Giving Back

Summit High Performing Arts Educational Outreach Efforts Benefit Teen Leadership Program Through American Legion Post

Mugging for the Camera: Melanie Wilson presents the donation to Henry Bassman.

SUMMIT, NJ - In an initiative that will help send rising Summit High School senior boys and girls to the prestigious "Boys State and Girls State" leadership programs, which will be held in June at Rider University, the Educational Outreach committee that was part of the school's much lauded production of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" has made a $500 donation to American Legion Lindsey Street Post #322.

"Boys State and Girls State" are week-long programs that develop leadership skills in students, a direct antithesis to the satirical way men and women climbed the corporate ladder in the musical, which depicted 1960s office life where stereotypical career opportunities prevailed, particularly for women.  

“Coffee Break,” a lively song at the beginning of the show, became the perfect vehicle through which to raise funds.  Colorful coffee mugs were sold at all shows, with profits earmarked for the scholarships.  

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The bright yellow mugs continue to be available at MONDO, at a reduced price of $10.  

Education Outreach Committee Chair Melanie Wilson presented the check to Post Commander Henry Bassman, surrounded by post officers, and both upcoming and immediate past attendees of New Jersey Boys State and Girls State Programs.

Bassman said, "These young people represent the future of our community, state, and nation. It is our privilege as members of the American Legion in Summit to help them prepare for the responsibilities they will undertake in just a few years."

In addition to the coffee mug project, the Education Committee also collected business clothing for Dress for Success and Career Gear, two organizations that help less fortunate job seekers dress in clean, fashionable business attire to project confidence in their job interviews.

The Summit High School Performing Arts Department's production of 'How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying' garnered 17 Rising Star Final nominations, including Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical.

For more information on these projects, or to purchase a mug, contact Melanie Wilson at

For information on the leadership programs, contact Boy’s State Chairman William Rapp at

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