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Coles Elem. Families Donate Items to Needy In Dominican Republic GIVING FROM THE HEART…Surrounded by her friends in the Hogar Dőna
Chucha Orphanage, Kristin Santin, center, a former teacher at Coles Elementary School in Scotch Plains, poses for a picture after 500 pounds of clothing, school supplies, and stuffed animals arrive in Santo Domingo.
By SUSAN M. DYCKMAN
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
Children at the Hogar Dőna Chucha Orphanage in the Dominican Republic, who received 500 pounds of clothes, stuffed animals and school supplies from Coles Elementary School families, were “astounded” by the generosity of their American friends, according to Kristin Santin who is serving in Santo Domingo with the Peace Corps.
Ms. Santin, a former teacher at Coles; second-grade teacher Jennifer Murphy; parent Pat Andrews and school secretary Carolyn Thomson were instrumental in coordinating the school’s Parent-Teacher Association effort to gather needed items for the children at the orphanage.
Mrs. Andrews credited her thirdgrade daughter, Allison, with coming up with the idea.
“Ms. Santin had written her about how desperately poor the people were,” explained Mrs. Andrews. “She said, ‘the children played in the streets, yet they were happy and there
was always music playing.’” After receiving her former teacher’s letter, Allison asked, “Mommy, wouldn’t it be nice if we could do something?.”
The Andrews stored the contributions in their garage as they came in from Coles’ families through several months, as delivery possibilities were explored.
“It was much harder than I expected,” admitted Mrs. Andrews, “so much red tape.”
While vacationing in Florida during the spring, Mrs. Thomson read about the World Relief Organization (WRO)’s efforts to help hurricane victims.
She contacted the organization upon her return to school. WRO, in turn, approached American Airlines at JFK Airport and asked them to ship the donations to Ms. Santin in the Dominican Republic. WRO agreed to pick up the tab from the airline.
“Fortunately, it all worked out wonderfully,” said Mrs. Andrews.
In her thank-you letter to the school, Ms. Santin wrote, “The clothes and school supplies were very much in need and will go to very good use. Thank you for sending such a variety. Every child got at least two pieces of clothing.”
There are 250 children in the orphanage.
In looking over the pictures Ms. Santin included with the thank-you notes, Allison spied a little girl with a purse that she, herself, had contributed.
“It was so neat,” said her mother.
Safety Tips For Grads, Prom Offered By Alliance, PANDA
As the prom and graduation approaches for Westfield High School seniors, the Westfield community is striving to provide safe and fun activities for its youth.
This year the Junior/ Senior Prom, with the theme “This Is the Time”, is being held on Friday, May 28, at the Hyatt Hotel in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
In support of a safe night, the Westfield Municipal Alliance/ PANDA distributes Prom Notes through our community florists and tuxedo shops.
This year Meeker’s, Vance, McEwen’s, Scarlet Begonias and the Flower Basket florists as well as Moonlight, Dante and Continental Tailoring tuxedo shops will help to put these notes into the corsages, boutonnieres and tuxedoes that go to juniors and seniors.
This year’s Prom Note message, written by the members of the REACH program at Westfield High School, hopes that everyone “has a wonderful time” and that they “enjoy many more wonderful times with [their] friends and family.” It also reminds juniors and seniors, “Please Don’t Drink and Drive.”
On Sunday, June 20, graduation night, starting from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., seniors are invited to an allnight substance free party held at the Richochet Health and Racquet Club. Bash ’99, Westfield’s Project Graduation, is co-sponsored by the Optimist Club of Westfield, the Westfield High School Parent-Teacher Organization and the Westfield Recreation Commission.
Many activities will be available such as racquetball, swimming, basketball, volleyball, sumo wrestling, lip-synch contests and dancing. Door
prizes and food are provided continuously and all seniors receive a gift at the BASH.
To volunteer or donate a gift, please call Don Pray at (908) 232-9584.
The Westfield Municipal Alliance offers the following tips for parents for preand post-prom and graduation parties as well as parties in general.
If the party is in your home: greet all guests at the door and beware of guests who arrive more than half an hour late. Guests should be by invitation only. Do not allow party crashers to stay. Do not allow kids to come and go. They may leave to drink and then want to return. Do not allow open containers of sodas or other beverages to be brought into the home. Provide all refreshments. Be visible at the party. Call parents of anyone under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
If your child is going to a party at a friend’s home: call the host parents to verify that an adult will be present and that the party will be substance free. Don’t pressure kids to attend parties they do not want to go to — they may have good reasons for not wanting to go. Talk to your child when he or she comes home. If you know of a party where alcohol is being served or where chaperones are not present, report it to the Westfield police. You can remain anonymous.
