I jumped for joy when North Caldwell neighbor and master organizer Carla Flynn asked me to photograph this year’s annual fundraiser for the North Caldwell Partnership for Education (NCPE). Ask a photographer if she wants to picture 54 adorable kiddos and their doting teachers on the runway to raise money for the local schools - and then count how many seconds it takes for her to start packing her camera bag!
This year’s fundraiser was a fashion show, held on March 5th, at the Montclair University Conference Center, at University Hall, in support of Grandview School (Pre-K-3) and Gould School (4-6). The children and guests had a fabulous time and made lovely memories while raising funds for our schools.
NCPE’s amazing team of dedicated parent and teacher volunteers executed the evening seamlessly. The children arrived at the beautiful Montclair State University Campus on a chilly but sunny afternoon for their early dinner and dress rehearsal, while NCPE team, parents and teachers helped get the children ready and the event hall perfected for the main event.
The models showed off comfy and joyful spring and summer collections by Pixielane JKK and A Spirit Animal. The theme for the show was “Kindness is Always in Style!”, and the Master of Ceremony Ms. Doyen read a personal quote by each of the models on kindness as they walked the runway while DJ Soni filled our ears with a musical feast.
I asked Carla for her take on the evening:
“The fashion show was absolutely amazing! The children radiated such joy and happiness that it filled the whole room. They worked really hard and were absolutely on point when it came to showing off their stuff! The entire community including many, many wonderful volunteers came together to make this event a success, truly showing that “Kindness is Always in Style!”
“This theme was chosen because we wanted to have a uniting message that kindness, friendship and understanding are truly important in society today. Many children are being taught these values at school as a means to stress social emotional learning and we wanted to perpetuate that message loudly into the community.”
The event had the highest participation in years from educators from the district schools. About 30 teachers joined us, as well as Superintendent Dr. Linda Freda, and Principals Dr. Mike Stefanelli (Grandview) and Mr. Chris Checchetto (Gould).
And may I add, they also rocked the runway, too, in style!
Mr. Checchetto said
"It was such an amazing event and just shows that our school community is second to none".
And Dr. Stefanelli added
“The NCPE coordinated another wonderfully successful event for the community and it was obvious that the students thoroughly enjoyed modeling the clothes".
Dr. Freda was equally appreciative of all the efforts, and celebrated the success of the evening saying
“The fashion show was another successful fundraising event for the NCPE. It was fun watching our students showing so much confidence and personality as they walked the runway. We greatly appreciate all that the NCPE does to support our schools”.
Thank you to everyone who made this event possible! And special thanks to all the donors, vendors and sponsors, including Pixielane JKK, A Spirit Animal, DJ Soni Seehra, Pamira Bezmen Photography, All Jersey Title LLC, Thinsters, Parm Crisps, Shoprite, Premio Foods, Haddad Plumbing, House of Hawley Realty, Brach Eichler, Rampineli Team Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Jacobson Professional Insurance Marbro Inc, Sponzilli Landscaping, Willowbrook Animal Clinic, Curcio, Mirzaian, Sirot LLC, Colacurcio Wellness, Andrea’s Festive Flair, Dasilva Law, Cloverleaf Tavern, IB Hair Studio, Rosen Affiliates LLC, Honey’s Kitchen, JH Paper Company, Jag Physical Theraphy, Tony D’s Pizza, Jola Coffee; in addition to the generous support of Families Galvin, Filosa, Atlas, Daly, Opper, Lefton, Cordovano, Dolnik-Colacurcio, Cap Gatch, Zurlo, Curcio, Wang, Cordovano, Chen, Stroever, and Rosen.
NCPE will continue to accept donations. If you would like to support our local elementary schools, please consider sending an e-mail with your intent to: [email protected]
This article and my original images were published in the April 2020 issue of North Caldwell Magazine.