A chance to help area schools, with a little something for yourself
● By J. Chambless
Among the auction items is a poster signed by all the cast members of 'The Big Bang Theory.'
The gala, scheduled Feb. 7 at the Gables at Chadds Ford, benefits the UCF Education Foundation, which is marking its 20th year of helping fund educational projects throughout the school district. To date, the organization has funded nearly $300,000 in projects. To do that, the group must first raise the money.
The gala begins at 7 p.m., with hors d'oeuvres and dancing, a wine and beer open bar and silent auction offering some stellar items. Tickets are $75 for non-members ($63 for current members). Before the gala, from 5 to 7 p.m., the Gables at Chadds Ford is offering a three-course dinner for $38. If you mention the Golden Gala, a percentage of the price will be donated to the Education Foundation.
The items up for bids include artwork by regional artists, jewelry, school pride baskets for all the area schools, gift cards for bed-and-breakfast inns and restaurants, tickets to sporting events, spa packages, wine packages, weekend getaways and more. Opening bids begin as low as $20.
Some of the headline collectibles up for bids are framed albums signed by members of Bon Jovi and U2, sheet music for "Suit and Tie" signed by Jay Z and Justin Timberlake, sheet music for "Just the Way You Are" signed by Billy Joel, a poster signed by all six actors who have played James Bond, a framed poster for "The Godfather" signed by the cast and Francis Ford Coppola, a signed "Frozen" poster, a signed "Lego Movie" poster, and a poster signed by all the cast members of "The Big Bang Theory."
Among the packages up for bids are an Orlando spring break with four Disney Park Hopper passes and a stay at the Parc Soleil by Hilton Grand Vacation Club; a private hot-air balloon ride over Napa Valley with private winery tours, a chauffeur, a three-night stay at Meritage Resort and Spa, and round-trip airfare to San Francisco; and a VIP tour of the 2015 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with an indoor spot to watch the parade in person.
According to UCF Education Foundation president Mike McGann, "Unfortunately, education in our state faces some of the biggest challenges in more than a generation -- a perfect storm of bad circumstances. We do not have to go very far afield to see schools already being hit by the impact of rapid increases in pension costs, increased mandates, and flat or even shrinking tax
bases. ... To be able to keep the focus on the big issues, there have been smaller, optional items that the district cannot fund going forward. These are the items, whether they be a new router for the wood shop, or bringing in musicians from prestigious Philadelphia orchestras, that we seek to fund. The funds directly go to fund everything from iPads for kindergartners to scholarships for Unionville High School seniors. Every penny goes right back into our schools."
The Gables at Chadds Ford is at 423 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford. For dinner reservations, call 610-388-7700. For more information and reservations to the Golden Gala, visit www.ucfedfoundation.org.
To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.