NEWTON, NJ—Teachers from Merriam Avenue School teamed up with workers from Newton McDonald’s to raise money for the school’s parent teacher organization with a pro-active approach.

The teachers worked behind the counters taking orders, handing out food to patrons. Some even cooked the food and French fries.

Students were able to see their teachers in a different setting outside the classroom.

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This fundraiser raised a total of $750 throughout the 2-hour period that it ran to help start off the year.

“We are humbled regarding our positive relationship with our local McDonald's,” Vice Principal Kenney Lutz said. “Todd [Morton], the owner and Bill [Russell], the manager could not be more accommodating and welcoming to us as a school and the staff that mans the restaurant is nothing less than first class.  They are so helpful and upbeat when we work with them, it is amazing.  We look forward to continuing this positive community experience for our children.”

In previous years this event has raised between $400 and $900 for the PTO. The idea started when Lutz contacted the management and owner of McDonalds, brought the idea to the PTO, and asked around Merriam for volunteers.

“Our first event, was the first experience we had with Newton coming into the restaurant and it went very well,” Morton commented, “but the second one was huge. The school did a great job promoting it on their end, we were ready for them and it was a great night. Teachers actually got to go behind the counter and see how it’s done and for the kids that’s obviously a big draw for them, cause they want to come see their teachers working at McDonalds. So it was a win-win for both of us.”

While Morton and the McDonald’s company enjoy the promotional aspect of the fundraiser, they enjoy partnering with the school because it gives them a chance to give back to the community they are in, according to Morton.

Russell mentioned that the first time the event was held, the lines wrapped around the lobby and there were no open seats to be found.

“That was before we installed the new kiosks. Now we’re able to get out more orders and while it does create more work in the back, it is giving the opportunity for more people to order and get their food quicker,” he said.

Lutz is hoping that in the future McDonald’s can partner with the school system in more events and Morton explained that they want to be more involved in the community around them and do whatever they can to help out the town as well.