Giving Back

Randolph Resident, Valerie Becker Organizes Key Club Carnival Fundraiser for Morristown Beard School

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MORRISTOWN, NJ- On Saturday, May 10, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. the Morristown Beard Key Club is hosting a Spring Carnival. There will be inflatables, live music, carnival games, face painting, glitter tattoos, food and much more. All the proceeds will go to the Eliminate Project, a cause to help end maternal neonatal tetanus in third world countries.

“This is our first year doing this, so we’re hoping it will be a big success and become an annual tradition,” said Key Club President, Valerie Becker.

The Eliminate Project has joined with Kiwanis International and UNICEF to put an end to maternal and neonatal tetanus. This disease has taken the lives of almost 60,000 babies and a significant number of women each year. Newborns suffer painful seizures and extreme sensitivity to light and touch.

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“The Eliminate Project was the main charity this year that Key Clubs around the world are contributing to,” said Becker.

Each year the Key Club is given a charity to raise money for in hopes of ending that particular disease or illness. This is the first year that the Morristown Beard School organized an official Key Club. It took about a year and a half for the school to get a charter and pay dues to become a legitimate club. Seniors from two years ago initiated the club, but it took time for the club to develop.

Becker is a junior at Morristown beard and pushed the school to continue the Key Club.

“I live in Randolph and I know that Randolph has a Key Club, but I go to Morristown Beard and there was no Key Club. There was no community service club at all really, so we wanted to have that here too,” said Becker.

So far this year the club has had store sales that raised over $2,000.  They have also done several walks for a cause, and did a Cupid Walk this past February in Morristown to raise money.

At Morristown Beard there are only 100 students per grade. It is a co-education college preparatory day school for grades six through 12.

The carnival is taking place at the Morristown Beard turf field. The club has been planning the event since the Fall. They met with the Key Club advisor and the Head of the Upper School to organize and plan the event to make sure no sports games would conflict with the day.

The club also asked for funds from the Student Government Association for the carnival. The SGA granted them the money because it is a nonprofit organization that would receive all the proceeds. The money was spent on carnival games and the inflatables. All the food will be donations from local restaurants and diners.

“It took a lot of prep work going to places in Morristown, Florham Park and Whippany to ask for donations for this event. So we have a lot of sponsors,” said Becker.

Becker will be a senior next year and hopes to find some incoming juniors so that when her class graduates, the Key Club will still have experienced members to continue the club.

The Club hung signs in supermarkets, local churches, temples and elementary schools. Smaller signs have placed around town to raise some awareness for the event. They have also been emailing flyers to local elementary schools asking the principals to distribute them to the students and teachers.

“Maternal and neonatal tetanus take the life of one baby every 9 minutes.  This project works to end this. For every $1.80 donated, a mother and her future babies are immunized from this deathly disease.  It means a lot to help and hopefully prevent this terrible disease from third world countries. I can't even imagine the heartbreak and sadness that these mothers experience.  Being able to help would mean a lot to everyone,” said Becker.

In order to do away with maternal and neonatal tetanus, more than 100 million mothers and their future children must be immunized. It will take a great deal of resources from vaccines, syringes, storage, transportation and a skilled staff to end the deadly disease. It is estimated to cost $110 million.

“We really don’t know how many people to expect but we’re hoping for a big turn out.”

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