From the Millburn School District:
Millburn High School’s Drama Club will celebrate 10 years of concerts, plays and ongoing fundraising for AIDS/HIV and Broadway House for Continuing Care in Newark with a special evening of music on Wednesday, May 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the Millburn Middle School auditorium.
The theme for the show is the number 10, and the performers, both current students and alumni, will present music from the last 10 years of TONY nominations.
English teacher Suzanne Snyder started the Broadway Cares movement at Millburn High School in 2001 in her first year of teaching when she became the advisor for the drama club. In 2002, filling the shoes of the longtime music department choral director, Jane Erickson, Suzanne took on the role of director for both the musical and drama. Simultaneously, with a desire to offer the talent of all those involved to the community, Snyder founded and directed what became known as Millburn Cares, a part of the drama club focused on philanthropy for the AIDS/HIV fight.
In 2006 when she stepped down from working on the musical Snyder focused her attention on the cause close to her heart. While still directing the dramas, she teamed up with Broadway Cares: Equity Fights AIDS and made the AIDS/HIV cause the benefactor of the dramatic production and the drama club’s efforts. Snyder gives thanks to “both Dr, Keith Neigel, former principal and Dr. William Miron, current MHS Principal, for trusting and supporting her efforts.”
In 2007, thanks to a former student and drama club president, Emily Hughes (MHS ’08), the Drama Club connected with Debbie Freisinger at Broadway House for Continuing Care in Newark.
“She literally welcomed us into their 'home' every time with a hug, a smile and a feeling of belonging," Snyder says. "It was a special bond from day one. Drama club members would raise money throughout the year and bring it directly to Broadway House two times a year. They also performed for the residents and patients, as well as joined in with their daily activities such as arts and crafts and video games.”
For the 10th year celebration, Snyder has invited back alumni and those parents and friends who have supported Millburn Cares since that first concert in 2002, on a June evening in the stifling, small high school cafeteria.
“Our audience was around 75 and over the years it has grown to 200 and sometimes 300," she remembers. "Many events have taken place to raise money throughout the year so it is no longer a one-night event.
The “Red Bucket” fundraising goes on all year long, a portion of proceeds from the Spring Drama are still donated to Millburn Cares and this end-of-school year closing ceremony celebrates our vocal and musical talents, pays homage to Broadway’s most beautiful music and is the club’s final effort to bring in donations. To date, we have raised close to $25,000 for the AIDS/HIV cause.”
Many of the club’s alumni have gone on to college programs where they have started their own campaigns to raise money and awareness for AIDS/HIV. Samantha Kubek (’09) continues to participate and support the cause and still comes to Broadway House with us when she is home on break.
”Millburn Cares is one of the highlights of her high school memories,” she says.
Snyder thanks the community for its help over the years and hopes the drama club can once again count on its support.
To order tickets, please call 973-565-7130, ext. 455. Each ticket is $10 and all proceeds go directly to Broadway House. To send donations, please send a check payable to: Broadway House for Continuing Care. Checks may be sent to MHS 462 Millburn High School, Millburn, NJ 07041 c/o Suzanne Snyder.