New Paltz High School students Kristen Chiriani, Dominique Hakim, Justine Kelly and Danielle Read have organized a benefit concert for Family of New Paltz. “Fam Jam” will be held on Saturday, May 30 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Hasbrouck Park. Fam Jam will offer free admission, but goodwill donations for Family will be accepted. Food purchases will also benefit the organization, with many local eateries either coming to the event to sell food and donating part of their profits, or donating food outright that the students will sell in order to donate the proceeds. Among the restaurants participating in the event are Shea O’Brien’s, the B-Side Grill, Jordan’s, Main Course, Jamaican Cuisine and Sweet, who will make cotton candy at the event. The students received a gift card donated by ShopRite, which they’ve used to purchase bottled water to sell at the event and as of press time were working on achieving the same from the other supermarkets in town.
The students organizing the event are all members of the “PIGLETS” class at New Paltz High; the acronym stands for “Participation in Government, Literature and Economics for Today’s Students.” It’s a service class in which students learn by participating in their community, applying leadership skills in real-world situations. The class involves advocacy, public speaking, committee management, economic decision making and budget planning.
In planning their fourth quarter projects, the students broke off into teams of four, with each team designing a project to benefit a different aspect of the New Paltz community. Chiriani, Hakim, Kelly and Read chose to develop a project that would benefit Family of New Paltz. “We work with them throughout the year, so we felt that we wanted to help them out,” said Hakim. “We got the venue and have been working very hard to make sure that it’s a fun and special day for our community.”
They enlisted a variety of bands, who are all donating their time. There will be two high school bands, said Hakim, along with Sean Schenker of the Trapps, Me and My Ex and Ashes of the Phoenix, a segment of New Paltz Rock students.
Kids will have plenty of opportunities to run around and partake of face painting, balloon animals and the playground equipment at Hasbrouck. Picnic tables at the park are limited, so Hakim suggests visitors might bring chairs or a blanket.