SOMERVILLE, NJ – Four Girl Scouts from Troop 61281 are responsible for putting together Friday night’s Dance-a-Thon at the Somerville Middle School, with the money from each ticket purchased at the May 19th event helping to fund the purchase of books and construction of a “Book Nook” at the Agape House on East Main Street.

One of the girls, 13-year-old Megan Gonzalez, reached out to borough Councilman Jason Kraska, a family friend for guidance a few months ago.

She and the other girls – Brianna Stallings, Julia Puluka and Roshell Gean-Baptiste – are working to complete their Silver Award, which requires the girls to commit a total of 50 hours working on a project that benefits the town in a lasting way, according to Megan.

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Kraska met with the girls and their parents a few times, and together, they came up with the idea of the dance-a-thon to raise money for the Book Nook project.

“Whenever we have a dance at my school, everybody comes,” Megan said. “At my school dances are very popular, we thought maybe we should do that.”

Kraska asked Jonathan Reina, a borough resident and professional DJ, if he’d be willing to provide the music for the dance-a-thon; Reina agreed, and offered to work for free.

The girls have lined up 20 volunteers to help out at the dance and have made posters which are on walls and bulletin boards throughout the school. They’ve been selling tickets in advance.

Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

Megan said the recommended donation per ticket is $10 but ‘’we’re willing to sell for less.” she said. Entire families can pay $25, regardless of how many people come, she added.

The dance-a-thon begins at 5:30 p.m. and ends by 10 p.m. The Middle School is located at 51 W. High St.

Once the girls count up the money donated, they’ll sit down and decide just how elaborate their book nook will be.

“Right now we’re discussing building shelves and cabinets but that will depend on how much money we get,” Megan said.

The Agape House is a 60-bed shelter run by the Volunteers of America that provides temporary housing and case management to homeless families and individuals.

Necessities such as life skills, employment counseling, 24-hour staff support, clothing, child enrichment and transportation are available.

Call (908) 707-9753 for further information or visit the website online at http://www.voadv.org/family-shelters#sthash.Am2kakAv.dpuf