BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Allen W. Roberts (AWR) School’s PTA in New Providence had its “Spring Fling 2014” on Friday at the Berkeley Plaza in Berkeley Heights. Parents, friends, community members, AWR faculty and staff all came together to support the school. This year's theme was "When you wish upon a star…. Dreams come true for AWR."
AWR parents Steve and Jenn Kowantz and Mark and Suzanne Botvinis attended the Spring Fling. “It’s a great night and it’s for a terrific cause,” Steve Kowantz said.
“It’s a good benefit for the school’s students and the faculty.," Mark Botvinis said. "We look forward to it every year.”
Bette Schmitt lives in New Providence and is a former New Providence teacher. She was attending the Spring Fling for the first time. “I have heard how wonderful this event is," Schmitt said.
Jennifer Limone teaches fourth grade at AWR. She said, “All the money goes back to the school; so, I’ll do anything I can to help."
This year’s Spring Fling committee included Alissa Rust, Maria DeLuca, Ellen Johnson, Alissa Dorman, Christine Tallone and Jen Blougouras. Blougouras pointed out that they are all parents of second graders and they enjoyed working together. Christine Tallone said, “We all do it for our children."
Alissa Rust and her husband, Casey, are AWR alumni. They have three children, a second grader, a child entering kindergarten in September and a two year old. Alissa spoke about the importance of the Spring Fling and how the funds it raises will be spent. “I feel this event is so important to New Providence residents because the money goes to enriching the education of our youth."
She continued, "This year, the money will go toward renovating the courtyard at AWR. We are designing an outdoor classroom that will include a space where two classes will be comfortable in a cooperative learning environment. The space will include a stage, a greenhouse, a rain barrel for watering purposes, enough seating for 50 children in small groups and much more. The seats will be made out of logs from nearby trees that have already been taken down. We are working with a landscape architect to design the area to suit the children in the best way possible.”
Alissa also commented on the Spring Fling committee’s talents and dedication. “The women on the committee are wonderful. We all had the same goal in mind, raising money for our school. We started planning for the Spring Fling in August, and haven't stopped since.”
The Spring Fling is the largest fundraiser of the year. Last year, it raised $25,000 and it is hoped that this year’s event will raise the same amount. Many people took advantage of the pre-sale special that included 5 free raffle tickets. The price of the event was $55 for advance sales, and $60 at the door.
The Spring Fling included passed hors d'oeuvres, a full buffet dinner, dessert, beer, wine and the signature “Blue Ram” drink. There was a silent auction, Big Ticket raffles, over 100 raffle baskets, and a 50/50. Over $50,000 in prizes were donated included trips, electronics, concert tickets and sporting events. Dina Maher came from Cherry Hill to attend. She said, "I think the prizes are really super. The organizers spent a lot of time and they did a great job.”
Katie Ohnsorg was one of the many parents who volunteered during the Spring Fling. She said, “It’s going to be great and it’s for a terrific cause.”
One of the very popular items at the Spring Fling was the large, wooden flower. Each petal on the flower was available for purchase for $5. The petals were personalized at the event. The flower will be treated with a weatherproof agent that will protect it in when it is displayed outside in the Outdoor Learning Environment.
Most of the businesses in the area as well as AWR families donated prizes, gift certificates or placed advertisements in the program. Among the many valued contributors, ACCENT Printing Solutions on Central Avenue donated the program, signs and posters.