Food Schools

West Hartford Will Be ‘Cookin’ Again on April 2

Hall Principal Dan Zittoun (left) and Conard Principal Julio Duarte cooperated on spaghetti and meatballs. West Hartford's Cookin'. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The annual West Hartford’s Cookin’ event raises funds for the Foundation for West Hartford Public Schools.

Hall Principal Dan Zittoun (left) and Conard Principal Julio Duarte cooperated on spaghetti and meatballs. West Hartford's Cookin'. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall Principal Dan Zittoun (left) and Conard Principal Julio Duarte cooperated on spaghetti and meatballs for the 2015 West Hartford’s Cookin’. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

By Ronni Newton

The West Hartford Foundation for Public Schools’ (FWHPS) signature fundraiser – West Hartford’s Cookin’ – will return to the Town Hall Auditorium on April 2, giving guests a chance to savor the culinary creations of some of the town’s most distinguished leaders.

According to the FWHPS, a record number of celebrity chefs have committed to preparing their favorite dishes this year. State Sen. Beth Bye and Superintendent of Schools Tom Moore will join administrators from all of the town’s public schools and dozens of other leaders from the education, business, and civic community.

A list of menu items has not yet been released, but past events have featured salads, chili, macaroni and cheese, barbecue, and much more. There is always an extensive selection of delicious desserts. Last year’s event featured a great show of unity and cooperation between rival school principals, with Hall’s Dan Zittoun (spaghetti) and Conard’s Julio Duarte (meatballs) collaborating on their offering.

The event will also feature live and silent auctions.

“We are especially excited about this year’s event, as Dr. Nancy DePalma will not only be a celebrity chef but will also serve as honorary chair. Dr. DePalma has been a tremendous supporter of the Foundation since its inception and we are thrilled to honor her as she prepares to retire,” event Co-Chairs Cyndi Brown and Lisa Greene said in a news release.

“I feel extremely grateful to be in a district where the community, through the Foundation, is willing to provide additional financial support for educational projects in our classrooms. This support is one of the many reasons West Hartford Public Schools achieves excellence as a school district,” added Brown.

Last year’s West Hartford’s Cookin’ raised more than $40,000 to support the FWHPS grant-based programs and initiatives. According to the FWHPS, since its establishment as a non-profit 501(c)(3) non-profit in 1997, the Foundation has invested more than $1.3 million that has funded teacher mini-grants and in-residence programs and provided support to pilot programs like full-day public preschool.

“This event draws people from all over town to support public education in West Hartford. All of us appreciate that West Hartford teachers deliver to students from all walks of life a high-quality public education,” FWHPS Board of Directors Co-President Jennifer Shiffman said in the release.

The FWHPS also wants to thank the following “Explorer & Discoverer” sponsors: Atlantic Design Works, Bridgewater Chocolates, Cricket Press, Falvey Linen & Uniform Supply, JP Carroll Construction, LaSalle Partners, Optometric Specialty Group, Phil & Kim Keck, Stuart Levy Photography, Roger & Debbie Goldbeck, Rogo Distributors, Frank Webb’s Bath & Lighting Center, State Farm Insurance, West Hartford Education Association, West Hartford Parent Teacher Council, Women’s Health Specialty Care, West Hartford Magazine/We-Ha.com, and Whole Foods Market.

West Hartford’s Cookin’ will be held on Saturday, April 2, 2016, from 6:30 – 9 p.m. in the West Hartford Town Hall Auditorium, 50 South Main St.

For more information about West Hartford’s Cookin’ or instructions to purchase tickets, visit www.fwhps.org or call (860) 561-8755.

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