SEPTA gala

SEPTA’s Sunset & Sounds Gala Stuns Again

The Head of the Bay Club gave the SEPTA gala an unmatched atmosphere. (Cliff Weissman photo.)

June 12, 2017

The Huntington School District’s Special Education PTA is indefatigable in pursuit of its goals. The organization recently held its annual gala at the Head of the Bay Club, raising thousands of dollars that will be ultimately be plowed right back into programs designed to enhance the classroom experience of hundreds of students.

Billed as “Sunset and Sounds on the Bay,” the fundraising party was an upbeat evening for participants, who enjoyed delectable food, live music, dancing, a fast-moving auction and a chance to contribute to a cause that makes a real difference in the lives of the young people attending the district’s eight schools.

Resting high above Huntington Bay, the Bay Club offers views that are hard to match. A crowd of more than 100 turned out for this year’s gala. “The evening could be described as nothing less than jubilant,” SEPTA co-Vice President Tonya Guandique said.

With the picturesque backdrop creating an unparalleled atmosphere, the evening just had to be a success and it was. It featured more than six dozen top-of-the-line raffle baskets along with 12 others that were live auctioned off by professional auctioneer Jeffrey Klaverweiden. Some of the more novel prizes included Principal for a Day rights, which some parents happily sought for one of their children.

Superintendent James W. Polansky was joined by district principals Brenden Cusack, John Amato and Valerie Capitulo-Saide, Director of Special Education and Student Support Services Diana Rich and assorted faculty and staff members along with several Huntington School Board members.

The Willie Steel Band kept everyone entertained. Mr. Cusack even took a turn before the crowd, belting out several tunes.

“It was another beautiful night thanks to SEPTA,” Mr. Polansky said. “There was great company, a terrific meal, outstanding raffle prizes and great fun; all in support of a group that does so much for our students.”

A district-wide organization, SEPTA sponsors informative programs, funds grants to obtain supplies, materials and resources to support student programs and awards scholarships to graduating seniors.

Huntington SEPTA’s executive board includes co-Presidents Jen LaVertu and Mary Mortenson; co-Vice Presidents Corinne Heffernen and Tonya Guandique; Treasurer Melinda Weissman (Treasurer); Corresponding Secretary Lisa Hanna; Recording Secretary Miho Verfenstein and PTA Council Delegates Alice Marie Rorke and Lynette Bavaro.

Gala participants enjoyed stunning views from the Bay Club. (Cliff Weissman photo.)
Alice Marie and Jerry Rorke and Christine Biernacki were among the guests. (Cliff Weissman photo.)
Huntington Principal Brenden Cusack sang for the crowd. (Cliff Weissman photo.
The event raised thousands for Huntington SEPTA. (Cliff Weissman photo.)
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