And Now a Word From the PTO

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And Now a Word From the PTO


Mystery Dinner Thank You!!!

A big thank you to everyone who helped make the 2012 Mystery Dinner a huge success! The fifth annual Mystery Dinner was once again an evening filled with much enjoyment where friends had a chance to connect and new friends were made. For those of you we missed at this year's event, here is a re-cap of the night's activities:


At 6:00pm over 135 people gathered for the Appetizers Party at the home of Jen Weber and Laurence Bailen. A special thank you to Jen and Laurence for the sensational party that kicked off the evening's festivities and for hosting so many of us in their home. Everyone had a wonderful time socializing and enjoying the spread of food and beverages that were provided. It was hard to leave, but...


It was 8:00pm and time to head to the surprise dinner destinations that were revealed during the Appetizer Party. The themed dinners took place at 10 different Ward School homes. An enormous THANK YOU to the hosts who generously volunteered their homes and took such care to prepare these amazing dinners:

  • Julia Johnston-Ketterer and Debra Johnston together with Susan Fabry and Lothar Windels - Sponge Bob
  • Ellen Waldorf together with Leslie Bock - Chef's Whimsy
  • Madelon Bracke and Jan de Boer - Dutch Masters (Highlights from the Netherlands)
  • Mary and Michael McKee - An Evening in Paris
  • David and Debbie O'Rourke together with Heather and Jeremy Pozen - Mexican Fiesta
  • Jen and Jeff Gandel - Sizzling Southwestern
  • Anna and Edward Casajuana - Cuina de Mercat (Seasonal Cuisine) from Barcelona
  • Christine and Jim Elder - Nonna's Catch of the Day
  • Gail and Eric Fitzgerald together with Rachel and Andy Spellman - Some Like it Cold (Champagne and Seafood)
  • Alexis and Charlie Giannakopoulos together with Alex and John Chakalis - My Big Fat Greek Dinner

Look for the evening's menus posted in the front lobby!


After dinner guests reconvened at the final stop of the evening; the Dessert Party, held at the home of Maria Sullivan and Paul Donovan. Another special thank you to Maria and Paul for a spectacularly fun end to the evening. This part of the evening lasted until well after midnight as people recapped their meals, danced and enjoyed the yummy drinks and desserts which were donated by: Kim Creem, Dawn Davis, Deb Gilpin, Joanne Kazarian, Lisa Kirby, Wendy Kritzer, Melissa Lerou, Christine O'Neill, Beth Panella, Jyoti Peters, Sharon Salter, Monika Sawicki, Deb Seigel, Shana Smythe and Deb Vogel. Thanks to all of you for putting together such an amazing array of fabulous desserts!


And last but not least, special thanks to Jessica Gilmartin for organizing this fantastic event! Having such a generous community makes such a positive impact on our Ward School Community. Thanks to all of you who participated. In the end it was a wonderful evening for all and over $7,000 was raised for the Ward School PTO. A great night! The evening's proceeds will help support the many programs funded by the PTO.  


International Night ~ Volunteers Needed

International Night is scheduled for Wednesday, March 20th which is a fun-filled educational evening for the whole family celebrating the international diversity of the Ward School! Kids get "passports" to travel to international country booths and there will be an international potluck dinner as well. Please consider volunteering for this popular event, contact Anna Olivella at



Please leave the orange UNICEF boxes with your collections in the Ward lobby on the table outside of the office by Friday, November 9th. Thank you to all the Ward School children who collected money on Halloween for UNICEF! This money will make a difference in the lives of children around the world and will be used to buy medicine, food, vitamins and school supplies.



***Upcoming Events***


5th Grade Bake Sale ~ Election Day

The 5th graders will be holding a bake sale during the election. Stop by on Tuesday, November 6th and pick up some bake goods to help the 5th grade with their annual fundraising.


CARe Committee Canned Food Drive ~ November 1st - 15th

The CARe Committee is holding a canned food drive from November 1st through the 15th. Donations can be brought to the Ward school lobby. Please check the PTO website for a list of needed items. We will be sponsoring the Centre Street Food Pantry which provides families within our community with consistent access to nutritious food in a dignified and sensitive environment.


Grade-Wide Pot Luck Dinners

The grade wide pot luck dinners start this month. Save the date and line up a sitter if you have children in the following grades:

  • Kindergarten hosted by Lisa & Chris Kirby on Saturday, January 12th
  • 1st Grade hosted by Heidi Gardner and Ivan Matviak on Saturday, January 26th
  • 2nd Grade hosted by Heather & Jeremy Pozen on Friday, November 30th
  • 3rd Grade hosted by Jodi & Sam Figler on Friday, November 16th
  • 4th Grade hosted by Madelon Bracke & Jan de Boer on Saturday, November 17th
  • 5th Grade coordinated by Maria Sullivan, location(s) and date TBD (early February)


Closer to each evening you will be receiving an email by grade with more details on your specific event. Please contact Beth Panella at if you have any questions.