SUMMIT, NJ - The Millburn Education Association, NJEA and the Make-A-Wish Clubs of Millburn Schools joined forces on Thursday to host a special two-part event at the Grand Summit Hotel to raise money for the New Jersey chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
First, teachers gathered for informational workshops run by the NJEA and the Millburn Education Association. Lois Infanger, the MEA president, spearheaded organizing this opportunity for teachers to socialize and learn outside of the school environment. This year, the MEA and NJEA welcomed twice as many teachers as last year's event. Many teachers stayed to enjoy the second half of the program as the Night of Wishes festivities kicked off.
Melissa Clinton, twelve year Millburn Biology teacher, has been running the Make-A-Wish Foundation club at the high school for eleven years. "All of our proceeds go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Jersey to help grant wishes for children who are suffering from life-threatening illnesses. I hope that all of our hard work will bring a smile to a little boy or girl who is dealing with all of the hospital visits, doctors, needles and endless emotional pain. I hope that they get a chance to smile freely and live life the way a child should be able to!"
Clinton credits the 45 students in the Make-A-Wish Club with helping bring this event together. "A big part of this portion of the evening was organized by my club - The Make-A-Wish club at Millburn High School. Our club members have been going around town collecting donations from stores/companies. They worked on creating the program, advertising and lastly made all the favors for the event!" The club raised triple the number of donations this year and was optimistic they would surpass last year's donation total of $2,000. Clinton also lauded the efforts of the Millburn teachers and the NJEA group PRIDE that all helped make the evening a success.
Make-A-Wish Club president Rachel Broder explained her path with this unique club, "I was initially motivated to join the Make-A-Wish Club because my older sister was part of the club, so I joined as a freshman. It has been so rewarding to be the President of the club, and I really enjoy working with everyone to help come up with fundraisers and ways to help make children smile."
At the end of the evenings' excitement, the Make-A-Wish Club raised over $3,300 to donate to the New Jersey chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.