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West Hartford’s Cookin’ a Great Success

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

The event raised more than $40,000 for the Foundation for West Hartford Public Schools.

By Ronni Newton

West Hartford was cookin’ on March 21, as celebrity chefs – aka leaders from West Hartford’s education, government, and business communities – were dishing out samples of their favorites dishes to several hundred guests who attended the annual fundraiser.

According to organizers, the Foundation for West Hartford Public Schools raised more than $40,ooo this year to support projects, programs, and initiatives that “enhance the educational experience of students across the district.” The FWHPS has invested more than $1.2 million in grants to support teachers, in-residence and pilot programs, since it was founded in 1997.

Food offerings ranged from salads, to chili, to macaroni and cheese, to barbeque, and much more. There was an extensive selection of delcious desserts.

Mayor Scott Slifka has been a chef every year, but gets some help with food preparation from family members, including his sister-in-law Andrea who is a trained chef. “This is a unique combination of a great cause, a great event, and a great night out,” Slifka said.

In a great show of unity and cooperation, Hall Principal Dan Zittoun served spaghetti while Conard Principal Julio Duarte served meatballs. “I enjoy supporting the community and being here with the other principals. The Foundation is wonderful for the schools,” Zittoun said. “I love everything the Foundation does for teachers and administrators,” said Duarte.

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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. West Hartford’s Cookin’. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Town Council member Judy Casperson. West Hartford's Cookin'. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Town Council member Judy Casperson. West Hartford’s Cookin’. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Town council and former Board of Education member Clare Kindall (right) has been cooking for 9 years. West Hartford's Cookin'. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Town council and former Board of Education member Clare Kindall (right) has been cooking for 9 years. At left is State Rep. Brian Becker. West Hartford’s Cookin’. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford's Cookin'. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford’s Cookin’. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Guests sample the celebrity chef offerings. West Hartford's Cookin'. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Guests sample the celebrity chef offerings. West Hartford’s Cookin’. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford's Cookin'. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford’s Cookin’. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford's Cookin' included a live and silent auction. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford’s Cookin’ included a live and silent auction. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Director of Community Services Mark McGovern with Superintendent of Schools Tom Moore. West Hartford's Cookin'. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Director of Community Services Mark McGovern (left) with Superintendent of Schools Tom Moore. West Hartford’s Cookin’. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Board of Education member Terry Schmitt (left) with Earl Exum, husband of board member Tammy Exum. West Hartford's Cookin'. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Board of Education member Terry Schmitt (left) with Earl Exum, husband of board member Tammy Exum. West Hartford’s Cookin’. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford's Cookin'. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford’s Cookin’. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

FOX CT's Erika Arias served as emcee, and resident John Lyons was auctioneer. West Hartford's Cookin'. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

FOX CT’s Erika Arias served as emcee, and resident John Lyons was auctioneer. West Hartford’s Cookin’. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

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