Women going Above and Beyond to hold prom for New Jersey foster kids

Michelle Charlesworth Image
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Above and Beyond: Women hold prom for New Jersey foster kids
Michelle Charlesworth has the story.

NEWARK (WABC) -- Two women from our area are going Above and Beyond for foster children.

They want to make sure those kids and teens don't get overlooked when it comes to birthdays, and now they're taking on even more.

They are throwing a prom for the kids in Covenant House. These are two tireless businesswomen from Essex County, New Jersey.

One has six kids and the other has two.

But in their charity, which is branching out, they find the time to throw birthday parties for kids who have never had one. The charity is called Take The Cake.

Each birthday girl or boy gets a keepsake book from the free party. The theme is always something the kid loves.

"We've had children in the foster care system who were moved from one place to another in the process of our planning," said Janine Territo of Take the Cake.

Most are in foster homes. A couple of kids had also just lost a sibling or parent. Take the Cake is the brainchild of Janine and pro party planner Laura Himmelein, who owns "Party Cake Party Cake".

They address invites, get cakes, face painters, money and decorations, all donated. And they pinch the heck out of a penny.

So what next? They plan a prom in late June for older kids at Covenant House in Newark. And they need money and help.

"What about hair and makeup?," we asked. "We do need that. We have some people already on board to do hair and makeup which will be great," said Laura. "But we need many people doing hair and makeup," said Janine.

At Covenant House, where the prom will be, the 18 to 21 year olds couldn't be more excited.

"Feel like Cinderella?", we asked one of the residents, Kelly. "Yep, I am gonna click my heels!," she said.

"For them to put this together shows that they actually care, they think of new things for us to do and come up with new ways to make us happy," said another resident, Amber.

"Our kids have been abused, neglected, they come from the foster care system," said Janette Scrozzo of Covenant House. "They're kids that, prior to coming to Covenant House, were living on the street, maybe in an abandoned building or a car."

Someone is already donating tuxedo rentals but Take the Cake still needs a few things: money, more dresses, shoes, and hair and makeup.

"Why would you say you do this?", we asked Janine. "I think there are things in life that sap your energy and then there are things that keep you busy, that fuel you and inspire you and those around you," she said.

This is one of them. They are two women doing the work of an army out of South Orange, N.J. They are collecting prom dresses at the UPS on South Orange Avenue.

For the GoFundMe site raising money for the prom, visit:


For more information on Take the Cake, visit: