Foundation Honors Four Volunteer Committees at Annual Benefit

On Saturday, April 9, the Foundation for the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns will host its Annual Benefit, this year named, “From the Ground Up.” The event will be held from 7 pm to midnight at the Sleepy Hollow Country Club. The gala event is one of the largest fundraisers for the Foundation, featuring live and silent auctions, a raffle, as well as additional giving opportunities.

The Annual Benefit, formerly known as the Dinner Dance, is a much-anticipated event, typically bringing nearly 400 guests out for a lively evening of delicious food, cocktails, and dancing. As the entire District is invited, the evening has always been a social scene, bringing together friends, teachers, and community supporters.

From the Ground Up, as the name implies, will celebrate the grassroots nature of the community and will honor four volunteer committees that have made amazing improvements for the students at all District schools: Peabody Preserve Outdoor Classroom, Middle School Recess Redesign Committee, WI Fitness Playground Building Committee, and Fields Committee. These committees have dedicated themselves to ensuring that students have access to outdoor spaces that enhance their learning and social experiences through educational programming, free play, and organized sports.

Thanks to the efforts of local parents, environmentalists and donors, the Peabody Preserve Outdoor Classroom (PPOC) now features a brand new trail system accessing many points of interest and opportunities for learning. In addition to the ruins of the turn-of-the-century brick factory, the site features a pond, deciduous forest, freshwater and saltwater wetlands, views of the Hudson River and a wide variety of plants and wildlife. The Peabody Preserve Outdoor Classroom offers TUFSD students outdoor learning opportunities not available in most school districts. Students, along with teachers, parents and community partners, will be co-creators of what will become a signature program for the District. Access to this 39-acre preserve is on Route 9, across from the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.

The Middle School Recess Redesign Committee is dedicated to creating a welcoming space where students can spend their lunch period enjoying the outdoors, playing soccer or basketball, or just reading quietly or socializing with friends.  A devoted group of parents created a beautifully designed, open-air space that surrounds the aqueduct and offers many choices for a relaxed and student-centric recess.

The Washington Irving School Fitness Playground was a true community effort, initiated by parents and led by the EPTA.  The committee created partnerships working with teachers, staff and the School District to design, fund, and build a much needed play area for children in grades 3 through 5. The fitness play area was designed with a focus on climbing, balance, aerobic activity and imaginary play. Through multiple creative fundraisers, such as penny raffles, walk-a-thons, book sales, and even a wine tasting for the adults, the group raised over $65,000 for their project.

The Fields Committee took on the task of solving the shortage and poor condition of the athletic playing fields in the community. Among other challenges, they faced finding the proper resources to support the labor and costs associated with maintenance of the fields. The TUFSD Fields Committee, led by a motivated group of parents and administrators, was finally able to find the right solution:  they installed two turf fields and one natural grass field that are now available for student-athletes to use. One turf field is at Sleepy Hollow High School, and the second is the lower field at Washington Irving School(WI). The natural grass athletic field, renamed the Howard Godwin Memorial Field, is now the upper field at WI.

The Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization which was established in 1993 at the then-Superintendent’s request.  Dedicated to procuring outside resources to benefit students, the Foundation solicits grants from public and private sources, individual donations and in-kind services and cultivates partnerships with local businesses, corporations, and community-based organizations.  The Foundation Board is comprised of parents, staff, and Board of Education representatives in a truly collaborative effort to support the school community.

For more information about From the Ground Up, including ticket sales and sponsorship opportunities, please contact the Foundation Office by emailing foundation@tufsd.org or calling 914-366-8457.

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