Courtney Charatsaris, reigning Miss Cape Shores 2012 and a current finalist for Miss New Jersey 2012, made a royal tour in Clark to thank and encourage student fundraisers on Monday.
Charatsaris, whose platform is “Care 4 a Cure,” is dedicated to supporting cancer patients and their families. Among the causes she has assisted over the years are 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.
Clark Superintendent Ken 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.
On 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 a most impressive $20,000 for St. Jude’s this past year.
Then, at Valley Road School, Charatsaris thanked the entire fifth grade class for their efforts on behalf of Pennies for Patients, an ongoing fund raiser 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 in the state.
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.
“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," said Clark Superintendent Ken Knops. "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.”
Charatsaris is a recent graduate of Montclair State University, where she studied both Theatre and Psychology, and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree.