Arthur L. Johnson senior class raises money

Photo by Jen Rubino Beth Giannobile, left, a parent working to raise funds for project graduation, accepting a donation from a generous Samaritan.
Photo by Jen Rubino
Beth Giannobile, left, a parent working to raise funds for project graduation, accepting a donation from a generous Samaritan.

CLARK, NJ — The senior class of 2016 at Arthur L. Johnson High School in Clark is raising money for Project Graduation, a celebration for the senior class after graduation. It will be held just hours after the ceremony, where students will attend The Club at Woodbridge for a night full of entertainment in a fun, safe environment. Several seniors from the school’s baseball team are anticipating the event.

“I’m planning to attend Project Graduation,” said Anthony Rizzuto of the graduating class. “I’m very appreciative of everyone that’s helping us raise the money.”

The mothers of the graduating class graciously accepted donations on a rainy Saturday afternoon on April 2 to help raise money. They are dedicated to making the event a success by raising approximately $30,000 for the entire cost of the event. For years now, they have been doing as much as they can to collect funds.

“You should see these moms in action,” said Beth Giannobile, mother of senior Wes Giannobile, as she gratefully accepted bags of donated items. “They really rise to the challenge.”

Wes Giannobile is a player for the school’s baseball and football teams. Although his mom knows she will miss him when he leaves for college, she’s proud of her son’s accomplishments. She said although her son suffered an injury earlier this year, he still continued to attend games and practices to support the team. Even if it means just watching from the sidelines, Wes is a team player and a dedicated member of the senior class.

“I plan to attend college as a business major,” said Wes. “I will most likely attend Binghamton University in New York.”

The class is holding a “Shopportunity” fundraiser on Thursday, April 14, in the Brewer Recreation Center’s cafeteria from 6 to 9 p.m. Raffle prizes will be donated by local businesses. Orders for graduation lawn signs can be placed as well.

“The students are also going to receive a canvas duffel bag for college at Project Graduation,” said Beth Giannobile. “They are going to have a hamper and hangers inside them so they have what they need to live at school, although a lot of the moms are sad to see their kids go. For many of them, it’s their last child living at home.”

The graduating class consists of about 200 students, and the majority of them plan to attend Project Graduation. A comedian, tarot reader, and artist to draw caricatures are some of the entertainers planned for the night. There will also be a tug of war game and sumo wrestlers.

“I plan to attend Project Graduation,” said senior and baseball player, Tylor Mulroy. He wants to go to college and study accounting after he graduates.

The class has been fortunate to receive some very generous donations, and they hope to continue to receive support from the community. This is an exciting time in their lives, and they have so many goals and dreams for the future. Congratulations, Class of 2016 — there’s so much to celebrate in just one night.