BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Mary K. McMillin PTO held its annual MusicFest on Friday May 18 at the school, featuring music performed by Hoboken’s premier children’s band, The Fuzzy Lemons.  The students and their families spent the evening listening to both familiar and original tunes of the band.  "This PTO sponsored event is such an incredible way to engage the families of the school and enhance the feeling of community,” said Julie Nelson, MKM PTO President. Concert-goers also enjoyed pizza from Clemente's Pizzeria and delicious frozen treats from Rita's Italian Ice, both of Berkeley Heights.  

Nelson thanks the Committee Chair, Gretchen Szabo for ensuring such a successful event.  "The MusicFest is our PTO year-end celebration and a wonderful way for parents, teachers and children, to come together and celebrate a great year at Mary Kay McMillin," said Nelson. "We were super excited to have over 190 families in attendance with 373 children enjoying a night of music, fun, and nice weather.  Special thanks goes to all our volunteers!” 

Kindergarten teacher Karen Bocian, with help from other MKM staff members, organized a fundraiser game for the students in an effort to support a staff member's neice who is undergoing treatment for a rare bone cancer called Synovial Sarcoma. Each class was asked to contribute toys, goodies, and gift cards, which were then used to create amazing prize baskets with different themes like “Beach Day” or "Disney Fun". Children who attended the MusicFest had the opportunity to participate in the game, cleverly named “Emojis For Emily,” in hopes of winning one of the prize baskets. 

"The event was a huge success, and coupled with donations from the MKM community and staff, we raised over $3,400," said Bocian. "Emily and her family were truly touched by everyone’s generosity.  Thank you so much for your involvement in this fundraiser, whether you donated an item to a class basket, participated in the basket walk, bought an "Emojis for Emily" bracelet or tattoo, or simply sent your good wishes!”