Bloomfield is gearing up for the party of the century.
Former students will be treated to a night of dancing and reminiscing at the school's 100th anniversary April 16, organized by the Bloomfield Educational Foundation. Dubbed the "reunion of all reunions," the celebration at The Villa in Mountain Lakes will feature a DJ, an open bar and a "soup to nuts" menu, according to BEF Chairman Michael Sceurman. Besides an evening of dancing, attendees should expect plenty of schmoozing, with a mix of generations in attendance.
"We have people all the way from (the class of) 1937 all the way up to the graduating class of 2013," said Michael Sceurman, who graduated from BHS in 1996. "We have generations of families coming: grandparents, parents and kids."
In past years, BEF has organized themed annual events, often honoring a group of Bloomfielders, like the athletes of the 64-win streak basketball team and various sponsors. But this year, the 501(c)(3) charity decided to go all out for the historic anniversary.
"We just thought it would be better suited to make (this year's dinner) more of a celebration and kind of a party/reunion rather than people coming up and accepting awards and speeches," said Michael Sceurman, though he noted one top-secret award in particular will be presented this year.
A laundry list of unique prizes - like Jerry Rice and Jim Brown football jerseys, a Sony Tablet, and a resort package to the St. Michaels Harbour Inn Marina and Spa in Maryland - will be given away at the gala via silent auction and tricky tray. Bloomfield businesses and Jim's Super Service also donated gift certificates. Proceeds from the fundraisers will go toward BEF scholarships and grants used to benefit students across Bloomfield.
A 112-page book commemorating 100 years of BHS will also be on sale during the dinner for $10. The book, in part compiled by current BHS students, highlights memorable moments of years passed at BHS, like sports teams, musicals, special events, students and faculty.
"It’s not heavy reading, but it’s definitely something that every Bengal I think would want and cherish," said Michael Sceurman, whose uncle Mark Sceurman, BHS graduate of '75, helped publish the commemorative book.
Mark Sceurman is the founder and editor of Weird New Jersey, a publication dedicated to the state's abnormal happenings. The Sceurman family - spanning several generations from the class of '37 to the class of '03 - will be attending the gala.
BEF officials are hoping the dinner will raise at least $15,000 toward its over $30,000 goal for the year. The funds will allow each BHS sophomore to take the PSAT test next year.
"With the money from the book that we're selling and part of the gala is going to go toward that next year as a grant," said Michael Sceurman.
Students will be hosting tours of BHS the day of the dinner, starting at 10:30 a.m. Alumni are encourage to get a glimpse of the newly renovated facility and meet principal Chris Jennings, whom Michael Sceurman called "essential" in planning the event.
"We've been in collaboration with (Jennings) and staff members," he said. "They've been just fantastic."
So far, 340 tickets to the Centennial Anniversary have been sold and are still available at $125 each. They can be purchased online at BEF's website, or purchased at the door the night of the event.
Hotel accommodations are also available for $74 a night, which includes a complimentary breakfast and shuttle service to and from The Villa.
Alumni can also log onto bloomfieldeducationalfoundation.org to see who will be attending. Commemorative Bloomfield gear like golf shirts and umbrellas are also on sale on the site.
Check back on Thursday when Bloomfield Patch rolls out the first installment of a series profiling BHS alumni.