SOUTHINGTON EDUCATION FOUNDATION, INC.
Instilling a love of learning.
Annual Fan of the Foundation Gala
Our Sixth Annual Fan of the Foundation Gala was held at the Aqua Turf Club, Oct. 24, 2014.
This year's Gala was another huge success for Southington Public School students.
With a theme of “Tailgating at the Turf!” attendees dressed in their favorite sports apparel and dined on tailgate-style appetizers and entrees.
The evening began with a tribute to this year's "Top Fan of the Foundation", Roger's Orchards. The "Top Fan" award recognizes a $5,000 supporter of the SEF's ongoing mission to provide enriching educational opportunities for students in the Southington Public School system.
Todd Piro, NBC Connecticut newscaster, then emceed the live auction. From Patriots Tickets, to an elegant gourmet dinner for eight, to a drone (piloted by Tony Sheffy and streaming live video on the big screen), Foundation Fans were encouraged by Todd to "up the ante" and bid top dollar for each item.
The silent auction brought its own brand of fun because of the unique items up for bid including student artwork, "Principals for the Day" opportunities, PTO Baskets, tickets to sporting events, spa and restaurant gift certificates, and so much more.
All proceeds from the Fan of the Foundation Gala are distributed via grants to the district’s classrooms. The SEF to date has awarded over $130,000 to fund enriching initiatives that enhance educational opportunities and promote lifelong learning. In addition, the SEF has embarked on a long-term commitment to advancing STEM education in Southington’s K-12 schools. Integrating the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics into cross-curriculum studies is essential for our 21st century students.
2014 Gala Sponsors:
The Southington Education Foundation’s fifth annual Fan of the Foundation Gala on Friday, Oct. 25, was another winning night for the Southington Public School district as nearly $30,000 was garnered in proceeds.
With a theme of “Tailgate at the Turf!” the evening featured spirited fun on several levels – attendees dressed in their favorite sports apparel and dined on tailgate-style appetizers and entrees. New this year was the STEM University Lounge, a dorm-style reclining area replete with a pinball game and photographer Jonathan Cop on hand taking photos of Fan guests!
Pinball wizards tried their luck on the Star Trek pinball game in order to win highest score, which long-time SEF supporter and local business owner Charlie Cocuzza managed to do. In second place was our own Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Erardi.
The evening also featured a live auction emceed by NBC Connecticut newscaster Todd Piro. From an electric guitar to artwork created by our Southington High School art students, Todd masterfully danced around the audience upping the ante and securing top dollar for each item.
The silent auction brought its own brand of fun because of the unique items up for bid. Quite popular was the Graduation 2014 exclusive seating opportunity, which had parents of Southington High School seniors hovering nearby to ensure that they had the winning bid.
All proceeds from the Fan of the Foundation Gala are distributed via grants to the district’s classrooms. The SEF to date has awarded nearly $100,000 to fund enriching initiatives that enhance educational opportunities and promote lifelong learning. In addition, the SEF has embarked on a long-term commitment to advancing STEM education in Southington’s K-12 schools. Integrating the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics into cross-curriculum studies is essential for our 21st century students.
The SEF will soon launch the Virtual STEM University, an instructional resource for educators, and has already initiated a STEM Recognition Program and the district-wide fourth-grade STEM initiative at Camp Sloper, now in its third year.
Spirited tailgating was the theme of the evening at the Southington Education Foundation’s fourth annual Fan of the Foundation Gala, held October 5, 2012.
Fans were treated to cheers and athletic feats from the Southington High School Varsity Cheerleading squad, African drumming by Kelley and South End Elementary School students and their instructor, SEF grant recipient and Southington music teacher Elizabeth DiDomenico, and theme-enticing food stations throughout the lively evening.
Even the disc jockey, Butch Gray, was part of the fun as his equipment was incorporated into the evening’s tailgating theme. Both the live and silent auctions – a staple of the Fan gala in terms of the unique Southington School District-specific items up for bid – featured more offerings than ever before.
A new feature at the gala was the school-designated grant program, which allowed Fans to donate funds for future grants to specific schools of their choosing. Several parents and grandparents showed support for the students in their lives by contributing to the new program.
The evening’s festivities garnered more than $25,000 for the SEF. As such, the SEF will be able to continue awarding grants to our teachers and administrators. Moreover, the district’s curriculum will be further enhanced by those ideas and programs that help teachers implement project-based learning and provide our students with creative educational opportunities.
For a complete list of grants awarded to date, click here. A new round of grant funding totaling $10,000 is currently under way.
The SEF welcomes community support in terms of volunteers for its Board at Large or gifts of any size. Contact SEF Chair Dawn Miceli at 860.681.8006 for more information.
With the support of nearly 300 guests and a $5,000 challenge grant from the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, the Southington Education Foundation raised $35,000 at its third annual “Fan of the Foundation” gala held Friday, October 28, 2011, at the Aqua Turf. All proceeds will be channeled into the Southington school system via grants and other district-wide projects and initiatives.
Just weeks prior to the gala, the CFGNB issued a challenge to the SEF regarding proceeds from the event: raise more in profits over last year’s totals and earn an additional $5,000. CFGNB President Jim Williamson attended the gala and announced that evening that he was impressed with fundraising efforts and would indeed ensure the challenge grant.
Helping to raise profits this year was Valentine the Clown, who made an appearance during the live auction to help drum up bids among guests. A photo collage created by Southington High School students earned an unprecedented amount as did the coveted one-day assignment of superintendent of schools. New this year was ownership of a timeshare in Aruba, donated by a generous SEF Board at Large member.
Thank-you to all businesses, community and school organizations and individual residents who sponsored and supported this worthwhile event.
Friday, October 15, 2010, the Southington Education Foundation raised nearly $30,000 at its annual “Fan of the Foundation” gala – double the amount garnered during its premier event the previous year. All proceeds are channeled into the Southington school system via grants and other district-wide projects and initiatives. (see photos)
The evening attracted 300 guests, ranging from community members to local and state officials, educators and other supporters, many of whom took advantage of unique opportunities presented during the evening via live and silent auctions. For a complete listing of business sponsorships and gifts, click here.
SEF Chairwoman Bethany Pestillo welcomed attendees while Southington High School head football coach DJ Hernandez offered opening remarks. The 2010 SHS Wall of Honor recipients, including Chamber of Commerce President Art Secondo and lifelong educator and current SEF treasurer Alan DeBisschop, were also recognized during the event and presented with commemorative plaques. Also on hand to accept for his uncle was state Rep. Bruce Zeke Zalaski, who accepted the plaque for decorated World War II veteran Michael Ingelido, who resides in Colorado and could not be in attendance.
SEF Executive Director Dr. David Monti also announced during the evening an exciting endeavor that will partner the SEF with the Southington YMCA in the coming months. To date, the SEF has awarded more than $20,000 in grants to local educators who are looking to supplement current curriculum with creative programming in their classrooms. Grants applications for projects up to $1,000 are currently being accepted by the SEF.
More than 300 people became fans of the Southington Education Foundation at the organization’s premier kick-off event Oct. 16, 2009 at the Aqua Turf.
The gala featured dinner and dancing and a live auction that had bidders waving "number one fan" fingers to support the SEF’s mission. Also popular was the silent auction, which put up for bid more than 70 pieces of local students’ artwork and other enticing items.
Keynote speaker John Myers, executive director of the Southington Community YMCA, donned a New York Yankees jersey for his energetic presentation, while Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph V. Erardi announced the 2009 Southington High School Wall of Honor inductees.
Distinguished guests included a who’s who of local educators and administrators, state and local officials, business owners, and more.