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West Hartford Was Cookin’ at Saturday Night’s Successful Event

From left: Elementary school principals Jeff Wallowitz (Webster Hill), Jeff Souza (Braeburn), and Juan Melian (Charter Oak). West Hartford's Cookin'. March 24, 2018. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The Foundation for West Hartford Public Schools’ popular annual fundraiser, West Hartford’s Cookin’, was a great success.

Superintendent Tom Moore (left) and Roszena Haskins. West Hartford’s Cookin’. March 24, 2018. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

By Ronni Newton

The Foundation for West Hartford Pubic Schools (FWHPS) marked its 20th anniversary at West Hartford’s Cookin’ on Saturday night, and by all accounts the evening was a rousing success.

Celebrity chefs representing every one of West Hartford’s public schools, as well as town administrators, elected officials, and other special guests dished out samples of their favorites dishes Saturday night to a crowd of about 350 at the FWHPS’s signature fundraising event.

Both Conard and Hall principals ceded their chef duties to the culinary arts classes, and under the direction of their teachers the Conard students prepared and plated caprese skewers and canoli cups while the Hall students prepared chicken parmesan balls with tomato sauce.

Death by Chocolate. West Hartford’s Cookin’. March 24, 2018. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Other dishes included a selection of wings, ham and cheese and rueben sliders, crab bites, soups (tomato, asparagus, matzoh ball), omelet bites, and an array of decadent desserts.

Cathy Woods, FWHPS co-president reported that in total just over $50,000 was raised at the event, making it the most successful West Hartford’s Cookin’ ever. The “paddle raise” during the live auction, which was introduced last year for the first time, raised $6,900 of that amount.

The event also included a live auction – with “Hamilton” tickets, sports experiences, and dinner events as the featured items – a silent auction, and a raffle.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Foundation for West Hartford Public Schools. We are very thankful this year to honor Dougie Trumble and Heather Congdon, founding members of the Foundation at this year’s annual fundraiser,” Woods said.

Two named grants, honoring Trumble and Congdon, were announced at the event. Trumble served as honorary chair and thanked the crowd for their support over the past 20 years.

“It was fun starting this 20 years ago, but the most fun is really seeing what’s going on right now,” Trumble said. Jason Congdon, speaking on behalf of his mother who passed away in 2003, also thanked supporters.

“Over the years, more than $1.5 million dollars in grants have been awarded to our district teachers who have implemented innovative programs, hosted artists and authors in-residence, and created exceptional educational opportunities for our town’s students,” Woods said. “The Foundation is a tremendous asset to our community and it is all made possible by our dedicated board members, very generous donors, and innovative teachers.”

Anyone who was unable to attend or would otherwise like to consider making a donation to FWHPS can do so through the organization’s website http://www.fwhps.org/.

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Elementary school principals. West Hartford’s Cookin’. March 24, 2018. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Students from Conard’s culinary arts class prepared a dish under the direction of teacher Kim Deep-McNamara. West Hartford’s Cookin’. March 24, 2018. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Students from Hall’s culinary arts class prepared a dish under the direction of teacher Jessica Brand. West Hartford’s Cookin’. March 24, 2018. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Chicken Parmesan balls were prepared by the Hall High School culinary arts class. West Hartford’s Cookin’. March 24, 2018. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

A colorful chickpea salad by Webster Hill Principal Jeff Wallowitz. West Hartford’s Cookin’. March 24, 2018. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Braeburn Principal Jeff Sousa served ham and cheese sliders. West Hartford’s Cookin’. March 24, 2018. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Omelet bites created by Charter Oak International Academy Principal Juan Melian. West Hartford’s Cookin’. March 24, 2018. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Board of Education member Dave Pauluk served sweet or spicy chicken wrapped in bacon.. West Hartford’s Cookin’. March 24, 2018. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Jody Mock (left) and Beth Kerrigan served spicy tomato soup. West Hartford’s Cookin’. March 24, 2018. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Town Council member Ben Wenograd (left) and Probate Judge Owen Eagan on ‘Dessert Row.’ West Hartford’s Cookin’. March 24, 2018. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford’s Cookin’. March 24, 2018. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

From left: Mayor Shari Cantor, Town Manager Matt Hart, and Claire Hart. West Hartford’s Cookin’. March 24, 2018. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Press Editor Abigail Albair (left) with Norfeldt Elementary School Principal Jen Derick. West Hartford’s Cookin’. March 24, 2018. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford’s Cookin’. March 24, 2018. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Morley Principal Ryan Cleary. West Hartford’s Cookin’. March 24, 2018. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

From left: Kevin Kobelski, Dallas Dodge, Chris Williams. West Hartford’s Cookin’. March 24, 2018. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Town Council member Leon Davidoff made his famous matzoh ball soup. West Hartford’s Cookin’. March 24, 2018. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Sedgwick Middle School Principal Andrew Clapsaddle. West Hartford’s Cookin’. March 24, 2018. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Director of Leisure and Social Services Helen Rubino-Turco. West Hartford’s Cookin’. March 24, 2018. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford’s Cookin’. March 24, 2018. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford’s Cookin’. March 24, 2018. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford’s Cookin’. March 24, 2018. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

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