Palooza Finalists Announced!

The Westfield Municipal Alliance and the Westfield High School Dream Team recognized student finalists in the the 8th Annual Palooza Contest on Wednesday, January 27. 

Finalists from the Westfield Public Schools and Holy Trinity School, grades 1-12, were recognized for their submissions of posters, poetry and public service annnouncements, depicting the theme, “Westfield, Live Your Best Life: Healthy Choices, Everyday Choices”. 

This year’s finalists from the Westfield Public Schools are:

  • Daphne Canaran, Jefferson 2nd Grade
  • Sydney Lupkin, Jefferson 2nd Grade
  • Spencer Druger, Jefferson 4th Grade
  • Arianna Desai, Jefferson 5th Grade
  • Tyler Manning, Tamaques 5th Grade
  • Mahie Panjwani, Edison 6th Grade
  • Brody Toriello, Edison 7th Grade
  • Evelyn Charles, Roosevelt 6th Grade
  • Desra Sonnek-Schmelz, Roosevelt 6th Grade
  • Hannah Frankenhouser, Westfield High School, 11th Grade
  • Riley Gasson, WHS 11th Grade
  • Alexa Gonzalez, WHS 11th Grade
  • Anna Rickard, WHS 11th Grade
  • Amanda Rickert, WHS 11th Grade
  • Samara Useloff, WHS 11th Grade

“On behalf of the Westfield Municipal Alliance, the WHS Dream Team, the Union County Department of Human Services, Division of Individual and Family Support Services, and the New Jersey Governor’s Council of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, we congratulate your submissions as the top entries in the districtwide palooza contests,” says Municipal Alliance coordinator Louise DeDea.

DeDea says that, as a token of appreciation of the students’ hard work, the Albert Anthony Kayal Foundation funded the personal awards while the Matthew Thomas Toriello Memorial Fund is making a donation on the finalists’ behalf to Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss and to the Westfield Rescue Squad.

The Palooza Contest begins each year in October during National Red Ribbon Week and entries are submitted by early December. The finalists are announced and celebrated during a ceremony each January to which family and other members of the community are invited. 

The message of the WHS Dream Team is “Confidence, Choices, Challenges, Changes.” The Dream Team promotes positive decision-making, healthy choices and creates programs that provide alternatives to underage drinking and drug use. The mission of the WHS Dream Team complements the mission of the Westfield Municipal Alliance in providing supplemental substance abuse prevention education in Westfield schools and to the Westfield community.

For more information, please visit or contact Louise DeDea at westfieldalliance@gmail.comor Lauren Hauser at


Source: Westfield Public Schools