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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Chopstix has been an all-time favorite restaurant of the Teaneck community for more than two decades and its owners are grateful for the constant support and dedication. In a show of appreciation, 13 years ago they began hosting a holiday party, complete with food and entertainment. Owners Elie Katz and Uri Herzog thought, “Why not take this a step beyond and do something that can benefit others as well?” In lieu of an entrance fee, they requested that guests attending the party bring an unwrapped, new toy to donate to Tomorrows Children’s Fund (TCF) at Hackensack University Hospital. More than a decade later, Chopstix continues to celebrate the community as well as the young patients of TCF.

TCF was founded by a group of committed parents to help their children and others like them with cancer and serious blood disorders. TCF provides a warm, healthy and loving environment for children in treatment, as well as a large scope of services to assist families with emotional and financial stress. TCF also offers an array of activities, events, outings, special guests and parties designed to provide young patients with a brighter tomorrow.

The event is always well attended and the toy drive tremendously successful. Unfortunately, this year, due to scheduling conflicts, Chopstix was unable to host the much-anticipated party. However, they want community members to know that the kids of Tomorrows Children’s Fund still need their contributions and the toy drive will be running from February 25 through March 11.

“This is about people helping others and making a real difference. It is a special opportunity for Chopstix and its customers to give back together,” Katz said.

Susan Garbe, administrative director of TCF, has been involved with the toy drive for many years. Chopstix sends tons of toys that last the entire year, Garbe explained. TCF provides much-needed financial and technical support to families who are struggling, but they also provide fun, said Garbe. All year long the toys are used, whether for holiday gifts or birthday presents or even just as a pick-me-up on a rough day. Many of the children are at the hospital for an extended amount of time, and something as small as a trinket or an art project can really brighten a gloomy day.

Garbe became involved 15 years ago when her son was diagnosed with leukemia. As a parent of a sick child she was on the other side and witnessed firsthand the incredible work that TCF and its donors do. She started as a volunteer, and six years ago began working for TCF so that she could help families on this difficult journey. “Donations such as the toy drive truly support us with a different approach. Thanks to Chopstix we never have to buy a toy,” expressed Garbe.

Garbe has attended the Chopstix holiday party in the past and has met many of the individuals who donate toys to TCF. She is always amazed at the immeasurable kindness displayed by the community. For 13 years, Chopstix has been sending vans filled with toys for the children at Hackensack University Hospital. Help them continue this amazing endeavor by dropping off an unwrapped, new toy at Chopstix, 172 West Englewood Avenue in Teaneck, between February 25 and March 11.

By Andrea Nissel