The 11th annual West Hartford’s Cookin’ fundraiser for the Foundation for West Hartford Public Schools will be held on Saturday, March 23 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the West Hartford Town Hall auditorium.
The event will celebrate the Foundation’s success in providing over $1 million invested in unique educational opportunities in all 16 West Hartford Public Schools from pre-school through high school.
Over 30 education, business and civic leaders will be “celebrity chefs” for the evening, including West Hartford Mayor Scott Slifka, Deputy Mayor Shari Cantor, and WHPS Superintendent Karen List.
This year’s Honorary Chair is William Kovel, Chef/Owner of Catalyst Restaurant in Cambridge, MA. Kovel and his team have earned rave reviews including a coveted 3 star review from The Boston Globe as well as being named The People’s Best New Chef New England by FOOD&WINE magazine in March 2012.
Chef Kovel is a native of West Hartford and a graduate of the West Hartford Public School system. Assistant Superintendent of WHPS, Tom Moore, will serve as Master of Ceremonies.
Mayor Slifka is looking forward to the fundraiser. “We know West Hartford has exceptional schools, but the Foundation for West Hartford Public Schools makes our schools even stronger with their special grants that fund enrichment programs,” he said.
Jennifer Shiffman is thrilled to chair this festive fundraiser. "West Hartford’s Cookin’ is the quintessential community event,” said Shiffman. “The entire community comes out representing all areas of our town, from the all-volunteer Board and event committee, to the generous local sponsors, to the high school students who help us set up.” She continued, “It’s like a town-wide block party where you can catch up with your children’s teachers, local representatives and friends.”
Shiffman promises a terrific silent auction, with many food-related offerings. “The auction offerings always surprise me with their diversity and creativity. All 16 West Hartford schools’ PTO/PTA’s provide donations, as well as myriad local restaurants and retailers,” Shiffman explained.
Major sponsors of the event include Aetna, Atlantic Design Works, Butler Florists, Cricket Press, Falvey Linen & Uniform Supply, Gengras Kia, Law Offices of James F. Aspell, Optometric Specialty Group, Rockville Bank, Walmart Neighborhood Market, West Hartford Education Association, Whole Foods Market, and YHB Investment Advisors, Inc. Rogo Distributors and Wine Cellars 4 will provide wine and beverages.
This school year, the Foundation awarded 65 grants totaling over $71,000 including a Special Initiative Grant of $10,000 to fund “Virtual Vistas: Connecting Classrooms to the World.” This exciting grant will allow children to travel virtually across the globe to learn from subject matter experts from museums, science centers and other classrooms. Established as a non-profit organization in 1997, the Foundation’s mission is to make exceptional learning opportunities and experiences a reality at every West Hartford public school through teacher grants and school-wide or district-wide initiatives.
Amy Stephens Cubbage and Lisa Greene, Co-Presidents of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, explained that West Hartford’s Cookin’ allows the Foundation to support innovative educational experiences in West Hartford’s public schools, from pre-k to high school. “We are able to invest ninety cents of every dollar raised at West Hartford’s Cookin’ directly into our public schools,” said Lisa. She praised local supporters, saying “the success of this event has been made possible through consistent involvement of our board, the local business community, parent volunteers and local elected/appointed officials. This event is a chance for the Foundation to say a heart-felt ‘Thank you’ for the amazing support from the West Hartford community.”
Contact the Foundation office at 860-561-8755 for more information or to order tickets. Tickets begin at $50 per person in advance, $60 per person at the door.