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West Hartford's Cookin' a Success

Foundation for West Hartford Public Schools celebrates a million dollar milestone.

More than 300 guests celebrated the "$1 Million Milestone of Investment" for the Foundation for West Hartford Public Schools (FWHPS) at the organization’s recent fundraiser, the 10th annual West Hartford’s Cookin’ at West Hartford . 

Clare Dowd, president of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, expressed gratitude for the turnout. "It was a wonderful way to celebrate the Foundation's million dollar milestone, and to say 'Thanks A Million' to all the parents, businesses and community leaders for their support." She anticipated that the event raised almost $45,000 for the foundation’s educational programs.

Three dozen education, business and civic leaders became “celebrity chefs” for the evening, including West Hartford Mayor Scott Slifka, State Senator Beth Bye (D-West Hartford), and West Hartford Public School Superintendent Dr. Karen List. 

FOX CT’s Jim Altman and Laurie Perez served as the Masters of Ceremonies for this event.

Event Co-Chairs, Kerry Bell and Karen Wizevich, announced that this year’s West Hartford’s Cookin’ exceeded expectations.

“The success of this event year after year is really due to the generosity of our education, business and town leaders who step up as celebrity chefs,” said Bell.

“Our event sponsors and supporters also help make it possible to fund extraordinary grants in the schools. Plus, we had this amazing committee, which worked hard to organize a fantastic event. We extend a huge thank you to all who made the evening a success,” she concluded.

Major sponsors of the event included Aetna, Gengras Motor Cars, Beth Bye for State Senate, Bob’s Discount Furniture and the Kaufman Family, Cricket Press, Falvey Linen & Uniform Supply, Stop & Shop Supermarkets, ShopRite of West Hartford, The West Hartford Education Association and Whole Foods Market. Rogo Distributors and Wine Cellars 4 provided wine and beverages.  

“West Hartford’s Cookin’ has always been one of my most favorite events,” stated Essie Labrot, West Hartford’s Town Clerk, who served sweet and sour meatballs.

“It’s wonderful to see the energy and excitement – not to mention the great food. The Foundation helps provide that ‘extra something’ that makes our school system one of the best in the nation. The money raised goes to fund programs that are ‘above and beyond’ regular classroom activities which helps keep learning innovative and fun. We are fortunate to have such an organization that helps to make our Town so special,” Labrot concluded.

Connie Robinson, a past board member, enjoyed reconnecting with many friends. “It's wonderful to see the event continue and amazing that many of the chefs from the first West Hartford's Cookin' continue to chef. It shows their commitment to the schools, the organization and the town.” 

“I’m amazed when I see how many tarts Karen List makes,” exclaimed Joan Karas, a member of the board and event committee. “I don’t know how she does it! It’s always a crowd favorite.”

For 15 years, FWHPS has provided unique and exceptional educational opportunities for West Hartford public school students through teacher and school enrichment grants. Through healthy leadership and community support, FWHPS has invested over $1,000,000 in grants to teachers and schools. 

Dowd concluded, “I can’t wait to see what the next million dollars brings!”

For more information on FWHPS, please contact the Foundation office at 860-561-8755.

Submitted release

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