Elks event raises $15K for Carness/Mustafa fund

The East Brunswick Elks Lodge recently coordinated a major fundraising event on behalf of the Lesley Carness and Jon Mustafa Scholarship Fund.

The fund is named in honor of Lesley and Jon, a young couple from East Brunswick who died as the result of injuries sustained in an April 2007 car crash on Route 18. Lesley, 16, and Jon, 18, had hoped to pursue careers in cooking and accounting, respectively.

Through the fund, the two families award scholarships to two graduating, college bound East Brunswick High School students each year who are pursuing careers in those areas. Already, four scholarships have been given out.

At a fundraising event, held in June at the East Brunswick Elks Lodge, Hardenburg Lane, some $15,000 was raised for the scholarship fund.

“We are proud to have played a part in this community-based act of love, where deserving students will have the opportunities for a fulfilling life and to commemorate the loss of two of East Brunswick’s finest young people,” said Alice Leonhardt, exalted ruler of the Elks Lodge. “We hope to continue to assist the scholarship committee in their future endeavors in any way that we can.”

The check presentation took place on Aug 22.

“The goal of the Lesley Carness and Jon Mustafa Scholarship Fund is to continue to make a difference in the lives of young students heading to college by rewarding them for their hard work and accomplishments in high school,” the families wrote in a letter of thanks to supporters. “With the help from supporters such as you, we will continue to help students who work hard academically in fulfilling the same dreams of achievement that Lesley and Jon had.”

Organizers expect to hold another tricky tray at the lodge in 2009.

To donate funds, checks can be made payable to the scholarship fund and mailed to The Lesley Carness & Jon Mustafa Scholarship Fund, c/o The Provident Bank, 371 Spotswood Englishtown Road, Monroe Township, NJ, 08831.