By Lindsay Carey
The Southington Education Foundation (SEF) will host its sixth annual Fan of the Foundation Gala on Friday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m., at the Aqua Turf.
Foundation Chairman Jan Galati said this is the SEF’s largest fundraiser of the year.
“It’s an event for supporters of the foundation and when you think of a supporter, you think fan, which translates to sports,” said Galati. “Besides we don’t want people to feel like they have to get dressed up on a Friday night.”
Guests are invited to represent their favorite sports team in sports attire or just come dressed casually. Once again this year, there will be tailgating food stations serving appetizers and entrees while local DJ Butch Gray plays music for people to dance to.
Todd Piro from NBC will also return to the gala to emcee the live auction.
Some of the auction items for the live and silent auction include the chance to be principal for a day, a Southington High School (SHS) “Complete Senior” package, reserved VIP seating for the 2015 SHS graduation, Walt Disney Park-Hopper passes, a personal drone, a five course gourmet meal for eight, a tailgating package and much more, according to a press release.
“We are always so impressed with how Southington community supports SEF whether its individuals or businesses, we really do get a lot of support,” said Galati.
For the first time this year, SEF will be give out an award for the “2014 Top Fan of the Year” to recognize the top donor of the foundation this year.
“We were looking for a way to acknowledge a top fan and this is another way to bring into the limelight how lucky we are to have so much support for our foundation,” said Galati.
The foundation will recognize Rogers Orchards as the 2014 Top Fan of the Year.
“We have a long family connection that we wanted to pay back to the foundation,” said Peter Rogers, vice president of Roger Orchards. “It was not only important to us as a family, but as a company we have a lot of after school employees that come in and do a great job in our stores.”
Rogers Orchards made a $5,000 donation to SEF this year.
“It’s very nice to be recognized,” said Rogers. “We’re glad to be one of many that support the foundation.”
Donations to SEF go directly towards improving Southington schools through grants and programs such as the Fourth Grade Science at Sloper initiative, the Virtual STEM initiative and this year there will also be a scholarship for a Southington senior offered by SEF in former Superintendent Dr. Joseph V. Erardi Jr.’s name.
Seats for the Fan of the Foundation are $75 each and tables are going for $750 each and all proceeds go directly towards benefiting the school system. To purchase a seat or table, contact Galati at 860-628-0279 or visit southingtoneducationfoundation.org.
“The community’s attendance makes a difference on SEF being able to support Southington students with new and creative initiatives,” said Galati.
At last year’s Fan of the Foundation Gala nearly $30,000 was garnered from proceeds, according to the SEF website.
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By Lindsay Carey