The Greg DiAntonio Memorial Fund granted holiday wishes to teens at recovery high school
Coastal Prep had their presents waiting for them at the brunch
Cape May Court House, NJ – The students of Coastal Prep woke up Thursday morning (Dec. 18) to find that Christmas came a few days early.
Coastal Prep staff threw its students a Christmas pajama party brunch, complete with a menu of favorites from Belgian waffles and breakfast burritos to doughnuts, bagels, and hot chocolate.
And no Christmas celebration would be complete without presents from wish lists the students filled out back in October. The Greg DiAntonio Memorial Fund, founded by Kreni and Pat DiAntonio in honor of their son, played Santa this year through a $3,000 donation. Thanks to the charity, the students unwrapped gifts such as AirPods, shoes, clothes, perfume, and jewelry.
“We’re so lucky to have people like Kreni and Pat in our corner. They help us show our students how much we appreciate their hard work,” says Anna Cannella, Coastal Prep coordinator. “We get to reward them for a year of dedication and perseverance with a great meal and fantastic gifts!”
The Greg DiAntonio Memorial Fund is a longtime supporter of Coastal Prep and Cape Assist in their goal to educate people about prevention and treatment for substance misuse. Coastal Prep is one of only three recovery high schools in the state, where students can work on their recovery as they stay on track academically.
Coastal Prep is run through a partnership between Middle Township School District and Cape Assist. The Greg DiAntonio Memorial Fund has previously sponsored Coastal Prep events that give students opportunities such as burning rubber on the racetrack or enjoying a Thanksgiving feast with their peers.
“We couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunities our community partners offer to our students,” said Dr. Toni Lehman, MTSD Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction. “Growth. That’s what we see in our kids every time they feel the support from not only our Coastal community, but our extended Cape May County communities, as well. It’s a trickle effect not just during the holiday season, but throughout the year.”
“Our goal has always been the same: to remind these kids that they have a community behind them to lift them up when they are down,” says Kreni DiAntonio. “Our hope is that one day they will arrive at a point where they do the same for someone else. It’s in giving that we receive, after all.”
Each student had a $300 budget to create a wish list, and many chose to spread the love by including mugs for parents, air-fryers to test out new recipes, jewelry for significant others and more than a few quirky T-shirts.
“Cape Assist’s community partners like Pat and Kreni show us how we will always stand taller and stay stronger together,” says Katie Faldetta, Executive Director of Cape Assist. “Their generosity has helped shape Cape Assist and Coastal Prep for the better.”