Masters to host “We are Family” Spring Gala

Masters%27+Spring+Gala+fundraiser+will+be+held+on+April+23+on+campus+in+the+Fonseca+Center.

Illustration by Oliver Peterson

Masters' Spring Gala fundraiser will be held on April 23 on campus in the Fonseca Center.

Yasmine Pascal, Features Editor

The Maureen Fonseca Center will be decked out in disco decorations for the upcoming “We are Family” Spring Gala on April 23 to raise money for the School. According to The Masters School website, all the proceeds will go to “advance the School’s mission by supporting access to the performing arts, our Innovation and Entrepreneurship program, and more.” The Gala will include live and silent auctions, raffle baskets, cocktails and a dinner served by OnTheMarc, a catering service in Stamford, Connecticut. 

The last Spring Gala was held in 2017 under the theme of sustainability. According to the Director of Parent Engagement and Special Events, Aishling Peterson, the Gala’s expenses were about $180,000, with $750,000 raised in net proceeds. The Gala committee’s fundraising goal for this year is $500,000 and the proceeds will go into school programs chosen by the Head of School, Laura Danforth and the Board of Trustees.  

Associate Director of Institutional Advancement, Mary Ryan, who attended the last gala, recognized that these events are an important way to unite the community. 

She said, “It’s really cool to see our parents’ plans come to life  and everyone is really excited to be together and celebrate the school. Because our parents come from so far away, they don’t always get to be on campus together, so I think parents are excited to see each other and meet each other.” 

Ryan also commended the parents for all the hard work they put into making the night so special, from coordinating the decorations to donating houses or artwork to the auction. 

Classical instrumental music and public speaking teacher Curt Ebersole is also the Masters of Ceremonies (M.C.) for the Gala; said he is honored to be given that opportunity, especially since he’s never done it before. 

Last year, Ebersole wanted to improve his skills as a public speaking teacher and decided to seek professional development, in the form of a stand-up comedy class in Scarsdale.

 “The class ended with a class performance at a comedy club in the city… They videotaped everyone’s routine and I put it up on YouTube. It trickled down to the powers that be and I guess they saw it and saw the potential of that side of me being an M.C.,” he said. 

Parents and alumni can donate auction items, sign up to help volunteer, buy tickets, participate in grade raffles, or purchase sponsorships for this upcoming Gala by going to the school website. At the gala, there will also be a paddle raise, which allows the committee to raise money in specific areas. The auctioneer will introduce the program, for example athletics, and the audience raises their paddles indicating how much money they want to donate to this program.

“One of the reasons we have a variety of ways for people to get involved is because we recognize that while the Gala is a significant fundraiser for the school, it can also be difficult for some folks to donate beyond what they are already doing for the school.””

— Aishling Peterson

According to Peterson, “One of the reasons we have a variety of ways for people to get involved is because we recognize that while the Gala is a significant fundraiser for the school, it can also be difficult for some folks to donate beyond what they are already doing for the school.”

Upper School teachers Brad Turow and Matthew Ives, as well as Middle School teachers Chris Mizzel and Erik Johnke, will be performing as a band at the Gala. To go along with the theme of the night, they will be playing disco-themed songs. This will be Turow’s first time attending a gala at Masters, and right now he and his bandmates are trying to decide which song they want to perform. 

“A couple people [in the band] said they wanted to play ‘I Will Survive,’so we might do that. And I think they said we have to play the song ‘We are family,’” Turow said. 

Peterson is excited to not only work with everyone to make the Gala a success, but to also bring the community together. 

“I am excited and hopeful that we will have a great turnout and that we will have people attending, who this may be the first event they’ve attended on campus all year or it may be the last event or  Gala they’ll attend because their kids are graduating,” she said.