SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – On the evening of March 27, the South Plainfield community united – separately, of course – to show their Tiger Pride. 

At 8:15 p.m., residents of all ages took to their front porches, back yards, front lawns, and driveways to let out their best tiger impersonations for the school district’s ‘United We Roar’ fundraising event.  In every direction, the sound of roars filled the air followed by sirens courtesy of the South Plainfield Police Department and Rescue Squad along with some unplanned yet welcomed fireworks. 

“I was fortunate enough to be in South Plainfield Friday night at 8:15 … on one of the streets by the board office and… it was so amazing to hear,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Noreen Lishak in her March 29 district message (http://www.spboe.org/news/what_s_new/update_message). “You could hear the roars coming from the right side, the left side, and from across.  You could hear it coming from everywhere and then the sirens started going off,”

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Lishak added, “The EMT had the entire rescue squad lit up and the police cars passed me, driving through the streets with the sirens on… I don’t know who was doing it but fireworks were going off. I heard people were playing music. It was absolutely amazing.”

Mayor Matt Anesh, who was remotely featured in the superintendent’s video message, added, “It was a great event. People have a lot of pent up energy and events like this, where people can get out and be together, virtually, are great.” 

In addition to providing the community with an outlet to join together – while maintaining social distancing guidelines – in the fight against the coronavirus, the United We Roar event served as a fundraising effort to help local businesses and residents in need. 

Over a week long period, ‘United We Roar’ T-shirts were available for purchase with over 1,000 sold by the March 29 deadline. All profits from the sale of the shirts, which were sold through Sportworld, will support South Plainfield businesses through the purchase of gift cards, which will be distributed to community families in need. 

“I was hoping we’d sell some shirts so that we’d be able to support our local businesses and, in return, help South Plainfield families during this difficult time,” Lishak told TAPinto South Plainfield on the morning of March 30, adding, “I never dreamt we’d sell over 1,000. The outpouring of support has been amazing.”

Residents who took part in Friday’s ‘United We Roar’ event were encouraged to record their roars and email them to the district; according to Lishak, over 300 were submitted. Videos, including a 3-minute compilation, can be viewed online at https://livestream.com/spboe/events/9064443/videos/203762968 and https://tinyurl.com/so68hpz

 “…[I]t was absolutely amazing. I cannot thank the South Plainfield community [enough], everybody who was involved in putting this together for the wonderful job they did,” stated Lishak in Sunday’s video message. “We united…Being there and just hearing it and seeing it happen was absolutely beautiful.”

“You guys are doing a fantastic job bringing the school community together with the entire borough. Thank you,” said Anesh. 

“UNITED WE ROAR. Proud to serve our Tigers during this tumultuous time! Thanks [to the] South Plainfield School District for starting the movement,” stated the South Plainfield EMS on their Facebook page. 

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