A touch of Southern charm and the excitement of Churchill Downs is coming to the Kent Place School campus. The school’s volunteer Parents’ Association is busy preparing for a Kentucky Derby inspired Spring Fling fundraiser on April 30. The evening will be filled with the sights, sounds and tastes of Derby Day – including Southern Fare, Mint Juleps and a race to the Winner’s Circle.

The 20thAnnual Spring Fling event will take place on Saturday evening, April 30, in the school’s Field House. The volunteer committee is ‘betting’ that the lively evening will be a wonderful opportunity for parents, faculty, staff and local alumnae to celebrate their school community. In addition to spectacular down home food prepared by David Ellis Events, musical entertainment will be provided by Mike Griot and Friends, an amazing collection of New York musicians from the rock, pop, soul and Broadway worlds.  Girot is also founder of the South Orange International Blues Festival.

Friends of Kent Place will have the opportunity to support the school by bidding on an array of fabulous live, silent and tricky tray auction items.  Each and every grade will also contribute a unique, creative class basket to be auctioned.

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A “Run for the Roses” 50/50 raffle is sure to draw interest as well. The grand prize is a 50/50 cash split of the net raffle proceeds.  Sale of tickets is limited to 750, and the winner will receive 50 percent of the amount received for all tickets or rights to participate.  Raffle tickets are available to the general public and winners need not be present to collect their prizes.  Tickets are $100 each.  With a purchase of three tickets for $300, the buyer also receives a free sterling horseshoe charm.  A pack of six tickets costs $600, and includes one free admission to Spring Fling.

Additional highlights include the ever popular Wine Pull raffle which offers purchasers of numbered corks the chance to win donated bottles of wine valued at $40 and up.  During the Hat Parade, a great Derby tradition, guests will be awarded prizes for both elegant and outrageous hats. The competition doesn’t stop there. Individual classes will compete to make it to the “Winner’s Circle.” The class with the highest percentage of parent attendance at Spring Fling will be eligible to win a pizza party (parents with multiple children will be credited for each student).

The Kent Place Parents’ Association is thankful for the many prominent businesses in Summit, Madison, Maplewood, Millburn, Westfield, Montclair, Bernardsville, Basking Ridge, among other towns, who have generously donated auction items to the event.  Schroth & Lorenson of Summit, for example, has been providing Kent Place with sterling silver charms for the past nine years, and graciously donates a percentage of sales back to the school.

Proceeds from the Spring Fling 2011 fundraiser will benefit the academic, athletic and artistic activities of Kent Place students, Nursery through Grade 12.  Event questions and raffle inquiries can be directed to (908) 273-0900, ext. 234.

Kent Place School is an independent, nonsectarian, college-preparatory day school which, for over 100 years, has provided a superior education for young women who demonstrate strong scholastic and creative ability.  Visit Kent Place on the web at www.kentplace.org