff members in our Bergen and Hudson offices. They are dedicated, committed and never turn down a challenge.

Brian Fitzgibbons,

hip’s Annual Meeting

Join us at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 8th at the Fort Lee Recreation Center for our Annual Meeting! Attendees will mingle, enjoy a light supper and learn all about the hip accomplishments this past year. President/CEO Brian Fitzgibbons will welcome Michael Dressler, Bergen County Surrogate, as our keynote speaker. The evening will also include election and re-election to the Board of Trustees.

The staff members from both Bergen and Hudson CILs will meet and greet attendees. We look forward to seeing everyone there!


 (1 photo)
Aurora Nonprofit Challenge 5K Walkathon – Saturday, June 16th at the Ridgewood Duck Pond

(2 photos)|
hip Annual Summer Picnic – Tuesday, June 16th at the Englewood  Boat Basin

(1 photo)
Eileen Goff presents her Russ Berrie Award to hip on Friday, May 4th

(2 photos)
Picking 66 $unny Day$ of $ummer Calendar Raffle winners

 (1 photo)
Jersey City Vision Loss Support Group on Thursday, August 30th

 (1 photo)
Empowering Women Support Group outing to the Bergen County Van Saun Zoo on Thursday, September 13th

Save the Date

Save the Date for the Holiday Party on Sunday, December 16th from 12-4 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel in Fort Lee. Join us for a wonderfully festive celebration of the season!

Have You Checked Out Our New Website?

www.hipcil.org is back and better than ever! Full of information, upcoming events, news and photos, our new website is loaded with everything hip!

hip Thanks… 

hip receives many contributions from individuals and the community throughout the year.  We thank the following for their recent exceptional generosity:

Mary Culver

Lois Frank

Eileen Goff

Kaplen Foundation

Leonia Lions Club

NJ State Knights of Columbus

River Edge Lions Club

We also thank all those who supported our “Big Easy” Dinner Dance, the 66 $unny Day$ of $ummer Calendar Raffle, and hip’s participation in the Aurora Nonprofit Challenge Walkathon.

We Mourn…

Olga Melgarejo, mother of hip staff member Maria Smith, who passed away in May.

Angel Aguilera, Gary Lemburg and Tyrone Towers, longtime members and friends of hip who passed away in April.

Joyce Rizzo, friend of hip who passed away in June.

Alicia Facchino, friend of hip who passed away in September.

Welcome to hip!

Tamara Clark

Tamara joined the Bergen hip staff in July as a Care Manager at the Bergen CIL. A graduate of UMDNJ, she has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 10 years. Tamara is a Care Manager and Support Coordinator for the DDD program.

Tamara resides in Bloomfield with her husband and son. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.

Jennyfer Paniagua

Jennyfer joined the Hudson hip staff in July as a Youth Transition Case Manager. Jennyfer is currently a senior at New Jersey City University, her major is Public Health Education. Jennyfer’s passion for the youth began when she attended an event called Save the Youth which was sponsored by Hudson CMO. She began working at New Care Associates as an individual support technician where she helped the youth with their activities of daily living.

Jennyfer resides in Jersey City with her husband and son. In her free time she enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her loved ones.

Jennifer Oyola

Jennifer joined the Hudson hip staff in May as a Case Manager. Jennifer earned a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies & Public Policy from Saint Peters University, Associate’s in Human Services from Hudson County Community College, and plans to obtain her Master’s in Public Administration. She worked as a respite caregiver which gave her insight on working with individuals with disabilities. In her spare time, she likes to volunteer towards helping the less fortunate.

A resident of Jersey City, Jennifer enjoys reading poetry, making people laugh, and spending time with loved ones. One day she hopes to start an organization to help the less fortunate and emotionally distressed throughout Hudson County.

Coming Soon!!

Safe and Secure Solutions

Join Us

2019 hip memberships begin October 1st!

Please send back the enclosed form with your dues to renew your membership for the upcoming year!

Personal Driver Available

Call Eileen Rogers 201-637-2230 (references provided upon request)

The 30th Anniversary of Bergen Bassmasters Fishing Outing

Saturday, June 2nd was a hot and sunny day – perfect for fishing! A group of hip members, along with groups from around the county, spent a few hours fishing at Darlington County Park in Mahwah. With the expert guidance of the Bergen Bassmasters, people were catching fish all over the place!

An entertaining DJ, abundant supply of drinks and food, and prizes finished off the day, when gold medals were awarded to all of the participants. Christopher Gagliardi also took home a trophy for “Strangest Catch” – which was quite a thrill for all the hippies!

Thank you to the Bergen Bassmasters and the sponsors for this wonderful event!

Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions

Recently Jayne Jacobs and Maria Valentin from the Bergen CIL hosted a six-week workshop to help people to better manage chronic symptoms, work with healthcare professionals, set weekly goals, problem solve, eat well and exercise safely and easily.

The workshop was titled “Take Control of Your Health” and was created by the Stanford University Chronic Disease Self-Management Program. The attendees learned a lot and we look forward to hosting this program again next year!

