For the fourth year in a row, New Providence’s very own Prestige Diner is hosting a fundraiser to help out St. Andrew’s Nursery School and Kindergarten.
This Saturday, Nov. 17 from 6 a.m. to 12 midnight, you can mention St. Andrew’s when placing your order at Prestige Diner and a portion of your check will be donated to the school.
“It has grown to be a great event for both us and the school. It’s a win-win situation for everybody involved,” said Jimmy Vardas, co-owner of Prestige Diner. “The customers get their breakfast, lunch or dinner at the diner and we contribute part of the proceeds to the school. We plan on having our best event ever. Everybody in the community looks forward to it.”
Throughout the last three years, the diner has raised $5,700, which assists the school with purchasing equipment and supplies for the students and teachers.
The partnership between Prestige Diner and St. Andrew’s is a natural one, especially since they are both longstanding establishments in the New Providence community.
St. Andrew's Nursery School and Kindergarten, a non-profit organization under the auspices of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, was established in 1965 and has welcomed thousands of students from New Providence and the surrounding area throughout the past 47 years.
The Prestige Diner served its first meal back in 1967, just two years after the St. Andrew's school was founded. But the institutions' historical legacies in a shared community aren't the only ways that their New Providence businesses overlap.
The diner has a reputation for hiring local staff members and some of the waitresses went to St. Andrew’s as children.
“[The school] approached us a few years ago and it seemed like a great partnership because we have both been longstanding members in the local community and at the end of the day, it’s for a great cause,” Vardas said. “There was no way for us to say ‘no,’ and we’re helping the kids and the school. There are so many teachers from St. Andrew’s that come here. Some of the waitresses went to St. Andrew’s. It’s a great partnership that we have.”
Vardas said about 2,000 community members have taken part in the past three fundraisers for St. Andrews. With 500 people participating last year, Vardas said he is expecting even more local residents to turnout for the event on Saturday.
While the percentage of each check that will be donated to St. Andrew’s has not been determined, Vardas said it will likely depend on what people order.
“At the end of the day, we will look at the total people who came for St. Andrew’s. We keep the checks separate. At the end of the day, we total them all. It has never been less than $2,000.”
Vardas is planning to raise more than $2,500 this year and will have a ceremony at the diner with administrators from the school where photos will be taken and the check will be presented to the school. The date for that ceremony has not been determined yet.
This Saturday, residents can feel extra good about finishing off their short stack of pancakes or devouring a burger and fries at the Prestige Diner, knowing that their meal is contributing to the education of area youth.
Remember, when you place your order this Saturday at Prestige Diner, don’t forget to mention St. Andrew's Nursery School and Kindergarten.
—Michelle Colandrea contributed to this report.