SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Few “ladies’ night outs” start with a moment of silence.  But this year, as nearly 300 supporters of the Mountainside PTO’s annual Spring Fling Fundraiser convened at the Hilton Garden Inn in Springfield, the mood was bittersweet.

Still freshly mourning the loss of Miss Meghan Crilly, a beloved elementary school teacher whose life was cut short from injuries sustained from a hit-and-run accident earlier this year, the evening began with a tribute to the young woman who touched every heart she encountered. 

In celebration of Meghan’s life and vibrant spirit, and so her positive influence continues to benefit her students, together with her parents, the PTO established the Meghan Crilly Spirit Scholarship. A portion of the proceeds from the 50/50 raffle reportedly raised $1000 from this inaugural event, and will be awarded to a graduating Deerfield student who was taught by Ms. Crilly during her tenure at Mountainside schools. 

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Borough resident Cheryl Stankov, who, like many in the school community, were privileged to know the beloved teacher, said, “Ms. Crilly was truly an inspiration.  She was kind, caring and loved by many; I will always remember her generous smile.” 

Chief School Administrator Dr. Nancy Lubarsky told TAPinto Mountainside, “In good times, and in times of crisis, the PTO never fails to support the district.  The bottom line is: they are there — at every level.”  Dr. Lubarsky also noted that a committee is being formed to create additional memorials to Meghan.

The outpouring from parents, teachers, businesses, and local organizations was evident in the plethora of merchandise which was elegantly wrapped by volunteers, and subsequently raffled off to lucky winners at the Spring Fling. 

Event Co-chairs Dana Guidicipietro, Danielle McLaughlin and Jovan Siconolfi, along with team leaders handing more than a dozen subcommittees, orchestrated the outstanding program that will benefit the children of Mountainside’s public schools.

More than 150 gift baskets, as well as numerous valuable prizes bid either by silent or live auction raised money that will aid funding for class trips, book and science fairs, games, sports and dance nights, and many more fun and educational programs.  With the generous outpouring from the community, the PTO continues to enhance the stellar reputation the Mountainside school district is known for.   

Please click on the photo gallery to enjoy snapshots from the event.