NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - New Providence High School had its annual PTSA fundraiser, “Under the Sea” 2014 Prom Fashion Show and Tricky Tray on Monday. It is the primary fundraiser for the New Providence High School PTSA, which raises money to fund programs within the high school, including senior scholarships, mini grants, in-school assemblies and special programs, project graduation and more.
The evening began with a wide variety of tricky tray baskets that had a value of more than $20,000. They included small electronics, restaurant certificates and show tickets. The co-chairs for hospitality were Diane Fay and Elena Coppola of Coppola’s Ristorante in New Providence. Coppola said that many of the models’ parents prepared the food.
Music was volunteered by DJ John Souren of “Club Souren.” Souren is an alum of NPHS and his son Johnny is a freshman at the high school.
The fashion show that followed in the auditorium included a full runway and an elaborate “Under the Sea” set decorating the stage. The show opened with senior Perry Spiegel singing “Beyond the Sea.”
More than half of the NPHS senior class, approximately 100 students, modeled prom fashions. The gowns were loaned by LaBelle Boutique of Jersey City, Lord & Taylor of Westfield, and David’s Bridal of Springfield. The tuxedos were provided by Coleman’s Tuxedo of Short Hills.
James Slater is a senior who looked forward to being in the show. He said that he was a little nervous but excited. Colleen Coleman also modeled in the show. She said that she was “excited and a little overwhelmed.” Another model, Jess Mead, said that she was “nervous in a good way.” She also said, “The dresses are very pretty and everybody is going to look great.”
The masters of ceremony for the event were Jon Keaney, Science Department head, and Walter Kempner, economics teacher, Financial Literacy teacher and coach of the swim team. Kempner has enjoyed being the MC for a number of years. He said, “I think it is a great event and I realize how important the PTSA is. They make valuable resources available for the students. This is a fun evening with the kids.”
Penny Vigilante and Kate Forbes co-chaired the prom fashion show. This is the third year that Vigilante has chaired the event. Forbes is chairing for the first year and she will assume the lead for next year’s event. Forbes said, “The committee has been absolutely awesome. Everyone has been so cooperative.”
The “Under the Sea” set was designed and produced by parents with the assistance of John Russo, who teaches woodworking at NPHS. Vigilante said, "Mr. Russo is a key contributor for us. He and his woodworking club worked long and hard to help us produce a professional quality set for our models to enter and walk the runway."
Beth Lust was part of the decorating committee and she pointed out that local artists, Jenn Bremer and Cindy Gelormini, did an “incredible creative job” with the set design.
Vigilante also commented about the support of the local businesses. “The local businesses have been fantastic. They support us each year, generously donating gift certificates, merchandise, event tickets, food, jewelry, services such as hair, nail, spa, massage, waxing and so many other things. We are so grateful for their support, and included all of them in our program.”
Over the past five years, the prom fashion show and tricky tray has grown to more than 500 attendees of all ages; elementary school students, parents and our senior citizens/grandparents. Vigilante said that the evening was truly a “community event” with students, parents, businesses and seniors all making important contributions. She also was appreciative of Lauren Zirpoli, the principal of NPHS, and the faculty and staff of the district for all of their support.