The magical evening of Saturday, April 9 at PDS was filled with suspense, thrills and fun – all for a great cause. The 2016 PDS Spring Benefit Auction launched the Green Future Capital Projects Campaign and was the biggest fundraising event of the year. Parents, grandparents, faculty, staff and alumni gathered to support the kickoff of this $250,000 campaign focusing on renewable energy generation and conservation while promoting environmental stewardship in our community.
The evening featured live and silent auctions of sought-after items and services generously donated by community members. This year’s auctioneers, Bernadette Condesso and Josh Camp Brown, kept the auction lively with jokes, poetry and even a bit of mandolin playing. With lightening speed, paddle raises enabled the purchase of a set of musical chimes instruments, hand power tools for the maker lab and a PA system for the gym.
Delicious tapas, wine and beer (compliments of Sloop Brewing & Vosburgh Orchards) and live jazz were enjoyed under large white tents and amid trees and twinkling lights. A dessert dash added an element of playfulness with a sweet ending.
A highlight of the event was the honoring of Josie Holford, Head of School (2006 – 2016) and Anthony Buccelli, Former Head of School (1991 – 2001). PDS parent Courtenay Caramico P’24, ’26 gave a lovely operatic performance of This Little Light of Mine, accompanied by music instructor Ken McGloin on the guitar.
The Spring Benefit Auction was a smashing success due to the tireless work and creativity of the auction committee chaired by Kim Conde P’22, GP’23. PDS is also grateful to Larry Teich P’16, ’19 who custom designed our online and mobile bidding system, which has replaced paper bidding sheets. This greener system enabled PDS to open the auction days before the event, allowing attendees to preview and plan their acquisitions before the big party. It also gave alumni, alumni parents and anyone unable to attend an opportunity to get in on the action (and they did!).
The event raised a gratifying amount of money (we’ll have a final number soon!) to be put toward two Green Future Capital Projects: high-efficiency LED lights in the gymnasium and self-learning and web-enabled climate control systems to modulate and save energy in Kenyon House and Gilkeson. Installation of both these initiatives will bring about an annual savings of $23,700.00. The investment in these new initiatives will be recouped in 5.5 years. After that, the savings begin!