MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The Columbia High School Scholarship Fund’s annual Red and Black Party fundraiser was held Sept. 21, raising money for scholarships for CHS graduates for their higher education tuition. Former CHS students returned to Maplewood to talk about how the scholarships they received helped them in their college careers and beyond, and to thank the organization that gave $164,000 to 131 students during the 2018-2019 school year.
Matthew Meade, a 2002 CHS graduate who is now an investment banker and vice president at JP Morgan Chase, spoke about the fund’s impact on his life; he won a scholarship from the CHSSF that helped him attend the University of Virginia.
“In all you do, make sure you build a legacy that outlives you,” Meade said.
Ciara Rolle-Harris also spoke at the fundraiser. Currently a student at Montclair State University, she graduated from CHS in 2016 and is a public relations major with a minor in entrepreneurship. Earlier this year she was named a Forbes 30 Under 30 Scholar for her work in the entertainment industry, including her internships at HBO and MTV.
“After they spoke, I said ‘Don’t you feel good about your donation?’” CHSSF President Madeline Tugentman said in a phone interview with the News-Record on Sept. 23. “These kids are so accomplished.”
Thanks to the event’s sponsors, all the money raised from ticket sales and donations at the event went to the fund for scholarships. Sponsors included: Dr. James Lee Sr. and James Lee Jr. from Orange Orthopaedic Associates, the Parkwood Diner, Jean Campbell and Patrick Morrissy, Rick and Vivienne West, Mila and Neil Jasey, Synergy Home Care, the Tugentman family, Air Group LLC, Allison Ziefert Real Estate Group, Alvarez Construction, Class Act Performing Arts Studio, Douglas Huebner-The Habitatilist Group, Curated Spaces, the Sahner and Casey family, Sweet Life by Design, the Able Baker, Anthony’s Landscaping, BCB Community Bank, Holle Funeral Home, Millburn Orthodontic, Moods in Hair, Robert Northfield, Pollock Properties Group, Jack Green Realty, and Staynd Color.
According to Tugentman, all the money goes back into the scholarship fund to be awarded each spring to graduating CHS seniors and alumni who are continuing their education, whether in college or trade school.
“We’re a small organization and it takes a lot of donations to get that many,” she said. “Everyone who was there was so happy to help.”
Photos Courtesy of Steve Tugentman