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Seraphs in Middletown
Mater Dei Prep Students’ Voices Heard in Call to Save Their School
Students Fundraising Through Social Media and Rock ‘n’ Roll
Middletown –Social media and music are two things often associated with teenagers. The students at Mater Dei Prep are using both to help their school open in September and remain open for years to come.
No one group was more affected by the announcement on February 3 that the school’s doors would close on June 30 due to financial difficulties than the student body. Rather than accepting their fate, the students chose to marshal their creativity, intellect and skills to join the Save the Seraphs Campaign.
Almost immediately the “savetheseraphs” hashtag popped up on Twitter and Instagram. Students initiated the “One in a Million” campaign for Catholic schools in New Jersey. Through the campaign, students at other schools are asked to donate $1 and sign their name to an MDP shield. The signed shields are being displayed throughout the halls of Mater Dei Prep. Students also created Save the Seraphs rubber wristbands which are being sold for $5 each at events.
To raise awareness about the school’s plight, the students also participated in the making of a video that they hope will go viral, bringing national attention to the Save the Seraphs campaign. The video can be viewed on YouTube at http://youtu.be/q34LRAAvYj4.
According to the administration, the video came about when “filmmaker Gary Gellman of Gellman Images approached Mater Dei Prep about helping because he was saddened to hear the Catholic school may close. Gary and his family have no ties to the school but he thought he could assist using his God-given talents.”
Mater Dei Prep has a rich musical history, from its award-winning performing arts program to its unique “Cabaret Fridays,” where students gather in the school lobby to watch musical performances by their peers. MDP teacher and Musical Director, Cindy J. Dwyer, who runs the cabarets, decided to utilize the MDP students’ love of music when creating Seraphfest 2015. This March 13 fundraiser will feature six hours of music by local bands and solo performers, many of whom are current students, alumni or just MDP supporters. Wristbands are $20 and available at the door. All proceeds benefit The Seraph’s Fund.
Currently over $507,000 has been pledged to The Seraph’s Fund — a New Jersey nonprofit corporation formed to manage donations and fund an endowment for Mater Dei Prep — $288,000 of which goes directly toward meeting the $1 million goal for next school year. Many have taken the signature “Seraph Pledge,” promising $1,000 a year for the next four years to ensure the school’s future financial stability. For more information on how to donate please visit www.savetheseraphs.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Those who wish to support the effort may also mail checks, payable to “The Seraph’s Fund,” to P.O. Box 4086, Middletown, NJ, 07748.
Additional fundraising events in March include a 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament sponsored by young alumni, a Pot of Gold Irish Night and the signature event, a Save the Seraphs Gala and Gift Auction on March 21. For a complete listing of events and additional information, please visit www.savetheseraphs.org.
Contact: Elizabeth Wulfhorst, Public Relations Chairperson
The Seraph’s Fund
The Seraph's Fund
PO Box 4086, Middletown, NJ 07748