More than 7 months after Hurricane Sandy, it's easy to focus on the newly reopened boardwalks, but it's important to remember the people who are still trying to put their lives back together, especially the children.

Several local charity groups have come together for one particular group of kids.

The 25 6th graders at Boyd Elementary School saw their lives turned upside down after the storm. The students of Ms. Schneider's class haven't been able to go back to their school, and were forced to cancel their 6th grade graduation dance.

Thanks to some amazing local volunteers and donations, the dance is back on in a big way.

6th grade graduation
KT King, Flickr

I spoke with Courtney Chibbaro, Director of the Hurricane Sandy Resource Center (HSRC), who told me that 'Hollywood at Hemingway's - Saving Seaside's 6th Grade Dance' will happen this Saturday in Seaside Heights.

Hemingway's donated their space and food for the event. Several groups have also donated things like a graduation cake, dresses for the girls, beach bags and towels for all 25 students, and a photo booth.

Boyd School dance donations
Some of the items donated for the dance (Facebook)

The theme is VIP Hollywood, meant to make the kids feel like they are superstars for a night. They'll walk the red carpet past fake paparazzi and film crews as they head into the dance.

Chibbaro tells me they are still in need of donations for the dance, specifically tuxedo or suit rentals for the boys, any kind of donations for the gift bags, and school supplies for each of the 25 kids as they get ready to head off to middle school in the fall.

If you'd like to donate money, there is a donation site set up through that is hoping to raise $100 for each student.

The dance organizers are also looking for someone to film the event and make a video, so that each student can eventually have a copy.

Chibbaro says she is 'dreaming big' and hoping to secure a donation of e-readers or tablets so the displaced students can stop relying on the HSRC's computer lab.

If you can help with any donations, call 732-910-1344 or e-mail

Boyd School dance invitations

Regardless of the gifts the kids will go home with, this is an amazing way to make them feel special for a night, to end what has undoubtedly been the toughest year of their young lives on a positive note.

Chibbaro said there are many people who contributed to making this event happen. She thanks Brandi Day for donating her event planning services, The People's Pantry in Toms River, Rebuild Seaside Heights, The Ultimate Scholar II, Masterpiece DJs, Names on the Jersey Shore, Operation Cupcake, Operation Jersey Shore Santa, and of course, Hemmingway's in Seaside Heights.

It's always amazing to see people helping each other in times of need.

Congrats to the Boyd Elementary School Class of 2013, and good luck in middle school!

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