Sister 2 Sister Unveils ‘Serenity Garden’

Rikki Lyn Hauss talks about the Serenity Garden she designed at the Sister 2 Sister headquarters on Hamilton Street.

There is now a place for women fighting breast cancer to take some time and relax.

Sister 2 Sister – formerly known as the Sisters Network of Central New Jersey – opened its new “Serenity Garden” June 16 with a luncheon and tea party. The garden is located in the back yard of the organization’s Hamilton Street headquarters.

The brainchild of Rikki Lyn Hauss, Sister 2 Sister’s social worker intern who has been working with the women who have come to the organization for support, the main garden features two stone benches arrange din the middle of blooming flwoers and bushes.

“It’s a place for them to come for healing, for comfort,” said Dorothy Reed, one of the organization’s founders. “It’s a place for them to pray and sit still while they’re going through their journey.”

“Sometimes you need a quiet place to get to away from your house, and that’s what this garden is,” she said. “We want to share it with them, that’s why it’s open to the community, anyone going through breast cancer.”

There are also smaller patch gardens located around the back of the property.

“We have several little gardens for different women,” Reed said.

Speaking to the group of more than 100 women – mostly all sporting festive hats – Hauss said that “each of these gardens is representative of one trait that is necessary to fight cancer and win: inner beauty, empowerment, faith and hope.”

Cancer does not discriminate in its victims, she said.

“It doesn’t care if you’re black or white, speckled or polka dot or have ticks in your hair from working out here for five days, it doesn’t matter,” she said. “This disease teaches us what we’re made of and who we are. It demands us to be strong, to seek inner beauty and importantly, it teaches us so much about our own purpose here on earth.”

Mayor Phil Kramer praised the group for its work with women suffering from breast cancer.

“I appreciate groups like this that are available to people,” he said. “People need support. Your mind goes blank when you hear that diagnosis, and having someone to help you, to listen and to guide you is so important. You do incredible work here.”

Township Councilwoman Kimberly Francois (D-At Large), who sits on the organization’s Professional Advisory Board, read a proclamation from the council honoring the group on the dedication of its garden.

After the speeches, the group walked to a trellis which serves as the garden’s entrance, where Township Councilman Carl R.A. Wright (D-Ward 4) cut its ribbon.

Here are some scenes from the event:


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