Amy Robb (center) and Kim Fox (far right) of the SJFC present ECLC’s Chatham School Principal, Diane Gagliardi, with a big donation that will help fund after-school programs, proms, alumni dances, the purchase of vans, buses, equipment and much more!

ECLC of New Jersey received an unexpectedly big shot in donations from a “Bourbon and Bubbles” fund-raiser hosted by the Summit Junior Fortnightly Club (SJFC) last November.

The Club awarded ECLC a generous gift of $14,650 from the party held at Twin Maples in Summit. The elegant evening drew an overflow crowd that packed the circa 1908 mansion. The party featured a North American whisky tasting, hosted by Joe Gratkowski, Master of Whisky, Champagne cocktails, appetizers, a silent auction and a tricky tray with prizes donated by popular local restaurants and other upscale retailers.

The Summit Junior Fortnightly Club (SJFC) is a women’s club dedicated to volunteerism, fund-raising, community service and social activities.

The gift will help pay for programs at ECLC, a nonprofit based in Chatham, that provides “Education, Careers and Lifelong Community” to children and adults with special needs.

ECLC runs special-needs schools in Chatham and Ho-Ho-Kus for students ages 5-21. After graduation, ECLC students can enroll in a day program in Florham Park or Paramus or find a job through ECLC’s employment affiliate, Community Personnel Services (CPS). ECLC’s students and adult clients are diagnosed with a range of disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, other intellectual disabilities or severe learning or language disabilities.

Donations will support the school’s annual proms, after-school and weekend activities for students, Friday night dances for alumni, the purchase of buses and vans to take students and adult clients into the community for volunteering, working and field trips, and much more.

ECLC offers lifelong services and a nurturing community for its thousands of alumni. Many of ECLC’s adult clients graduated from the schools and have continued either at the day program, called PRIDE, or in jobs through CPS.