HANOVER TOWNSHIP — The Calais Foundation, the fundraising arm of The Calais School in Whippany, celebrated their ninth Gala. The annual event was held at The Park Savoy Estate in Florham Park. From the Wine & Whiskey tasting pre-event, to the awards ceremony, and an action packed live auction there were lots of memorable moments.
Celebrity guest Don Oriolo, creative mastermind and son of the creator of “Felix the Cat”, lent his talents and larger than life personality to the Gala as co-auctioneer. He also donated a custom guitar with an original “Felix the Cat” design which sold at the live auction.
This year’s event honorees included:
Charlotte Leitner, founder of The Calais School and recipient of The Making A Difference Award for her lifelong commitment to empowering children with special learning needs.
Trevor Jones, Treasurer of The Calais Foundation, and recipient of The McClafferty Award for his leadership, dedication, and generosity.
Maryann Braen, educator at The Calais School and recipient of The Leitner Excellence in Education Award for her ongoing commitment to the learning disabled community through her profession.
Students studying Floral Design & Landscape at The Calais School prepared all of the floral centerpieces and dignitaries’ boutonnieres. Original artwork produced by students under the instruction of Kevin Brooks, The Calais School’s Artist-in-Residence, were displayed throughout the venue.
Perhaps the most impressive contribution from Calais’ students, based on sheer quantity, was the dessert! Under the tutelage of Assistant Principal, Steve Sokolewicz and the school’s nutritionist Kelly Walsh, the Culinary Arts classes worked for several weeks perfecting their donut recipe for the Gala’s first ever donut wall. Ultimately 300 donuts were produced!