Adam Krass, Assistive Technology Consultant

Adam Krass, Assistive Technology Consultant, will be presenting at the Learning Disabilities Association of New Jersey Fall Conference & Resource Expo on Sunday, November 11, 2018. The conference will take place at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) Education Building at 2000 Pennington Road, Ewing, NJ. For more information call (732) 645-2738 or email [email protected].

A special thank you to hip’s new Life Members,

Donn Slonim


Philip & Linda Webster Cennerazzo!

2019 Medicare Enrollment/Change Period is Here!

It is important to know that the time has come for open enrollment for all individuals who would like to make changes to their Medicare coverage.

For 2019 Medicare coverage, open enrollment is from October 15th to December 7th.

(You can switch your Part D or Medicare Advantage plan.)

If you’re already enrolled in a Medicare Part D prescription plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan and you don’t want to make changes to your coverage for 2019, you don’t need to do anything during open enrollment, assuming your current plan will still be available in 2019. If your plan is being discontinued and isn’t eligible for renewal, you will receive a non-renewal notice from your carrier prior to open enrollment. If you don’t, it means you can keep your plan without doing anything during open enrollment.

Be aware that your benefits and premium could be changing for 2019. So even if you’re confident that you want to keep your current coverage for the coming year, it’s important to make sure you understand any changes that may apply, and that you’ve double checked to make sure that your current plan is still the best available option. The available plans and what they cover changes from one year to the next, so even if the plan you have now was the best option when you shopped last year, it’s important to verify that again before you lock yourself in for another year.

For assistance please contact the Bergen or Hudson hip CILs – our case managers are here to help!

Special Quote:

“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”

– Helen Keller

Cooking Corner

Turkey Chili Stuffed Acorn Squash

What happens when you stuff an acorn squash with turkey chili? You have an edible bowl that’s not just good for you, it tastes great too!


  • 2 acorn squash, halved, seeded
  • 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 10 ounces canned Rotel mild tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1/2 cup canned tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 tablespoons shredded sharp cheese
  • fresh cilantro, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  2. Place squash halves on the baking sheet, cut sides down. Bake until soft, 30 to 35 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, brown turkey over medium-high heat, breaking it up as it cooks into smaller pieces and season with salt and pepper.
  4. When meat is browned and cooked through add onion and garlic; cook 3 minutes over medium heat.
  5. Add the can of Rotel tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and bay leaf.
  6. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat about 25 minutes stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove bay leaf, flip the squash over and fill each half with 3/4 cup chili.
  8. Top with cheese and bake until melted, about 5 minutes. Top with cilantro.

To reheat, bake in a 350F oven 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through.


Stella the Duck

Stella the duck (and her 9 eggs) had taken up residence in the planter outside the Bergen CIL office in early June. All of us at hip were thrilled to meet her adorable ducklings after they hatched on July 4th! They took off for the river the next afternoon. We’ll miss our little duck family but wish them well!



Support Group Meetings
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
November 15
December 13
Empowering Women – Support Group meets every month on the second Thursday at the Bergen hip office.

Technology Demonstrations
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
November 14
December 12
Adam Krass, assistive technology consultant, meets with individuals one-on-one to demonstrate devices and discuss
applications. Call the Bergen CIL for an appointment.

Book Club
11 a.m. – 1 p.m
November 2
December 7
The Book Club meets each month at the Bergen hip office to socialize while discussing books previously chosen and offering ideas for future reading choices.

hip Meetings

hip Bergen Consumer Meeting
October 18 7 p.m.

hip Annual Meeting
November 8 7 p.m.

hip Annual Holiday Party
December 16 12 p.m.

Adjustment to Vision Loss Support Groups

Fort Lee Group 10 a.m. – Noon
November 20
December 11

Washington Township 10 a.m. – Noon
November 21
December 12

Secaucus 10 a.m. – Noon
November 19
December 6

North Arlington 10 a.m. – Noon
November 13
December 11

Jersey City 10 a.m. – Noon
November 29
December 20

Young Adult Telephone Support Group 7:30-9pm
November 13
December 4

Adult Telephone Support Group 7:30-9pm
November 20
December 11

In case of inclement weather, call the hip office to see if the event/meeting will be held.

Get Registered Now So You  Can Vote In November

Get Registered Now So You Can Vote In November

It’s crunch time for voter registration.

This past Tuesday was National Voter Registration Day, when leaders, activists and volunteers around the country led registration drives and raised awareness about the need to get registered in order to vote this November 2018.

Now, registration deadlines are looming all over the country.

Visit iwillvote.com to check your registration status and get registered if you’re not already.

Here at Let America Vote, we’re spreading the word and doing our part to get new voters ready to vote. Our field teams spent Tuesday registering voters. Our celebrity friends helped us raise awareness. We’ve partnered with 21 mayors on our Cap, Gown, Vote! initiative, which provides an easy-to-use tool for high-school students to help their students get registered. And, of course, we’ll be knocking doors on behalf of voting-rights champions every day until Election Day.

Here’s a recap from a busy National Voter Registration Day, where Let America Vote’s pro-democracy message was heard from Long Beach to Des Moines to Atlanta, and many places in between.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably already registered.
Make sure your friends and family are, too.



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