NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Only in a school district as great as New Providence would parents "gamble" on their children's education. On Saturday, Jan.12, the New Providence Education Foundation continued to give back to the school system at its annual Casino Royale Night at the Senior Center.

The New Providence Education Foundation was formed in 2004 with the charter to generate and allocate resources that will enhance the educational experiences of students in the New Providence Public Schools, foster partnerships between the New Providence Public Schools and the community to enrich the educational programs in the schools, and support new and innovative educational programs that are otherwise not funded through traditional sources.

The fundraiser was chaired by Melissa Vetter and Teri Covello and featured several casino games. All of the proceeds went to the Education Foundation and winners had the opportunity to claim prizes from the numerous donated items from local businesses. Some of the things available to win were an iPad, sports memorabilia, gift cards, and jewelry making and tennis lessons from district teachers.

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The event is normally held in the fall, so the money raised can help the district for the entire school year, but for the second year in a row, weather delayed it. The NPEF has contributed to the funding for smart boards, iPads, audible books and book club books.

NPEF President Hugo Barth, who has four kids in the school system, said it’s important to be involved with organizations like this. With limits on what the Board of Education can do financially, the FPEF's support is important, he said.

“It’s a great mission,” he said.

Superintendent David Miceli attended the event and tried his hand at blackjack. Miceli had nothing but praise for the NPEF and said because of the fiscal constraints on the board, they do a great deal for the district and should not go unnoticed.

He and a liaison from the board go to all of the NPEF meetings because all the teachers' grants go through him and they are then given to the Education Fund.

“It’s very much a supplement in terms of the operating budget,” Miceli said.

Kim Murer, who has two children at Salt Brook and one at the Middle School, participates in all of the education fund events and is on the PTA at Salt Brook as well.

“It’s a wonderful organization that does so much for the community and the schools,” Murer said.