Arts & Entertainment

Westfield Schools Continue to Aid Sandy Victims with Upcoming Rock Concert and More

Planning a benefit rock concert Jan. 25 at Westfield High School are, from left, students Alex Jeffrey, Monica Ludwinski and Alexandra Palatucci and band members Connor Wayne of Transit Radio, Al Grigg of The Flying Dogs of Jupiter, Mike Maguire of Transit Radio and Jason Ruggiero of Hammond.

WESTFIELD, NJ—Efforts to aid victims of Superstorm Sandy continue in the Westfield school community, with the latest being a benefit rock concert to be held Friday, Jan. 25, at Westfield High School. The event is being organized by a team of students, faculty and staff members at the high school who met several months ago to discuss ways to help.

“One of those first ideas was a benefit concert, and it sparked a lot of excitement,” said Alexandra Palatucci, one of the main student organizers.

Through connections in the music industry, organizers reached out to four bands that have deep roots in the Westfield community. They are The Flying Dogs of Jupiter, Static Jacks, Hammond and Transit Radio. The bands were started locally or include graduates or current members of the school system.

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“We’ve put a lot of work into the concert, and we’re extremely excited for the finished product,” Palatucci noted.

The concert will take place at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students in middle and high school. All proceeds will go towards relief efforts on the Jersey Shore as well as the high school’s Helping Hands Fund. Donations can be made out to Westfield High School.

Other relief efforts were announced at the Jan. 3 board of education meeting. Attempts to make the recent holidays a little brighter for Sandy victims included:

--On Dec. 18, Roosevelt Intermediate School’s Student Council presented the United Fund of Westfield’s Sandy Relief program with $856 raised for local victims of the storm.

 --Westfield’s High School’s Key Club raised $1,100 through its Stop the Clock fundraiser held at the high school. All the money is targeted for the Westfield United Fund’s Sandy Relief efforts. The club also held its annual craft fair for children, Winter Wonderland, on Dec. 15 with all proceeds going to the local Habitat for Humanity building programs.

--In addition to previous contributions to shore communities, families at Tamaques Elementary School donated dozens of holiday gifts and $750 in gift cards for families in the Atlantic Highlands who have been affected by the disaster.

--Through efforts led by Westfield High and Edison Intermediate schools, the community collected $5,000 worth of gift cards for Jersey Shore families. In addition, another $600 in donations, as well as several boxes of cleaning supplies, was given to a Barrier Island church that had been feeding and caring for hundreds of families for more than two months.

 --“A Jersey Shore Christmas” was organized by a niece of Linda King, the district’s supervisor of fine arts. District administrators, members of the fine arts department and the Westfield High School Choir contributed a total of $6,000 in toys, backpacks, school supplies and gift cards for families in Manahawkin, Seaside, Toms River and Silverton.

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