NEWTON, NJ—The Newton Pride Foundation is now accepting nominee applications through July 12, for the 2017 Newton High School Hall of Fame.

The dinner, which is now an annual event, will be held on Sunday, September 24 this year at Perona Farms Restaurant in Andover.

Since its inception, the Newton High School Pride Foundation has accepted 57 individuals, 51 of which have been Newton High School graduates, into the Newton High School Hall of Fame.

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In order to be considered for acceptance into the Hall of Fame, the nominee must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Be a graduate of Newton High School
  • Be a current of former employee of Newton High School
  • Be an individual who has performed an outstanding service to Newton High School

The Newton Pride Foundation, which began as a unified sports booster club, was founded by Anne Dwyer, Betsy Towle, Nancy Martinka, and Helen Heckman.

“The Foundation’s early focus was on raising funds to build a weight room worthy of Newton High School athletes," according to a press release from the Newton Pride Foundation board members.

The Pride Foundation was formally created in 1994. The foundation, which operates independently from the Newton district, is focused around the “goal of generating and distributing the additional funds needed to enhance the quality of education of its students," according to the organization. .

It was not until 1998 that the Newton High School Hall of Fame was created and began the annual tradition of recognizing “outstanding individuals for their accomplishments and whose connection to Newton High School, along with their determination and drive has enabled them to have illustrious careers,” according to the organization. 

The Newton Pride Foundation, however, went dormant for a few years and in 2012 it was revived and continued towards the goal it was originally created for; bringing community, family, and school together.

The foundation hosts and supports many aspects throughout the Newton district including:

  • Halloween Fun Run-  in its fifth year this year and is currently scheduled for October 28
  • The Foundation’s Scholarship Fund- began in 2014 and has since grown from a $500 scholarship to two $1,000 scholarships awarded each year
  • Newton High School Hall of Fame-  reintroduced in 2015 with the support and encouragement of recently retired Kurt Walton

In 2016, with an overwhelmingly positive response, the Pride Foundation inducted six graduates and/or supporters of the Newton High School during the induction ceremony attended by more than 130 guests.

Throughout the 16-17 school year, the Pride Foundation sponsored several fundraising events enabling them to provide Newton High School with:

  • Three new refrigerators for the athletic department to support the booster club
  • A trombone for the band
  • Wireless headsets for the drama club
  • A scholarship to a Class of 2017 graduating student
  • Along with many fundraising efforts throughout the middle and high school

For more information on the induction dinner, to purchase tickets or to get a nomination form, please visit the Newton Pride Foundation’s website at www.NewtonNJPride.org.

Current Newton Pride Foundation Board Members are David Petry, Bob Woods, Wendy VanderMaas, Susie Hildebrant, Jenny Shotwell, Ashley Vanhaste, Pam Mickiewicz.