Preschool Advantage, a Morristown-based, non-profit organization, held its 2020 benefit gala, “Rainbow in the Clouds,” virtually on October 14th. We raised funds to provide parents with the life-changing opportunity to send their children to preschool. We also recognized the schools, individuals, and organizations instrumental to the success of Preschool Advantage.
Over 100 people attended the event. Their donations will enable 45 children to attend preschool next year, an incredible feat considering the financial challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Major sponsors for this year were Anne De Silva, Adrienne & Dillard Kirby, Carol & Ray Hawkins, Foley Cat, and Kim & Finn Wentworth.
Preschool Advantage also recognized the former Executive Director, Molly Dunn, who worked at the organization for seven years before retiring last spring. During her tenure she doubled the number of partner preschools and placed 400 children in classes. Dunn thanked volunteers saying, “Preschool Advantage is a volunteer-driven organization and we couldn’t do what we do without you.”
The new Executive Director, Nancy Bangiola, discussed the importance of preschool and the organization’s mission to “give children a fair chance to succeed in life. We lend a hand to the people who clean our hospitals and stock our grocery shelves. They’re our frontline workers whom we rely on and we’re so grateful that we are able to support some of these individuals by providing their children with a high-quality preschool education,” Bangiola said.
The organization featured two alumni families at the event. Both families described how much Preschool Advantage means to them. Maria, a mother of three, was able to send two of her children to preschool with our help. She remarked, “Preschool is so important because our kids are the future of our country.” We also welcomed the Laypan family. When Erin Laypan was diagnosed with stage-3 breast cancer, she had to quit her job as a nurse to battle this devastating disease. Preschool Advantage paid for her three children to attend preschool while she struggled with cancer treatment.
Preschool Advantage is grateful for the support of the community and hopes to continue providing families with preschool opportunities they could not otherwise afford.
Preschool Advantage is a non-profit organization that, since its inception 25 years ago, has helped over 1,500 children start school with the skills they need to learn and thrive. To learn more about Preschool Advantage, call (973) 532- 2501 or view www.preschooladvantage.org.