BELMAR, NJ — A full-court press is on to bring a basketball court to the Belmar Elementary School playground.

The Belmar PTO is driving the effort after the student body last year placed a b-ball court on the top of their wish list for the school. Since then, the group has jumped into action to help raise the funds needed for the estimated $65,000 project.  

The ambitious endeavor will kick off with a major fundraiser slated for Friday, November 22. “Swoosh, There It Is!” is being billed as an adults night out, to be held from 7 to 11 p.m. at Beach Haus Brewery in its spacious upstairs taproom, overlooking Main Street at Eighth Avenue.

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A $40 ticket includes one free drink, and food from Brandl, Sweet!, Main Street Donuts and Spring Lake Manor. There also will be karaoke, an extensive gift auction, a 50/50 raffle and a cigar bar.

PTO president Carol Turano credited the group’s members for making a project of this magnitude even possible. “For the past two years, a great group of parents and teachers have been working together raising money for all types of activities and programming sponsored by the PTO,” she said.

At the end of each school year, its efforts have resulted in the surplus that has been carried over into the next year. “For this year as we realized it would be the same, we decided we wanted to work toward a larger project above and beyond what we budget for yearly,” Turano explained.

And that’s when the students were asked what they wanted to have at the school. “Overwhelmingly, the response was a basketball court outside,” she said. “Once some of the parents heard this, they immediately went into action and organized an event.”

So far, nearly 50 prizes and gift cards have been donated to the November 22 fundraiser. “We have all sorts of donations — big and small — coming from various local businesses, county organizations and larger national companies,” Turano said.

At its October 30 meeting, the Belmar Board of Education offered its support to the project, as Superintendent of Schools David Hallman said a local landscape company may also contribute its services to lay the foundation for the court, to be situated in the far corner of the school’s playground, near Railroad Avenue.

Meanwhile, it's full speed ahead for meeting the project's fundraising goal. “We are hoping we have what we need by spring 2020, and break ground during spring break or over the summer,” Turano said.

To purchase tickets to “Swoosh, There It Is!” or to contribute in any way to the fundraiser effort, email the PTO at PTO@belmar.k12.nj.us. Updates also can be found on its Facebook page by clicking here. https://www.facebook.com/Belmar-PTO-353012669982/

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