RED BANK - Students, staff and alumni of Mater Dei Prep in Middletown have reason to celebrate after meeting their goal of raising $1 million to keep the school open.

They came out Thursday evening to the Count Baise Theater in Red Bank for what was supposed to be a fundraiser, but was more of a celebration after being told the school would be able to stay open in September.

The “Save the Seraphs” campaign began in February, after students were told by the Trenton Dioceses that the school would have to close next year due to financial debt. Students and alumni rallied and began raising money. They even reached out to NBC’s Brian Williams, who is an alumnus of the school.

Not only did the group raise enough money by the deadline, they also came up with a long term plan to run the school privately, independent of the diocese.

“To get to this point, 70 days ago, we were dead in the water. Today, we’re full of life,” says Jim Shaw of the Seraph Fund. “We’re not stopping there. We’re going all the way and people can have faith in us that this school will be open far into the future.”

Fundraising for the school will continue, to increase the endowment to help with scholarships and improvements at the school.

School trustees believe the plan they've come up with and the money raised will make the school profitable in the next few years.

An open house will be held on May 19 for those interested in enrolling and learning more about the school’s future.