Education foundation holds gala

People from across the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District came out to The Gables at Chadds Ford Saturday night to celebrate and support the work of the district’s Education Foundation.

The annual Golden Gala is the foundation’s largest fundraiser and allows the group to award grants and scholarships that benefit the students and schools in the district.

“This group really cares about taking care of the community,” said Scott Litzenberg, a foundation board member and a teacher at Unionville High School.

The Unionville-Chadds Ford Education Foundation is a non-profit group comprising parents, community members, school representatives and others who work to “supplement funding for innovative education programs and projects in our schools,” according to its website

Susan Mangan, left, and Linda Bronson, co-presidents of the Unionville-Chadds Ford Education Foundation.

Co-President Linda Bronson said the foundation awards about $25,000 in grants, usually for projects not included in the budget.

Previous grants have helped fund signage for the Hillendale Elementary trail, water bottle filling stations in the buildings, and a low ropes course, among other things.

One grant the foundation is proud of can be seen in the Patton Middle School cafeteria. There, according to Anne Millman, the gala committee chairwoman for the foundation, students can find hydroponic towers that will grow vegetables.

“We are so excited about this,” she said. “They were just installed.”

Susan Mangan, the other president of the foundation, said the grant ideas are usually presented to them by students, teachers and others.

“The whole conversation is very collaborative,” she said at the gala.

When the grant requests require more than the foundation can provide, Mangan said, they help pursue outside funding.

The gala usually draws about 150 people, according to Millman.

“The community really comes out and supports us,” she said.

One of the main features at the gala, now in its fifth year, was the silent auction, which lined three walls. People could bid on everything from camping trips to Flyers tickets to baskets designed by each of the schools in the district.

The auction is Jennifer Hall’s favorite part of the evening.

“You get fun stuff you normally wouldn’t find,” said Hall, who has children in all of the schools and who ran the gala for the first three years.

Sherry Grieco, who has a high schooler and two elementary school students, attended the gala for the first year after hearing about it from Paula Hendley.

“We’re here to support the schools,” said Hendley, who has a fifth- and a sixth-grader. “It’s a fun event.”

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About Monica Fragale

Monica Thompson Fragale is a freelance reporter who spent her life dreaming of being in the newspaper business. That dream came true after college when she started working at The Kennett Paper and, years later The Reporter newspaper in Lansdale and other dailies. She turned to non-profit work after her first daughter was born and spent the next 13 years in that field. But while you can take the girl out of journalism, you can’t take journalism out of the girl. Offers to freelance sparked the writing bug again started her fingers happily tapping away on the keyboard. Monica lives with her husband and two children in Kennett Square.



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