Mandana 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.