In 1947, a group of fathers of Millburn High School football players gathered to organize a dinner in recognition of a successful gridiron seasons. While planning the event, the fathers became aware that Edward Miller one of the seniors on the team—not only a standout athlete, but also an excellent student and all-around student leader—was lacking the financial resources to attend college.
Robert Hart, who would become the Boosters' founding member, would later write, "To the men who organized that dinner, this was an unacceptable prospect for a young man whose potential was fully equal to any of their own sons."
The organizers decided that the proceeds of their dinner would go toward helping this senior with college expenses. They further decided to create an organization to address similar needs of worthy township student moving forward. And so, The Millburn-Short Hills Scholastic Boosters was born.
Mr. Miller, who would graduate from Johns Hopkins University and go on to a 36-year career in marketing for Mobil Oil, remarked after his retirement that the grant let him know people cared about him, not just as a football star, but as a person, and that it's a feeling he's carried with him ever since.
For many years, the annual “All-Sports” dinner and member dues were the chief fund-raising vehicle for the organization. While the Boosters was originally established to assist local athletes, it soon expanded its mission to provide grants to deserving students in the township facing challenges in putting together a financial package to pursue the goal of a higher education.
Unlike government and private loans, The Boosters’ support need not be repaid. Every student—and their family—who receives a Boosters Grant has already been willing to put himself or herself under considerable financial obligations that will follow them well past their college years.
Since the first effort in 1947, the Scholastic Boosters has raised and made more than $1 million in grants to more than 1,000 young people in our town.