HILLSDALE, N.J. -- A special yard and bake sale will be held this weekend in Hillsdale to benefit Joan's Jay, a non-profit organization that aims to protect children, advance victims’ rights and help homeless and neglected youngsters.
There will be racks of clothing, tables of jewelry, original artwork, electronics, linens, household goods, toys, books and furniture.
Baked good will be sold, as well. The organization welcomes donated cookies, brownies, muffins, etc.
There will be a petition out to advocate for the expansion of Joan’s Law, named in memory of a 7-year-old Brownie Scout killed by a neighbor more than four decades ago.
"It’s been a long haul and together we will make it work," said Joan's mother, Rosemarie D'Alessandro.
“No one can replace your hands in the circle of doing good,” said D'Alessandro, who made helping other parents and abused children her life’s mission after Joseph McGowan raped and killed Joan on April 1973 after she went to his house, three doors down, selling cookies.
The killing prompted the passage of Joan’s Law, signed by Gov. Christie Whitman in 1997 and by President Clinton in 1998. It mandates life in prison for the killing of children under 14 during a sex crime.
D'Alessandro wants New Jersey's law extended to cover those who killed those under 18. Lawmakers in Trenton tried earlier this year, but the bill got stuck in committee.
D'Alessandro is petitioning for a re-introduction. Her dream is that the state Legislature approves the measure and Gov. Christie signs it into law at the sculpture and garden in Joan's name at the Hillsdale train station.
This weekend's event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 14 and 15, at 45 Florence St., off Clinton Avenue.
TO CONTRIBUTE: The Joan Angela D’Alessandro Foundation, 45 Florence St., Hillsdale, (201) 664-9140 OR: Rosebd@email.com
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