SFES Gala Rocked!

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Photo by Kelli Young

Suffield High School girls helping at the SFES Gala pause for their portrait. From the left: Stacey Arendt, Jewel Hazlett, Haley Young, Karissa Stanio, Amanda Arendt, Madeline Snell and Shannon Young.

The Suffield Foundation for Excellent Schools hosted Fire and Ice, a rollicking fundraiser on Saturday, March 23, at the Sheraton Hotel at Bradley. With WMAS radio personality Chris Kellogg doubling as both disc jockey and auctioneer, the party goers danced the night away after getting down to the business of raising $35,000 for the Suffield Public Schools. The dinner dance auction included silent auction, and featured mobile bidding for the first time. Being able to vote with your phone and getting notices when you had been outbid resulted in spirited competition among the participants, especially on some of the more popular items. Auction items ranged from the reasonably priced to big ticket items. From homemade soup to a hayride picnic to Legends seats at Yankee Stadium with a night on the town in New York, to original art, there was something for everyone.

A special feature of every SFES auction is “Raise the Paddle,” wherein guests are asked to underwrite a specific expensive grant. This year the high school and the middle school each requested a TouchIT board, the latest generation of an interactive learning white board which, among other things, has the capacity to connect what is being shown on it to a student’s personal electronic device. To help people better understand the TouchIT board’s functions, Carl Casinghino’s high school film class produced, directed, and starred in a short video demonstrating the Board’s capabilities, ending with SHS principal Jim Blaine in front of the space where the board will be mounted. Although amounts from $1,000 down to $25 were solicited and paddles were raised all along the way, the amount needed for both boards fell short by $3,000. At that point, George Hermann, president of Windsor Federal Savings, stepped up to the podium and advised SFES president Kristi Upton and auctioneer Chris Kellogg that his bank would make up the shortfall!

In addition to all those who donated items, the SFES is indebted to, and thanks, its sponsors. At the platinum level, ($1,000 plus) were Windsor Federal Savings, First Suffield Bank, Safeguard Security and Surveillance, Pamela Hardy Designs and Shoreline Audio Visual. At the gold level ($500-999) were Suffield Veterinary Hospital, Kathy Murphy Real Estate, Trailhead Financial LLC, dani. fine photography, Mirror Mirror on the Wall (who donated the photo booth), The Lily House and the Rotary Club of Suffield. Rounding out the sponsors at the silver level ($100-499) were Star Quality Appraisals, Carmon Funeral Homes, Feather and Bloom, Land Warrior Crossfit and AdventurUS Travel.

If you missed this year’s gala, don’t be left out next time. It is an evening of good fun, good eats, and good works, all benefitting the students in Suffield public schools. 

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