Cranford graduation fundraiser is a success

Photo Courtesy of Jackie Carr A Project Graduation fundraiser held at Nomahegan Park raises money to provide graduating seniors a safe and fun celebration.
Photo Courtesy of Jackie Carr
A Project Graduation fundraiser held at Nomahegan Park raises money to provide graduating seniors a safe and fun celebration.

CRANFORD, NJ — The Project Graduation Food Truck Music Festival was held Saturday, Oct. 29 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Nomahegan Park. There were 20 food trucks, 12 crafters, face painters, exercise demonstrations, kids’ games and local bands. The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders sponsored the fundraiser for Project Graduation, along with PSE&G, Cranford Municipal Alliance and Cranford Rotary Club.

“Project Graduation is a national event,” Cranford Project Graduation Chairwoman Jackie Carr told Cranford Life. “Cranford has been involved in the nonprofit organization, comprised of senior parents who raise funds throughout the year to host a party, for 28 years. This year, it will be at Ricochet Health and Racquet Club in South Plainfield, which will be an alcohol- and drug-free party for the graduating senior class. The committee raises funds throughout the year to pay for the graduation event. We have done so in the past with various fundraisers, but this year we created the Food Truck Music Festival fundraiser, which is huge.”

The event was expected to attract approximately 3,000 residents, and it has even attracted attention from surrounding towns as to how to organize a fundraiser of a similar fashion for their own project graduation. It’s expected to help cut the cost of the senior class Project Graduation night.

“Residents are completely enthusiastic and excited about the Cranford food-truck craze,” Carr told Cranford Life in an email. “The response has been overwhelming. As chair of this event and Project Graduation, I am so thrilled and grateful to have such an epic event.”

The food trucks offered some delicious snacks and desserts such as chocolate covered strawberries, waffles, ice cream and cupcakes. Numerous vendors selling jewelry, clothes and other items also filled the park. The weather made the day an even bigger success.

“The weather was awesome which really helps,” said Mary Sterling of Cranford. “I was selling tickets at the ticket booth in support of Project Graduation. I have a senior in high school, and this new fundraiser seems to be a success. It feels good to help the community and support the kids. We don’t have too many events at Nomahegan Park either. It costs a lot to provide the kids with enough food, events and entertainment to keep them safe and enjoy the night.”

Students of Cranford High School also came out to support their school and raise the funds necessary for their graduation celebration.

“I came to support Project Graduation,” Taylor Grant, senior at Cranford High School, told Cranford Life. “It’s also fun getting to see my friends. This is my graduating class so I want to support my town and have a safe celebration for graduation. I want to have a good time where we can win a lot of prizes. So far today I’ve enjoyed the food and music.”

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