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Busy Saturday In The Eight Villages

Some of the bowls up for sale during the June 19 Empty Bowls fundraiser for the Franklin Food Bank.

There were a number of events in the township on June 19, including a business anniversary, a fundraiser, and the first area Juneteenth celebration.

Resta’s auto repair and gas station has been a fixture in the township for 75 years. The current owner in the family business, Frank Resta, held an anniversary party where the guests received the gifts.

In addition to swag from companies with which Resta’s does business, Frank Resta gave away three reconditioned cars: two to charities, and one to a township resident, Tasha Baldwin.

Introduced by Mayor Phil Kramer, Baldwin and her husband were shot on Dec. 23, 2020. Her husband was killed, but Baldwin, already the mother of three and pregnant, survived.

Kramer said he turned to the Rev. DeForest “Buster” Soaries of First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, who suggested Baldwin.

The organizations benefiting from Resta’s largess were the New Jersey chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the Matheny School of Peapack.

Here is the Franklin Reporter & Advocate’s live stream of the car giveaway:


Also that morning, the Somerset County Democratic Committee’s Black Caucus held the first Juneteenth celebration on teh actual day.

Juneteenth – a contraction of June 19th – commemorates the day in 1865 when slaves in Texas were finally notified of Pres. Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Pres. Joe Biden recently signed legislation making Juneteenth a federal holiday.

Speakers during the two-hour celebration included Somerset County Commission Director Shanel Robinson, Mayor Phil Kramer and U.S. Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-7).

Here is the Franklin Reporter’s live stream of that event, in its entirety:


Another event that took place on June 19 was the annual Empty Bowls fundraiser for the Franklin Food Bank.

Through the program crafters donate pottery and textiles, which are sold and the proceeds of which go to the food bank.

This year and last year’s fundraisers were hybrid models. usually, teh bowls are then used to sample soups and other foods made by local restaurateurs. Covid-19 forced organizers to re-think the program.

Here is the Franklin Reporter’s live stream of the event:



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