NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – West End Elementary School PTA, in conjunction with Ashley Furniture, will hold its annual basket auction fundraiser on Saturday, April 22. ‘Beth’s Baskets’ will be held in the school’s gymnasium with proceeds benefiting PTA-sponsored activities and events. Doors open at 6 p.m. with first ticket pull occurring at 7:30 p.m.

Formerly called ‘Basket-Palloza,’ the basket auction has been one West End’s largest fundraisers for more than 40 years. Up until 2012, the auction was held in conjunction with West End’s annual school fair and, last year, the name was changed to ‘Beth’s Basket’s’ in honor of West End’s late principal, Beth Sobel.

“Our principal, Beth Sobel, suddenly passed away last year. She was a huge supporter of the PTA, and left a giant void in our school, so we renamed the auction in her memory,” said Karen Maloney, president of the West End PTA, noting that after reaching out to Ashley Furniture for a donation, the Route 22 company offered to be a sponsor. “We wish to thank Ashley Furniture for working with us this year and their monetary donation to help us meet our fundraising goal."

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‘Beth’s Baskets’ will feature over 200 baskets and/or prizes divided among four levels: Level One (White) – up to approximately in value; Level 2 (Pink) –approximately $76 to $199 in value; Level Three (Blue) – approximately $200 to $449 in value; and Grand Prize (Gold) – approximately $450 and up.

Admission is $15 per person at the door (cash only) and includes one sheet of 25 level white tickets. Additional tickets can be purchased as well (cash only) with prices as follows: Level One – $10 for 25 tickets; Level Two – $15 for 25 tickets; Level Three – $20 for 25 tickets; and Grand Prize – $6 per ticket. There will also be ticket packages available for purchase and a 50/50 raffle. No credit cards or checks will be accepted.

Prizes include, but aren’t limited to, themed baskets, restaurant gift cards, theater, museum and sports tickets, a GoPro, sports memorabilia, a Razor hoverboard, a 40” Samsung Smart TV, Disney Hopper passes, an Xbox One S Bundle, Coach handbags, and tickets and backstage tour passes to Wicked on Broadway.

“We have some great baskets made by each of the classrooms, but we received many wonderful donations from Disney, Coach, American Girl, Wicked, the Musical, Great Wolf Lodge, Rebounderz, local businesses and restaurants, and a ton more,” said Maloney.

Proceeds from the basket auction benefit West End students through activities, events, supplies and other resources; over the years, the event has grown, with last year’s tricky tray raising $17,000.

“The volunteer parents of the West End PTA sponsor many events and activities for the students throughout the year, and do what we can to get them additional educational supplies and opportunities – all of which are funded by our annual auction,” Maloney said.

“One of the goals of the PTA is to continue to teach the children about character education and the value of growing up in a multi-cultural community,” she continued. “West End School is a Title 1 School, so, where possible, the PTA also provides community assistance for children unable to participate in school activities due to budget constraints.”

Attendees can bring their own food and/or drinks to enjoy throughout the evening. Additionally, the West End 4th Grade Committee will also be on hand selling pizza, hot dogs, sandwiches, drinks and desserts, with monies raised going to fund West End’s four grade celebration.

“Attendees can expect an adults-only night filled with fantastic prizes for a fantastic cause,” said Maloney.

Doors for the April 22 fundraiser open at 6 p.m. with first ticket pull occurring at 7:30 pm. Please note, this is an adults-only event; no one under 18 will be permitted. The event is general admission (no reserved seating) with tickets available for purchase at the door. For more information, email weptabaskets@gmail.com.

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