Miss Cape Shores 2012 Thanks Clark Students For Their Medical Fundraising Efforts

Miss New Jersey contestant Courtney Charatsaris poses with Erika Barrett and her class at the Clark Preschool. (Photo courtesy of Clark Public Schools)

Miss New Jersey contestant Courtney Charatsaris poses with Erika Barrett and her class at the Clark Preschool. (Photo courtesy of Clark Public Schools)

CLARK – A finalist for Miss New Jersey 2012 recently visited three Clark public schools to thank students for their altruistic endeavors in raising money for medical research.

Courtney Charatsaris, reigning Miss Cape Shores 2012 whose platform is “Care 4 a Cure,” is dedicated to a theme based on supporting cancer patients and their families. Among these causes she has assisted over the years include the Meghan Rose Bradley Foundation for Pediatric Brain Cancer, Relay For Life, Hackensack University Medical Center, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson, and a number of other cancer-related causes. Charatsaris is a recent graduate of Montclair State University, where she studied both theatre and psychology, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Clark Superintendent of Schools Kenneth Knops had met Charatsaris at a pediatric brain cancer research fundraiser for a student in his former school district, and shared with her the altruistic efforts of his Clark students. Charatsaris said that she would be delighted to visit the Clark Schools and personally thank the students for all their efforts to raise money for those medically stricken and less fortunate.

This past Monday, Charatsaris visited the Frank K. Hehnly School for a morning school-wide assembly program, which was dedicated to the school’s current medical fundraiser for St. Jude’s Children Hospital. Under the leadership of teachers Ellen Tamburino and AnnMarie Estevez, the school had raised $20,000 for St. Jude’s this past year. At the assembly program Charatsaris addressed the student body and thanked them for their efforts to bring hope and happiness into the lives of those who had been stricken with medical setbacks.

This was then followed by a visit to Valley Road School, where the entire fifth grade class was thanked for their altruistic efforts on behalf of Pennies for Patients, which is an ongoing fundraiser the school has dedicated itself to. Valley Road School has repeatedly been cited by the organization as being in the Top 10 schools in terms of fundraising for Pennies for Patients in New Jersey.

Charatsaris’s final stop was to the Clark Preschool, where she read a book to the three and four year old students in Erika Barrett’s class, and spoke with them about “filling the bucket” of happiness for others.

Knops said, “It was delightful to have Miss Charatsaris take time from her busy schedule to personally thank our students for all their altruistic endeavors and generous donations to medical research and causes. Courtney is an outstanding role model who has made her candidacy for Miss New Jersey based on ‘Care 4 a Cure,’ and she serves as an excellent role model for our students. I’m extremely proud of our students and their orientation to helping others, I’m happy Miss Charatsaris was able to personally visit with our students and take the time to thank them personally for their dedication to providing for those in need.”

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