Return of Tricky Tray fundraiser raises thousands for two classes

The sophomore and junior classes joined up to co-host the Tricky Tray fundraiser May 1 in the middle school gym, and the community bid on more than 300 baskets to raise more than $22,000. The Tricky Tray had been an annual tradition for many years at West Essex, but was on pause due to safety protocols from COVID-19 last year. 

The earnings from the event will be used for the senior ball for the Class of 2023, the junior prom for the Class of 2024 and all senior activities for next year. 

“After having to combine the Tricky Tray for the sophomore and junior classes, we definitely had a big challenge ahead of us, but at the end of the day, along with the teachers, administration and advisors, we were able to raise an amazing amount of money,” junior class president Zach Atlas said. “It was exciting to see the local community come together and support the high school after such a long time away from such big fundraising events.”

Special education teacher Timothy Walsh, adviser to the Class of 2024, said he looks forward to the fundraiser and baskets each year, but what he enjoyed most this year was the winners’ reactions. 

“My favorite part was seeing how excited the winners were,” Walsh said. “One woman won a trip to Antigua and she was running around the gym going nuts, which was pretty funny.” 

Freshman class secretary Emily Dyme said her favorite part of the Tricky Tray was the prizes. 

“There were really cool prizes such as Apple watches, a MacBook and all-inclusive vacations,” Dyme said. “The fundraiser even had food stands with Playa Bowls and Chipotle.” 

Planning for the Tricky Tray planning has been in the works for months, organizers said. The student council and teachers have worked long hours to make sure the event would be a success.

“The fundraiser was so much fun and such a great experience,” freshman class president Priya Marcus said. “Many have been sleeping a few hours a night for the past few weeks to make sure this goes well.”