Like many businesses in Franklin Township, family-owned Venus Jewelers closed its doors temporarily to do its part to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Down but not out, Dr. Peter and team have been working from home trying to keep busy and keep spirits up. Always a strong supporter of the community, the team has been looking for ways that it could contribute to the community, knowing that many are affected by this pandemic.
FLAG ( Front Line Appreciation Group) of Somerset, offered the perfect opportunity for Venus to step up to the plate. FLAG’s mission is to feed the staff of St. Peters and RWJ Hospitals that are working with COVID-19 patients while supporting local restaurants that are struggling during this difficult time. Local residents Kathleen (Mcgrath) Foley, Denise ( Stuewe) Quenault, Sue Kachurik, and Christine Lavelle run the Facebook group that was just started under two weeks ago. With over 1000 members and counting, they’ve arranged dozens of meals from restaurants in Franklin Township and the surrounding area. These meals have been sponsored by the generous local residents and restaurants that have been donating on their Facebook page.
Venus Jewelers initially sought out a modest goal of providing one meal and offered to match donations until that goal was met. After posting the campaign on social media, the response was overwhelming. By day’s end, $1,835 was raised for FLAG between Venus Jewelers and its clients and Facebook and Instagram followers – more than 3 times their original goal.
Dr. Peter said, “We wanted to do this because we are a family business, and we know the struggle all too well of our fellow small business owners and their employees right now. It’s a small way to help other local businesses while acknowledging the tireless staff manning our hospitals during this crisis.”
FLAG’s organizers who are busier than ever, plan to do a little something extra with the money raised by Venus Jewelers by arranging an Easter Sunday meal from Stage House, a Franklin Township favorite. St. Peter’s University Hospital will be receiving turkey and ham dinners with mashed potatoes, stuffing, broccoli, yams, and gravy for 150 staff members.
The silver lining to these challenging times is, FLAG and the residents of Franklin Township have come together to show that by uniting our efforts, our talents, and our spirits, our community can and will overcome this pandemic.
Here’s who contributed: George Parais, George Exarchakis, Jose Sibaja, Maria Emmanouilidis, Spiro Moskonas, Fr. James De Fillipps, Dionisi Bourodimos, Demetri Apostolakis, Salvatore Scire, Thomas Abode, Danielle Russo, Harry Triantafillidis, Marisa Gallagher, Panayiota Kalimanis, Lorraine Farr, Ryan Lenczewski, Dimitrios Maniodakis, Nicholas Theodosion, Kirk Likakis, and Robert G., Lorraine, Farr, Joyce Miller, Tatiana Bacchione, Cheryl Palent, and Joan Simon.
About Venus Jewelers
A fifth-generation family-owned and operated business that has been in operation for 40 years at its present location in Somerset, New Jersey. Venus is known for its vast designer bridal selection, custom-design work, repair services and as direct diamond importers and was voted Courier News “Best of the Best” jewelers by the Readers Choice Contest. Visit www.venusjewelers.com for more information.