ROXBURY, NJ - Thanks to the efforts of about 20 Roxbury High School students, who recently braved bitter cold and rain at an outdoor fundraiser, some seniors at the Merry Heart nursing home in Succasunna will receive miniature Christmas stockings and gifts.
The students, who are involved with the Roxbury High School Interact Club, braved nasty weather Nov. 18 to help the Roxbury Rotary Club sell and distribute fruit and pies outside the Roxbury Recreation Center at Horseshoe Lake Park. Despite the less-than-desirable weather, the students happily served customers while Christmas music and rock songs blared from a large speaker.
The estimated $400 raised on that day will be used to make mini-stockings and Christmas gifts for seniors at Merry Heart who do not have families with whom to celebrate the holiday.
Though the event was not mandatory for Interact Club members, the turnout was great, said club president Courtney Graf. Nearly two dozen students dedicated hours to the cause throughout Saturday’s fundraiser. With intentions to “brighten people’s holidays” the club decided to turn Thanksgiving sales into Christmas miracles.
All produce and pies were from Ovens of Ashley of Pompton Plains. They sold eight types of pies: Apple, Pumpkin, Key Lime, Lemon Meringue, Caramel apple Walnut, Peach Praline and French Silk.
In addition to oranges and grapefruits, the clubs sold fruit combinations featuring oranges, grapefruits and tangelos, and another one that included oranges, grapefruits and apples.
The annual fruit and pie sale is the largest fundraiser for the Rotary Club, said Rotarian Steve Alford. The club tries to sell about 1,000 cases of fruit and 300 pies in the two months preceding Thanksgiving.
Alford praised the Interact Club members for the creativity and energy they showed. "I asked the kids this year to come up with a cause and they called Merry Heart on their own," he said. "Out of every case of fruit or pie they sold they will get a portion of the profit to go to the cause they deemed appropriate."
He said the gifts will be brought to Merry Heart on Dec. 19.