Golden Gala shines on despite power outages in community

By Candice Monhollan Tables full of items for the silent auction lined the walls at The Gables of Chadds Ford during the Golden Gala Feb. 8.
By Candice Monhollan The Unionville-Chadds Ford Education Foundation raised roughly $13,000 in the silent auction during the Golden Gala Feb. 8.

CHADDS FORD – No snow, ice or lack of electricity could stop the Unionville-Chadds Ford Education Foundation from holding its biggest fundraiser, the Golden Gala, at The Gables of Chadds Ford Feb. 8.

“There were about 20 people who showered and changed at The Gables because they didn’t have electricity,” said Lele Galer, the president of the foundation. “Yet, they still came to the event. They were really supportive.”

In fact, The Gables itself just had its power turned back on the day before the event, but the community came out nonetheless to support the foundation and the district, filling the room almost to its 180-max capacity.

Those in attendance were not only school administrators and school board members, but also parents, teachers and business owners in the community.

“It was a heck of a bad week and it was very nice to go to a warm, beautiful place like The Gables and have some wine and some food and enjoy each other’s company,” Galer said.

Surrounding two walls of the room were tables upon tables filled with donations for the silent auction, ranging from cheesecakes to Philadelphia Flyers tickets and even tickets to attend the ESPYS.

“Jen Hall ran the silent auction this year,” Galer said. “She sent out notes to all the board members and they solicited their friends and local businesses to give a donation.”

A preliminary total shows the foundation raised about $13,000 from the silent auction alone.

“All of that money goes back into the schools,” Galer said. “Anybody who is bidding on an item or donating an item should feel really great because it’s 100 percent back to the schools.”

The foundation has been around for 20 years and holding something like the gala is an attempt by them to not only raise money for the schools in the Unionville-Chadds Ford district, but also to bring attention to the community of the needs of the students and teachers.

“It’s all for raising awareness for educational needs and trying to find a way to cooperatively support those needs,” Galer said. “We help support educational programs in the district and we’re a community-based organization where parents, teachers and administrators, community members and so on can be members of committees on the board where they discuss the things that are most passionate to them.

“We have about $70,000 in grant requests and we only have about $25,000 to $30,000 we have in our accounts right now to spend. We’re hoping the difference can be covered with external grants.”

The evening of hors d’oeuvres and an open wine and beer bar was supplemented by a DJ keeping the mood light. Those also interested could have a three-course prix fixe dinner before the gala officially started.

Once all was said and done and with preliminary numbers coming in, Galer is pleased with the roughly $20,000 raised after the gala’s return from a year-long hiatus.

About the Author

Candice Monhollan

Candice Monhollan is a 2012 Temple University graduate. She loves to cover sports, especially hockey. She enjoys marching with the Reading Buccaneers Drum & Bugle Corps and has a love of U.S. military history, which includes reenacting. Reach the author at cmonhollan@dailylocal.com .

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