Huntington Foundation Announces Gala Plans

OHEKA Castle will host the Huntington Foundation's gala. (Cliff Weissman photo.)

September 21, 2016

The Huntington Foundation’s 2017 gala will return to OHEKA castle this coming winter. The organization is planning to celebrate public education along with the careers of Spirit Award honorees James Graber and Michael Brown.

The Huntington Foundation’s 24th annual gala is set for Thursday, March 2. A sellout crowd is anticipated. Proceeds from the evening will be used to enhance the district’s programs in all eight school buildings. The monies will fund the organization’s two grant programs.

One of the most legendary of all the Gold Coast estates, OHEKA is expected to provide unsurpassed ambiance for an evening consisting of music, dancing and fine foods. Last February’s gala raised tens of thousands of dollars for the Huntington Foundation for Excellence in Education’s grant programs and organization officials are hopeful that even more will be raised at the gathering next March.

Otto Herman Kahn built the 443 acre
OHEKA estate and mansion on the Gold Coast.

A longtime Huntington High School social studies teacher, Mr. Graber also serves as president of the Associated Teachers of Huntington, the professional organization of the district’s teachers.

Mr. Brown starred on the Blue Devil football and track and field teams. He hit it off with several faculty members and coaches during his time at the high school, including English teachers Robert Leonard and Chris Cusamano, math teacher Judy Gleicher, football coach John Paci, Jr. and track coach Dennis Walker. He was a receiver and defensive back on the gridiron and was All-Conference in the 400m hurdles and All-County in the 4x100m relay. 

Following his graduation from high school, Mr. Brown attended Boston University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in the School of Management. He later obtained a graduate degree at BU in management consulting.

While at Boston University, Mr. Brown walked onto the football team and quickly earned the respect of everyone associated with the squad. He was given a scholarship in his second year there and was the starting placekicker for three seasons.

The March gala will include impressive raffle prizes, silent and live auctions and a chance to win the grand prize: a brand new 2017 Lexus (24 month lease or $5,000 cash out option), courtesy of Atlantic Lexus Farmingdale.

Visit for more information on the Huntington Foundation and additional information on the gala as it becomes available.