Coastal Preparatory students standing together, excited to open the gifts that sit beneath their Christmas tree.
Cape May Court House, NJ – This holiday season is merry and bright for Coastal Preparatory High School students as they get the chance to cross some presents off their wish list thanks to a very generous donation.
Earlier in November, the students customized their holiday wish lists and sent them off to Santa. To their surprise, Coastal Prep faculty intercepted them and thanks to a $3,000 donation from the Greg DiAntonio Memorial Fund, they were able to give the students exactly what they were hoping for this year, and more. Students unwrapped items such as hoodies, AirPods, wireless speakers and other tech devices on Dec. 22 during a holiday lunch.
“Kreni and Pat DiAntonio have been such staunch supporters of us, and their partnership has helped shape Coastal Prep for the better,” said Katie Faldetta, Executive Director of Cape Assist. “Their generosity makes it possible for us to provide some extra wonderful holiday joy for our students, a gesture we are so grateful for.”
As a longtime supporter of Cape Assist and Coastal Prep High School, the memorial fund made several donations to the school this year, totaling $6,400.
Each student had a $300 budget to keep in mind while creating their wish lists, but to spread the love, students also chose to give gifts to family members, friends, and partners. One student requested a Squishmallow for their significant other, while another spent almost half of their budget on a promise ring for theirs. With everything from mani-pedis to heated blankets, the students doted on their loved ones.
“To get to help them give back to others, that’s a gift on its own,” said Anna Cannella, Coastal Prep coordinator. “The gifts they chose to give to their family and friends were so heartwarming.”
The Greg DiAntonio Memorial Fund, run by Kreni and Pat DiAntonio in honor of their son, helps raise funding and awareness to advocate for individuals dealing with substance misuse. They are strong supporters of recovery, community service, and destigmatizing these issues for families and friends alike.
“We know firsthand what it’s like to watch and stand by someone you love battling with substance misuse. But we’ve also seen the strength prevail,” said Kreni DiAntonio. “With our giving to Coastal Prep, we hope it reminds them that they will always have the support of us and the community behind them.”
Coastal Prep High School is one of only three recovery high schools in the state. A partnership between Middle Township School District (MTSD) and Cape Assist, the school ensures that students recovering from substance misuse can also stay on track academically, thanks to special support. Their focus is on prevention as well as recovery.
“Not only is Greg DiAntonio spreading some holiday cheer, they’re also teaching a very valuable lesson; It is in giving that we receive,” said MTSD Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction Dr. Toni Lehman. “We’re so lucky to have supporters such as Kreni and Pat showing our students and our staff what it means to be a community rooting for one another.”