Dust off your dancing shoes, the Westfield High School Student Government will host its third annual Dance-A-Thon from 6 p.m. to midnight on Friday, March 23.
Students will break out their best moves to support this year’s New Jersey Association of Student Councils’ state charity, Good Grief, a center that provides assistance to children, teenagers, and families coping with the loss of a loved one.
In addition, a portion of the proceeds from this year’s Dance-A-Thon will help to pay for the purchase of new computers for the WHS library and a new LED (light-emitting diode) school information sign.
Krysta Huber, president of WHS's Student Government, explained that the purchase of a new sign to replace the current one on Rahway Avenue has been a long-term goal.
"LED signs are very expensive - they can range from $10,000-$20,000," Huber said. "So even if we can't fully cover the cost of a new sign this year, we plan to set aside funds from the Dance-A-Thon that will eventually be used for the new sign."
Huber said students who raise the largest amounts will be eligible to win prizes for their efforts.
"We will be awarding big ticket items to students who raise the most money out of all participants," Huber said. "Specifically, any student who raises between $1,000 and $2,000 dollars, individually, will be in the running to win an Apple iPad. Whichever student in this price range (who) raises the most money will ultimately win the iPad. Our hope is that more students will go above and beyond to raise a lot of money with great prizes as incentives. You're awarded prizes based on how much money you raise for the charity as a team and as an individual participant."
In order to help offset the cost of these prizes WHS Student Government is asking for the community's help. A donation form features a wish list of items that the Student Government would like to offer as prizes and can be found on the district's website.
"We would greatly appreciate any donation, large or small, in cash or kind," Huber said. "Even if you are unable to purchase an item, cash donations will allow the Student Government to have the necessary funds to purchase these products."
In the past, Huber said, approximately 20 teams of about eight students each participate in the event.
"Now that the Dance-A-Thon is in its third year, we're hoping to have more students participate," she said. "With more students in attendance, we will be able to raise more money to donate to Good Grief."
Local merchants have either donated food and prizes to the event or offered them at a discounted price during the past two years and will likely contribute again this year. In the past, Bagel Chateau, Philadelphia Pretzel Factory, Hershey's, and Mountainside Deli have been large food contributors, Huber said.
"We have also gottten prize donations from Turning Point, Xocolatz, Starbucks, Menina, and Lord and Taylor. This year, we are hoping to have more prizes available, thanks to donations we receive from the Westfield community," Huber said.
The Student Government president explained that in the past, the Dance-A-Thon has raised approximately $5,000 dollars.
"We are hoping to raise as much money as possible this year so that we can donate ample funds to all areas - Good Grief, new computers, and the sign," she said.
To keep costs low, Huber said secured a DJ at a discounted charitable rate who promises to keep the dancers on their toes for all six hours.
Please mail all cash/checks with the donation form to: Ella D’Amico 693 Westfield Ave. Westfield, NJ 07090 by Friday, March 2.
Please drop all items with the donation form off to: Krysta Huber 854 Knollwood Terrace Westfield, NJ 07090 (a box will be on the front porch for items) If you have any questions, please email Student Government President Krysta Huber at firstname.lastname@example.org