Oct 04, 2011 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
The smell of straw and barn dust, the sound of cowboy boot heels stomping in time to music, and the sight of a surprising sea of cowboy hats around the large crowd in Mandana Barn on Saturday, Oct. 1, were all indications of a highly successful turnout to the Skaneateles Education Foundation’s first annual “Hoedown for Education” fundraiser.
“It’s great fun,” said Chris Grajko, whose technicolor-swirled boots were the hit of the evening. “It’s a time when old ladies can wear cowboy boots!”
The mission of the foundation is to raise funds to help support academics in the Skaneateles schools by contributing to curriculum development and enhancement of resources. In the past two-and-a-half years, the foundation has contributed almost $45,000 to the Skaneateles district.
“This is a big thing, and it will become our annual event to raise money to benefit the children in our community,” said Cate Davis, foundation member and co-chair of the hoedown.
“It’s important for people to know what we do, because people often ask, ‘Why raise money when we pay such high school taxes?’ The answer is that Skaneateles gets less state aid than most schools, and we help support the extra programs that need money,” said Pam Pidhirny, foundation member and co-chair of the hoedown.
Saturday’s event featured music by Dusty Pas’cal and Loren Barrigar, line dancing by Phil Eno and a barbecue chicken and pulled pork dinner by Limp Lizard Barbecue and Catering of Syracuse. There was a silent auction to win vacation getaways such as a stay in a house in Naples, Fla., a stay in a condominium in Stratton, Vt., and dinner and an overnight stay at the Morgan House in Aurora.
Sponsors for the evening are Welch Allyn, Delmonico Insurance Agency, Keybank, Tops Friendly Markets, Green and Seifter CPAs, Wegmans, Griffith Energy, RMSCO, Skaneateles Rotary Club and the Slottje family.
About 150 people attended the hoedown, which raised more than $11,000 for the foundation just in admission sales.
“We’re really impressed by the number of people who got into the mood of the event,” said Pidhirny as she surveyed the western wear around the barn.
The foundation came up with the idea for the hoedown because no other organizations do anything quite like it, Davis said. “People don’t have to get all dressed up in fancy clothes, and country music is so big these days,” she said.
Julie Torrey, a 6th grade teacher at Skaneateles and member of the Foundation said, “This is such a positive, wonderful event. In these times of such little state aid to the districts, it’s amazing what the foundation does.”
For more information on the Skaneateles Education Foundation, go to skanedfoundation.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.