MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ - Mountainside PTA's Fall Festival at Deerfield School exuded Mountainside pride while over 200 student volunteers helped to make the event a success on Saturday.
Jeanie Ruban was in good hands as she chaired another successful event on Saturday. It was full of good, old-fashioned fun.
The Fall Festival is a tradition that goes back a generation for Ruban.
"My mother [Jean Perrotta] was PTA president and she did it years ago and then they stopped it," said Ruban. "When my brothers' wives, [their children started at the school], they brought it back and I helped."
The planning starts in the spring. "We have over 200 volunteers, the cops come out on their own time, the Fire Department comes out to cook and our Volunteer Rescue Squad is here," said Ruban. "It's just the way it is -- it's a great town."
It's no surprise that this year's Fall Festival had a great turn out. "It really is our biggest community event we do all year," said Chrissy Kiesewetter, Grades 6-8 PTA Vice President.
This year's festival was complete with racing chickens, water balloon toss, burlap sack races, face painting, pumpkin decorating, bounce houses and rides, tricky tray, spirit wear, bake sale with candy apples and many organizations had tables while the local DJ kept the crowd entertained.
Along with organizations like the Mountainside Education Foundation [promoting their upcoming Casino Night], students set up tables representing charitable causes.
Eighth grader Abigail Lamera and a group of friends had a table with a raffle and sold bracelets [made by her sixth grade cousin, Jack Sandholm] for the Lite the Night Walk. This walk benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). "We made a team for Lite the Night Walk to raise money for LLS," said Abigail, whose father, Mike, has fought lymphoma twice.
Another group of students were collecting "Kibble and Blankets" to benefit the Penny Lane Dog Adoption and Senior Sanctuary, FOLAS, and Best Friends Dog and Animal Rescue.
Mountainside is a community-oriented town and the Fall Festival is a celebration of that spirit.