East’s annual coffee house helps the CARES Institute

Cherry Hill East’s 5th annual coffee house brought smiles and laughter to the nearly 700 people in attendance, much like the cheer its profits will bring to the children of this year’s selected charity, the CARES Institute.

The CARES Institute provides help to children who have experienced abuse. In addition, the staff provides training for various professionals from areas such as medical, mental health, law enforcement and child protection. Dr. Deblinger and Dr. Finkel, two parents of students at East and directors of the institute, shared with those in attendance how the profits of Coffee House would go towards providing much-needed care for the children that they work with.

The carnival-themed coffee house showcased a stage in cafeteria two framed by vibrant curtains and balloons, while the floor was packed with chairs, tables and even sofas. Teddy bear and lottery ticket posters hung from the ceiling and all of Cafeteria one was decorated with bright colors, balloons and of course, coffee beans. Cafeteria one held a moon bounce, face painting, cookie decorating, balloon animals, wii games, juggling, a bake sale and an art sale from the Commercial Art, Advanced Foundations of Art and AP Studio Art classes.

The night’s performances were all met with thunderous applause. The show featured 21 acts with performances ranging from singing, to dancing to imitations of scenes from shows like “SNL” and “Scrubs.” The event began with East’s band Inspiration playing “Imagine,” while the rest of the acts ranged from group mash-ups to songs from Broadway’s Little Shop of Horrors and Wicked. “Guy Love” from Scrubs was a hit, and there was even Avenue Q’s “Mix Tape,” puppets and all.

Everything came together to make the coffee house even more fun than an actual carnival. “This is our 5th year doing [coffee house],” said Mrs. Lausi, East Singer Director, “and it’s our best one yet.”