SEE ABOVE: Photos from the 16th annual "Lancers on Parade" Fashion Show

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Thanks to the record number of restaurant and clothing vendors that participated in the 16th annual “Taste of Livingston” Senior Athlete Fashion Show and Tricky Tray last week, as well as the support of the community and sponsors throughout the year, the Big “L” Club will present three gifts that will benefit the entire Livingston Athletic Program this year.

The most significant gift, according to Big “L” president Joy Bushwell, is the “Big ‘L’ Snack Shop” at the high school’s Fitness and Wellness Center, which will provide free after-school snacks to all in-season student athletes so that they can refuel and perform their best on the field. The Big “L” is already doing a trial of this on Tuesdays and Thursdays, providing athletes with healthy snacks like fruits and nuts.

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An additional two gifts this year include a donation toward the new baseball dugouts as well as a portable scoreboard for the new Madonna Turf Field to be used during games.

Despite traditionally raising funds to provide the athletic program with one gift per year, the organization’s fundraising efforts this year has enabled the Big “L” to provide three gifts, which are all pictured above.

The organization’s biggest fundraiser was the “Taste of Livingston” Lancers on Parade Fashion Show and Tricky Tray held on Wednesday at the high school, where a record number of restaurants supplied samples of their best dishes while guests tried their hands at more than 150 raffle prizes before enjoying the annual fashion show—featuring 102 Livingston High School (LHS) senior athletes modeling the clothing and accessories of local vendors.

“This event was extraordinary because it gave the opportunity for our community to come together with food, fashion and fun,” said Bushwell. “Everyone who showed up said it was our best event yet. It was incredibly successful, and in many eyes this event earmarks the beginning of the end for our senior class.”

The three gifts will officially be revealed at the end-of-year pep rally on June 8, where the Big “L” will also announce the male and female athlete of the year in addition to recognizing all of the senior band members, cheerleaders and athletes once again.

This year, the Big “L” Club has also expanded with the launch of a student Big “L” Club within the school, which currently has 15 members and is supervised by head football coach Robert Breschard. In addition to monitoring the mascots’ schedule in order to have them appear at athletic and other events throughout the school year, club members will also work at the new snack shop, film and photograph major events and more.

“All too often, juniors apply for colleges and don’t have enough volunteer hours, so why not join the student Big L?” she said.

According to Bushwell, members will earn volunteer certificates for every hour that they work for the student Big “L” Club. She added that both athlete and non-athletes are welcome and encouraged to join the club.

Premiere sponsors of the Big L include MetLife, JAG Physical Therapy, Levine, Jacobs & Co. and UPS.

Grand sponsors include Fidelity Paper, Eric and Judy Perlmutter, Robert Litterest and Team Gear, which supports the athletic program by providing many uniforms to Livingston athletes, including the football team.

Clothing vendors for this year’s “Lancers on Parade” senior fashion show were Nordstrom Rack, Wish, Like Wear, Complements, Lord & Taylor, Coleman’s, Marshalls, HT Boutique, Infinity, Vanilla Sky, Bridal Chateau and Men’s Warehouse, with hair, makeup and accessories provided by Dieci, Antonio’s and Midtown.

“Taste of Livingston” donors this year included Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, Anthony Franco’s, Argyle Market, Calabria Ristorante, Chian Garden, Dunkin Donuts (Northfield), Dunkin Donuts (Livingston Avenue), Eppes Essen, Il Ripasso, Landmark, Mitola’s, My Way Pizzeria, ShopRite, Sweet Basil’s Café, TGIF, Thavma Mediterranean Grill, Nero’s Grille, Nana’s Deli, Olive Garden, Pizzeta Enoteca, Rezza, Ritacco’s, Marra’s Ristorante, Swede’s, Lithos Estiatoro, Chili’s, Uncle Maddio’s, Il Giacalone’s, The Pretzel Factory, Seymour’s, Jim Johnston’s Steak House, Oriental Kitchen, Ritz Diner, Ike’s Bagel Café, Panevino Ristorante, Livingston Bagel, Marco Polo (Summit) and Jimmy John’s.

Raffle prizes were also donated by more than 150 local vendors from Livingston and several surrounding towns such as Caldwell, Millburn, Roseland, East Hanover, Florham Park and more.

The Big “L” extended its thanks the LHS coaching staff, the LHS janitorial staff, the LHS cheerleading team, the Livingston Outlaws cheer team, the LHS Jazz Band and all Big “L” members for their time and support as well as to Tutto Fresco of Livingston for providing food for the student athletes during the evening.

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