Tag Archives: charity

Lending a Fist in a Native Fair Havenite’s Fight

The following story was originally posted on Dec. 14, 2019. Much has happened since then in forever Fair Havenite Rich Chandler’s fight against a rare, aggressive form of squamous cell carcinoma. Updates, including the following post by sister, Carol, tell the story of Rich’s unrelenting desire to win his fight against cancer.

He has tried and will continue to try any treatment out there. He’s got the will, his family says with fervor. He just needs the way. And a little help from friends has never been needed more. Carol’s May 7 update tells a bit of the story. Daughter Kayla’s story of her dad’s journey continues with her Chandler Strong t-shirt drive.

Read all about it and click on the link at the end of the story to donate.

Your hometown community is fighting for and with you, Rich!

Carol Chandler West’s GoFundMe update …

On May 7th, Richard started bleeding heavily again and was rushed to Riverview Hospital. The next day he was transferred to RWJ for surgery to stop the bleeding.

At this time, Richard was told there was nothing more they can do for him.

He is now in a rehabilitation center. Upon release, we pray that Sloan Kettering, after reviewing Rich’s medical file, will take him on as a new patient and come up with something that RWJ team could not.

He does not want to give up – he is ready to fight!!!

Miracles do happen – please take the time and pray for Rich and send some encouraging words to lift his spirits.

With much gratitude … The Chandler Family

Rich’s daughter, Kayla’s t-shirt campaign …

He’s a dad. He’s a brother. He’s a friend. He’s a drummer who’s got the beat and fighting to keep it going strong. He’s a cherisher of life and love. He’s a native Fair Havenite. He’s Richard Chandler. He’s in a fight for his life and he needs a few fists full of strength, love, compassion and funds to help him knock out a cancer ogre and stand tall through it all.

Chandler Strong is what his family has dubbed his fight. And they, along with many friends of Richard’s, are in it to win it. It’s not the lottery, but it sometimes feels like a villainous game of chance to Richard’s loved ones. With funds depleted, they decided to reach out and ask for some help via a GoFundMe page to ease some of the heavy burden borne by the family as illness weighs down, but they’re determined, won’t crush Richard.

“I know I can say, and I hope one day MANY others too, that I am strong, Chandler Strong!” Richard’s daughter Kayla said in a post on a Facebook page started to summon more strength for her dad in the community.

“My name is Kayla Chandler, and I am the daughter of a (now) two time cancer survivor and hopefully after treatments this time around, a third. Surviving is not just beating something, but completely conquering it and all it has brought and may continue to bring. To see the fight is empowering and inspiring, but to be the fighter must be so much more than that … “Through strength and hope, I can only wish that over time it will help heal my father along with the medication and love/support he’s been receiving from the many beautiful people in our lives.”

Kayla Chandler, Richard Chandler’s daughter

“For the last four years, I have watched my brother, Rich, go through extensive surgeries and different forms of chemotherapy and radiation treatments,” sister Carol said on the GoFundMe page. “Unfortunately, this monster has returned for a third time.

“In December 2016, he was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of squamous cell carcinoma, originally located in his lymph nodes. It was then found in the groin region, and over time has spread to his urethra, upper thigh and hip region. To watch Rich struggle physically is breaking my heart because of the good, happy soul I have always known him to be. As if his medical issues are not enough, he worries how he will support his family and himself since he is unable to work due to his medical condition. The bills are mounting up!”

It is the sincere hope of Richard’s friends and family that he will soon, once again, “be able to do what he was born to do — bring his gift of music to the ears and souls of people again,” Carol continued.

Richard was back in his Fair Haven hometown, the place many generations of Chandlers called home, staying with his sister Liz.

The family, Carol said, is more than grateful for any bit of help offered to Rich.

So far, the GoFundMe fundraiser has raised $17,366 of a $25,000 goal.

Click here to help Richard with a donation — every little bit of which is appreciated, the family said.

Stay Chandler Strong, Rich!

Tradition: Rumson’s Toy Drive

By Elaine Van Develde

Santa Claus is coming to … the Rumson Department of Public Works.

That’s right. It’s that time of the year, on Friday and Saturday, when Rumson tradition takes hold and Santa, in the form of countless charitable elves, brings toys to the DPW garage on East River Road to bring a better Christmas to children in need.

But this is not just a toy drive. It’s an annual Rumson community tradition. It’s hosted by the DPW employees and the community as a whole, replete with holiday-appropriate hot chocolate, candy canes and yuletide company.

“It’s definitely turned into a big community event,” DPW organizer Mark Wellner said. “A lot of people stop down, bring the kids and socialize. We give the kids the candy canes and hot chocolate and there’s coffee for the adults. It’s really nice.”

Mayor John Ekdahl echoed the sentiment.

“The residents of Rumson are thrilled that the DPW department has for years taken upon themselves to run a Christmas toy drive,” the mayor said. “Different charities are chosen each year and the donated toys always find their way to the most needy children. The enthusiasm of the town is evident by the numbers of toys dropped off each year at the garages behind Borough Hall.”

This is the 15th year of the drive for which organizers usually set a goal of gathering at least 1,000 toys that will get funneled to the kids via Family & Children’s Services, Long Branch, and The Salvation Army, Red Bank.

And “this year we’re shooting for 1,200 or even more,” Wellner said. “We’re always trying to up that number and better ourselves to get more toys to the kids.”

Organizers ask that anyone wishing to donate bring a new, unwrapped gift to the DPW from 3:30 to 6 p.m. on Friday and/or 9 a..m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.



A Look Back at Sandy Charity

Clothing drive at Bicentennial Hall in Hurricane Sandy's aftermath. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Clothing drive at Bicentennial Hall in Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

By Elaine Van Develde

Generosity was overwhelming in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

When the call for help was sent out by the newly-created Sea Bright Rising, surrounding community organizations and just plain nice people, supply and clothing bins’ contents were almost spilling into the streets.

At one stop in Fair Haven, organizers had to ask people to stop giving.

Remember this?