MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ - The Academy of Our Lady of Peace held their 20th Annual Trick Tray on Friday night at L’Affaire in Mountainside and raised over $80,000 for the Academy.

Event goers filled the forty-three tables of the banquet hall. A centerpiece of a blue or pink vinyl record and black musical notes stood on each table commemorating this year’s theme, Rock Around the Clock. Chris and Denise Reece handled the dinner reservations; Sandy Slattery arranged all of the décor. The disk jockey played classic oldies from the 50s and 60s.

Father Bill Mahon, sitting amongst friends of fifteen years and couples he had married, spoke to the importance of the Tricky Tray. “This is a fundraiser strictly for the school.  It’s the major fundraiser of the year, to keep tuition down.”

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In a corner of the banquet hall, event staff sold tickets to the three different raffles. The first, the “special raffles,” included a $650 Visa gift card, a Surface 2 64 GB, a 50” Toshiba LED TV, and the grand prize of a $1200 Visa gift card. The second, the “egg” raffle, consisted of only 300 eggs, from which two winning eggs were selected, earning the winners a ticket in each of the 222 prize baskets. A 50/50 drawing made up the third raffle..  

The 222 prize baskets populated the room adjacent to the banquet hall. Thematically appropriate, a cardboard Elvis greeted those who entered. The baskets lined the four walls and occupied the tables in the center of the well-lit room, which received a steady flow of bidders. Baskets ranged from gift cards to kitchen appliances to the latest digital goods.

“These great prizes keep the event going every year,” said Kerry Flood, who served as Tricky Tray Committee co-chair for this year’s event and last, along with fellow co-chair Jackie Callandriello.

Father Bill said grace, thanking the co-chairs, the parents who made the event possible, and the school faculty present. “We pray that all our students are at home, diligently doing their homework,” he joked.

The dinner included an appetizer of cheese and fruit, salad, pasta, the choice of chicken L’Affaire or sautéed filet of sole, and dessert.

Kerry Flood thanked attendees for supporting the academy and wished everyone good luck.

Both during and after dinner, Father Bill and others announced the basket and egg raffle winners. Event organizers then drew the special raffle, the grand prize, and the seven door prizes. The Tricky Tray concluded with the calling of the 50/50 winner, who received $1,385.

The combined effort of the students’ parents made the event possible. Much time and hard work went into planning the event. “These parents just knock themselves out,” said Father Bill. “They’ll start working on next year next week.”