Here’s how you can honor the young officer who died Friday
Family members are suggesting donations to two charities for those looking to honor Port Authority Officer Elise Bastardo — who died at age 24 Friday, after a car crash in Plumsted.
Port Authority PBA Widows' and Children's Fund
The family requests donations in Bastardo's memory be made to the Port Authority PBA Widows' and Children's Fund, which provides and maintains bereavement benefits for officers and their families in the immediate aftermath of an accidental injury or death.
It also looks to advance the physical and emotional well-being of widows and children of deceased officers. They can receive medical, legal, educational, psychiatric and social welfare help through the fund.
The fund has no paid staff — it's entirely manned by volunteers from the Port Authority Police and from civilian communities.
The fund accepts donations by mail. Checks should be made out to the Port Authority PBA Widows' and Children's Fund and send to:
Port Authority Police Benevolent Association
611 Palisade Avenue
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632-1805
The Sharing Network
According to the Orender Family Funderal Home, Bastardo's family has also requested donations in her name be made to the Sharing Network, a non-profit organization that arranges organ donations for New Jersey residents. Bastardo's own organs were donated.
There are nearly 5,000 New Jersey residents awaiting transplantation, according to the group.
The Sharing Network is part of the national recovery system, to help the 120,000 people throughout the United States who are on waiting lists.
It also works with hospitals and transplant centers to advocate for organ donation, and performs medical testing to facilitate donations. Its Family Services Division provides care during and after a donor family's experience, according to the group.
The Sharing Network can be reached at 800-742-7365 or e-mail email@example.com. It also offers information about organ donation online — addressing concerns about medical issues, religious concerns, donor consent and other questions would-be donors may have.
Financial contributions may be made via an online form, or may be sent to:
NJ Sharing Network Foundation
691 Central Ave.
New Providence, NJ 07974
Remembering Elise Bastardo
Bastardo died Friday, authorities said this weekend. She was reportedly driving east on Archertown Road in Plumsted on Feb. 6 when her Jeep struck a utility pole and overturned.
Authorities haven't yet said what they believe caused the crash.
She was taken to Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton, where she remained until her death. According to her obituary, she died peacefully, with family by her side.
Bastardo grew up in Wall Township and graduated from Wall High School. She'd been a member of the 2009 All State field hockey team.
She graduated from Rutgers University cum laude in 2013 with a bachelor's degree in psychology and criminal justice. She also majored in criminology, according to her obituary. She became a recruit in the Port Authority Police Academy, where she was selected to be a platoon leader, it said.
Bastardo had been a member of the 113th Police Academy Class and was assigned to the Newark Airport Command. She was also a member of the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association, and a member of the Governor William Livingston Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Spring Lake.
"Elise is remembered for her beautiful smile, adventurous spirit, and kind heart," the obituary states. "She was loved and admired by her family and all who knew her. She enjoyed living life to its fullest each and every day, and inspired others to follow in her footsteps. Even in her death Elise’s generous nature will touch the lives of those that she helped through the donation of her organs through the Sharing Network."
Visitation will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Orender Family Funeral Home, 2643 Old Bridge Road, Manasquan. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11 a,m. on Thursday at St. Denis Church, 90 Union Avenue, Manasquan. Entombment will follow at St. Anne’s Cemetery.
Condolences may be left online at the funeral home site.