In New Jersey, parents can be sued for injury to a minor they have allowed to consume alcohol and for destruction that the minor causes. Also, adults who allow alcohol to be served to anyone under the legal drinking age (except blood relatives) may be subject to arrest and prosecution.
Scotch Plains Library Announces Closings For New Renovations
SCOTCH PLAINS — The Scotch Plains Public Library will be closed on Thursday, May 27, to Monday, May 31, and will re-open on Tuesday, June 1, with new carpeting, new lighting and a new Circulation Desk and workstations for the Public Access Catalogue.
COMPUTER WINNER…The Grand Prize Winner of a brand new Pentium Multimedia Computer System is Jane Francz of Westfield. The computer and color monitor were donated by CompUSA of Springfield at the recent Passport to Education Dinner-Dance Benefit which was co-sponsored by The Education Fund of Westfield and Comcast@Home to benefit technology in the Westfield Public Schools. Pictured, left to right, are: Debbie Walker of Comcast@Home, Joseph Divizio of CompUSA, Mrs. Francz and Carolyn Fleder of The Education Fund of Westfield.
Tamaques Students Featured On TV Program, ‘The Edge’
WESTFIELD — The fourth-grade class at Tamaques Elementary School was featured on CNBC’s “The Edge” program on April 23 as Westfield resident and Merrill Lynch Vice President Mitch Slater spoke to them about the basics of savings and investing.
April was International Savings Month and Merrill Lynch conducted “Teach-In’s” all over America.
CNBC picked Westfield to feature on their program.
The class learned about budgeting, allowances and how important it is to begin saving at this early age. Mr. Slater presented the class with a special “Money Matters” version of the popular Brain Quest question and answer game, as well as special comic books featuring Saving Dave and the Compounders.
To view the piece that aired on CNBC you can go to Merrill Lynch’s web site at www.ml.com.
Biking, Boarding, Skating Is Offered by Westfield ‘Y’ BIKING FUN…Kevin MacDonald, a seventh-grade student at Roosevelt Inter
mediate School in Westfield, is shown performing tricks on his bike during an after-school program sponsored by the Westfield ‘Y’.
WESTFIELD – The Westfield YMCA runs an after-school program on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Roosevelt Intermediate School to teach youth skills and repair tips on skateboards, rollerblades and bikes.
The Westfield YMCA’s Teen Director, Susan Applebaum, Marty Collett, a youth worker and skateboarder from Cranford, and Kyle Davidson, a youth volunteer from Westfield High School, run the program.
“Teens tell us that we, as adults, ask youth what is important to them but we don’t ever really do what they’ve asked of us,” said Ms. Applebaum. “A place with ramps to board, blade and bike was one of the things they wanted. Now with the cooperation of Ken Shulack, Principal of Roosevelt Middle School, the Westfield “Y,” and ramps donated by the American Ramp Company, we’ve provided a program and place for them to practice their sport.”
On Tuesdays, middle schoolers gather to skateboard and blade in the Roosevelt Middle School gym. On Thursdays, the ramps are moved outside for BMX biking. Helmets, elbow and knee pads are required to participate in both programs.
In addition, on Sunday, June 13, the Westfield “Y” will sponsor
“Teenxtreme,” a rollerblading, skateboarding and BMX biking exhibition at the Westfield Armory from noon to 5 p.m. There will be an open skate before and after the exhibition, which will feature nationally sponsored teams, vendors and prizes.
Tickets are $5 before Tuesday, June 8, and are available at the Westfield “Y” and $7 at the door. For more information, please call Sue Applebaum at (908) 233-2700, Extension No. 270.
Mountainside Still Has Mets Tickets Available
MOUNTAINSIDE — The Mountainside Recreation Department still has tickets available for the Mets versus Boston baseball trip on Sunday, June 13. The game starts at 1:40 p.m.
The registration fee for the Mets game is $28 per person and includes ticket and bus transportation. The bus will leave Deerfield school at 11 a.m. and will return after the game.
Children must be accompanied by an adult. Registrations are being accepted at the Recreation Office at Borough Hall, and additional information is available by calling (908) 232-0015.
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