Media Contact: Karen Ravensbergen / (201) 796-7788 / @carylcomm
Alfred N. Sanzari Family Foundation Provides Funding for Respite Apartment Renovation at HackensackUMC
Newly Refurbished ‘Suites on Second Street’ Utilized By Families of Pediatric Patients Facing Extended Hospitalizations HACKENSACK, N.J., March 30, 2017 – Thanks to the financial support of the Alfred N. Sanzari Family Foundation, the HackensackUMC Foundation recently celebrated the grand reopening of the newly refurbished “Suites on Second Street” at the Audrey Hepburn Children's House at HackensackUMC. The renovated and expanded suites provide a “home away from home” for families of pediatric patients undergoing treatment at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at HackensackUMC, a member of the Hackensack Meridian Health family. Also lending financial support to the project were the Congregation Ahavath Torah of Englewood, and family and friends of the Poupko family. More than two dozen local businesses donated services and materials.
Along with providing funding for the project, the Alfred N. Sanzari Family Foundation also was responsible for the design and construction of the renovated suites. The charitable foundation was formed in memory of the late Alfred N. Sanzari, founder of Hackensack-based real estate development firm Alfred Sanzari Enterprises. Two of Alfred Sanzari’s granddaughters – Benita Sanzari Raia and Dana Sanzari Jareck – oversee the Foundation’s activities and both were actively involved in every phase of the “Suites on Second Street” renovation project.
Formerly known as the “Audrey Hepburn Children’s House Respite Apartments,” the expansion and remodeling project was designed to make the apartments more functional and comfortable, and provide a quiet space where families can nap, shower or relax. There are now a total of six fully modernized suites (each with its own bathroom and kitchenette) including two Sabbath rooms for observant Jewish family members of hospitalized patients. The renovation also included upgrading the elevator to become Shabbat compliant.
“When Dana and I came on board with the Alfred N. Sanzari Family Foundation, our goal was to select projects that would not only benefit the community, but that we could be completely involved with from start to finish. Our idea of ‘giving back’ is more than just writing a check,” said Raia. “We called HackensackUMC to discuss the possibility of building respite apartments, and were told there were a few of these units sitting empty and in need of a little ‘TLC’ at the Audrey Hepburn Children’s House. We felt this was a great project to which the Alfred N. Sanzari Family Foundation could lend its support.”
Rabbi Chaim Poupko and his wife, Shoshana, raised more than $100,000 to help fund the Sabbath suites in memory of their daughter Chana Poupko who was treated at The Children’s Cancer Institute of HackensackUMC.
“This project has exceeded all of our expectations,” said Shoshana Poupko. “When a child is hospitalized, the details a family has to coordinate – including the logistics of traveling back and forth to the hospital – are enormous, particularly if there are other children involved. To now let these families know there is a place for them to stay on-site that is beautiful, brand-new and completely kosher takes a huge stress off their shoulders and allows them to focus their energy where it’s most needed, which is with their child.”
A Tradition of Community Service One hundred percent of funds donated to the Alfred N. Sanzari Family Foundation go directly towards making a difference in the community, said Jareck, who anticipates the Foundation’s future endeavors will benefit a variety of causes. “Our focus is pretty broad,” she said. “This project was healthcare-oriented but we are not committed to one specific industry. The goal of the Alfred N. Sanzari Family Foundation is to fill a need in the local community, whether it is healthcare, education-related or something else to help children. Future projects will be guided by causes that we feel passionate about.”
Jareck expressed gratitude to the many individuals and businesses that donated time and/or money to help make this project a success, including local interior designer Jennifer McGee of Jennifer McGee Design, Inc. and Michelle Lee of DMR Architects, who contributed their design and architectural services free of charge to make the new space bright, cheery and livable. “Once we started talking about how important these rooms were to families, people and businesses wanted to become involved. It’s easy to give when the cause is so wonderful,” she said.
The Alfred N. Sanzari Family Foundation continues Alfred Sanzari’s legacy of philanthropy and giving back to the local community. “My grandfather worked very hard to achieve his goals,” said Raia. “He loved New Jersey and his community, and one of the biggest rewards he reaped from his success was the ability to give back. As children he taught us to always help those around you. He was very hands-on and very much a man of the people. With this Foundation we are similarly focused on being directly involved and making a difference in individual lives and communities. I think this is something he would be very proud of.”
About Alfred Sanzari Enterprises
Visit Facebook or Instagram to see photos of the apartments and ribbon cutting ceremony.