Community Pours Out Support for Schools at Annual Taste of Chatham

The 11th Annual Taste of Chatham event was held Monday night at Brooklake Country Club. Credits: Christy Potter Kass
The Brooklake Country Club was overflowing with people who wanted to show their support for Chatham schools. Credits: Christy Potter Kass
A Taste of Asia offered samples of its cuisine. Credits: Christy Potter Kass
The crew from Whole Foods Market Rose City Madison manned a table at Monday night's event. Credits: Christy Potter Kass
Arminio's Italian Corner offered samples of pasta, sausage and garlic knots. Credits: Christy Potter Kass
The crew from Gabriella's Homemade Ice Cream served up sweet treats to the crowd. Credits: Christy Potter Kass
Donated items of all kinds were included in the silent auction and tricky tray. Credits: Christy Potter Kass
The Chatham High School Pops Orchestra provided music during the event. Credits: Christy Potter Kass


CHATHAM, NJ – If community support was pourable, the Chatham Education Foundation’s cup would be running over right now.

The 11th Annual Taste of Chatham, benefiting the School District of the Chathams, filled the Brooklake Country Club with people from the community who were eager to show their support for local schools.

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“We are very excited that so many different parts of the community supported over event this year,” said Colleen Markley, president of the Education Foundation. “So many restaurants generously donated food and wine.”

This year’s event, Markley said, was completely underwritten by corporate sponsors, meaning that every dollar raised at the event goes back into Chatham schools.

“This is a terrific event,” said Interim Superintendent Dennis Fyffe, who was attending the event for the first time. “It really speaks volumes about this community and its commitment to our schools. It’s fantastic to be a part of this.”

Against a backdrop of music provided by student pianist Patrick Sullivan, the Chatham High School Pops Orchestra and the Chatham High School SNAPS singers, guests mingled and chatted over samples of food and wine from some of Chatham’s finest restaurants.

The evening included a silent auction, tricky tray, wine pull and 50/50 raffle. Markley said the silent auction took a different and fun turn this year with the addition of “High Five for Teachers,” auction items with a minimum bid of $5 and incremental bids of the same. Items included lunch, craft time or games with different teachers or principals for children, or coffee time for parents.

“Some of our auction items are very high-dollar, and we wanted to be able to also include some things that were less expensive so everyone could participate,” Markley said.

Investors Bank was the lead underwriter, and Pipeworks Services Inc., Smythe Volvo and Verizon were also underwriters. Gold sponsors included Peapack-Gladstone Bank and Robert Rosen, DMD. Silver sponsors were Simonfay Landscape Service, Inc. and Pediatric Therapeutics. Bronze Sponsors were Waverly TV, Liberty Drug & Surgical, Suburban Chiropractic Center, Lil’ Reading Scientists and Hilltop Community Bank.

Other sponsors included Mary Weichert of Weichert, Realtors (platinum); Kathy Barrett of Lois Schneider Realtors, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage and Francine Alcorn of Coldwell Banker. Bronze sponsors included Jack and Linda Magley of REMAX, Sudler Management Company; Bobbie Veeder of Town and Country; and Cynthia Edgar of Turpin Real Estate.

Restaurants included Arminio’s Italian Corner, Brooklake Country Club, Café Beethoven, Charley’s Aunt, Chatham River Grille, Fairmount Country Store, Farley’s Place, Gabriella’s Homemade Ice Cream, Hickory Tree Pizza, Hickory Wine Cellars, Kings’ Catering, Lola’s – A Little Taste of Mexico, Mitsuba Japanese Cuisine, Pascarella Brothers Deli, Restaurant Serenade, A Taste of Asia and Whole Foods Market of Madison.

The Chatham Education Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization who mission is to enhance public education through private funding. It is governed by a Board of Trustees consisting of volunteers from all corners of the community, and operates independently of the Board of Education and the PTOs.

The foundation is committed to funding special projects and equipment throughout Chatham public schools, either as district-wide gifts or grants to teachers to use in their classrooms. 

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