See 2021 Uplifting Stories That Made Long Valley A Special Place

·3 min read

LONG VALLEY, NJ — Now that 2021 is in the rearview mirror, it’s a good time to look back at what was positive about it.

While Ida, COVID and pandemic problems caused heartache for many, there were glimmering moments sprinkled throughout the year that took the spotlight from the difficulties.

Read some of them below and stay tuned to Patch in 2022 for more. Hit the “follow” button on Long Valley Patch here if you haven’t already, to read Long Valley's stories in the coming year and beyond and the “like” button here to stay connected on Facebook.

Long Valley Business Gives Helping Hand To Ida-Impacted Families - A Long Valley hardware store and garden center hosted a pop-up donation event to collect some necessities for 300 families from the nearby community of Manville, uprooted from their homes because of Ida's floods. For Anne Marie Harrington who co-owns Long Valley's Hoffman's Supply with her husband, Michael, the idea to collect items for people-in-need came to her mind in the middle of the night, from seeing post after post on Facebook of the damage in Manville.

Family Project Helps Fundraise In Long Valley - Two brothers, Sullivan and Tobin Catalano, created a lemonade stand with their dad Rob this past summer. With the help of their mother, Jessica, they made cookies and lemonade, which they sold and donated their proceeds to Eleventh Hour Rescue.

Long Valley Teacher Takes A Chance On Game Career In Retirement - It was in the days before electronic games and cell phones that Lucille Ann Lucy, a retired teacher who grew up in Long Valley, was looking for ways to help her students achieve that extra edge in learning reading, math and other subjects. She came up with an easy solution, which later morphed into her "Play 'n Learn" games, through a simple math problem, now her company motto: "Play Games + Praise + Have Fun = Learning." Her game-creating career has brought her notice through publications, including The Costco Connection magazine and helped reconnect her with the mother of one former student, who had terminal brain cancer and that Lucy helped make a difference in her life while the young girl was in school in Long Valley.

Actress Who Grew Up In Long Valley Celebrates TV Appearance - She's a singer, dancer and actress and Ellie Baker has taken some steps forward in the acting direction, including a speaking, non-recurring television role, in an episode of the CBS drama, "Bull." Baker was humble about the advice she told Patch could pass on to other budding performers, borrowing some that Michael Weatherly, who plays Dr. Jason Bull, passed on, something she said, "I will take it with me forever."

Get To Know Neighbors Through Long Valley's 'Humans Of TCP' - Getting to know the community has been a focus of The Coffee Potter, a business started because of the community. When Anna Dower - a photographer and videographer in Atlanta who runs The Coffee Potters' social media for her parents and owners Dave and Geralyn Hickey - had the chance to take trips to Kenya with her parents, she said they all found the people of Kenya to have a true community spirit. "Do we really know our neighbors?" Dower said she and her parents would ask themselves on their return trips, those getaways reiterating the importance of getting better acquainted with people, after seeing the bonds between neighbors there. This was how the "Humans of TCP" was born, what Dower calls a "riff off of the "Humans of New York," where one story at a time is shared about intriguing people who frequently walk through The Coffee Potters' doors.

Have an upbeat and inspiring adventure of your own to tell in 2022? Reach out to me at to share your story.

This article originally appeared on the Long Valley Patch

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