Woodbridge High School Earns $1,000 Arts Grant

Bob's Discount Furniture is making arts and education easier for WHS students with a financial grant.

Bob's Discount Furniture - along with their customers - knows something about giving back.

That's just what they did recently at Woodbridge High School, when the local furniture chain gave $1,000 for the use of students at the school.

Michael Klapkin, the Woodbridge store's manager, went to WHS to present the check to Lee Warren, the school principal.

"It's greatly appreciated by our staff and students," Warren said as he gathered students from the art department to pose for a picture.

Warren said the money will go for "books, computers and related materials." The funding came without conditions, so it's truly found money for Woodbridge High School students.

The money is donated by customers at Bob's Discount Furniture stores, explained Cathy Poulin, public relations director for the chain. Visitors to free cafes located in the stores partake of free coffee and homemade cookies; in return, they help feed donations into collection jars. That money is doled out to local schools in areas served by the retail chain.

The local Bob's Furniture chain has been in Woodbridge for about six years, Klapkin said. They moved into the old Treasure Island building and have done fairly well in the township in a bad economy.

"We're holding our own," Klapkin said.

The grant is part of a program the retail chain started about 20 years ago; they've donated funding to hundreds of schools over the years, said Poulin.

Every month, the store's officials choose seven schools to gift with a grant. Woodbridge High School was one of the recipient educational institutions for September. Other schools who received funding last month ranged from elementary to high schools, from public, to private, to parochial. In addition to Woodbridge, the schools were located in Trenton, Newark, Paramus, Glen Rock, Secaucus, and North Plainfield.

With 43 stores located throughout New England, New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Virginia, Bob's Discount Furniture annually donates more than $100,000 to schools and more than $1.5 million to charities.

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