WEF receives CT CEF Award

Dena accepting CTCEF award Oct12013


The Connecticut Consortium of Education Foundations (CTCEF) is extremely pleased to announce that the Woodstock Education Foundation (WEF) has been recognized for its outstanding work. The WEF is one of only two foundations in CT to receive the recognition this year. Dr. Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, CTCEF board member and Superintendent of Schools for Southington Public Schools, made the announcement today.

The Woodstock Education Foundation was selected for its creative and innovative partnerships with its local Board of Education, school administrators, and the community. The Woodstock Public Schools’ Summer Learning Initiative was cited as an example of the outstanding work supported by the WEF this past year in partnership with the Woodstock Board of Education and several Woodstock citizens. Woodstock Superintendent of Schools, Frank Baran, Program Director Renee Surprenant, and parent James Reynolds led the effort.

To acknowledge the achievement, a plaque was presented to the WEF’s vice-president, Dena O’Hara, at the Connecticut Consortium of Education Foundation’s 14th annual conference on October 1, 2013, in Cromwell, CT.  WEF board members are Joseph M. Adiletta, Karen Chapuis, Cliff Davis, Wendy Durand, Debra Faist, Susan P. Fleck, Jeffrey Gordon, M.D., Wendy LeBoeuf, Norma Jean Loftus, Susan McDowell, Dena Cocozza O’Hara, Kirsten Rigney, Kathleen Stevenson, Suzanne Woodward, Michele Woz, and Barbara Wright.

CTCEF facilitates the creation, growth, and effectiveness of local education foundations in CT. Our philosophy is based on the proven principle that community engagement is a key factor in improving schools and that local education foundations can play a key role. CTCEF is the only organization that focuses on bringing the 90 Connecticut education foundations together with local school districts, caring communities, and each other.

WEF Holiday Ornaments

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These beautiful pewter ornaments fabricated by Woodbury Pewter are available for $12.00 each (sales tax included).  Your purchase of a Woodstock holiday ornament helps support valuable enrichment programs at Woodstock Public Schools. 
This year we have the fifth issue in a series of pewter Holiday ornaments depicting scenes from rural Woodstock, CT. For the 2013 ornament, we chose to represent Palmer Memorial Hall located in the center of the National Register Historic District of Woodstock Hill on Route 169. Palmer Hall is a stately building with broad lawns located in front of the woodland gardens of the Palmer Arboretum.  We also have Quasset School (2012), Woodstock Academy (2009), Roseland Cottage (2008), and the Woodstock Fair (2007) ornaments for sale.

Starlight Gala

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Over 100 supporters attended the third annual Woodstock Education Foundation’s Starlight Gala on Friday, October 24th, held at the beautiful Mansion at Bald Hill.   People enjoyed an evening of camaraderie while trying to out-bid each other on the many silent and live auction items available.  The event was a tremendous success, raising over $33,000 for the all-volunteer, non-profit Woodstock Education Foundation (WEF).  This was 30% more than last year and a new record!

The WEF awards grants to programs that further its mission:  to broaden the sphere of learning for Woodstock students by fostering partnerships that provide resources to expand the reach of the K-8 public school experience.  “This year’s Starlight Gala was stellar,” said Starlight Gala Chairperson Kirsten Rigney, “We are so grateful to all of the donors and attendees for their tremendous generosity in support of enrichment programs for Woodstock’s children.”   In 2013-14, the programs supported by the WEF touched Woodstock public school students over 3,750 times in various educational ways.  Some of last year’s WEF grants funded: the purchase of instruments for a new ukelele and guitar program, the middle school public speaking program, Odyssey of the Mind, Math Counts and visitors from the CT Historical Society.

At the Gala, the bidding started with a silent auction for over 50 donated items.  At the conclusion of the silent auction, the raucous live action began.  Both auctions had something for everyone and bidding was fast and furious as people vied for the hot items.  One of the most hotly contested items, which generated a wild bidding war, was a catered surf and turf party for 25 people, donated by Renee’s Working Girl Catering Service, LLC with DJ services contributed by Serge Saraidarian.  The lucky winners were Patrick and Erica O’Brien, of Woodstock, who said afterwards, “We look forward to the annual WEF Starlight Gala. WEF continues to amaze us with its creative fundraising. Like every other town, Woodstock’s school systems are always fighting uphill budget battles. WEF has created an additional alternate source to enrich our school systems and our children by funding different programs. The Gala is a great way to support WEF, all while enjoying a night out with other community-minded adults and winning great auction items at the same time!”

Other popular auction items included a 7-10 day stay at an apartment in Southern France, April vacation at a beach house in Maine, Principal for the Day at the Woodstock Elementary School, and Stay & Ski weekend get-aways to Jiminy Peak and Sunapee.

The Starlight Gala would not have been possible without the generous support and donations from the following local businesses and individuals:  Advantage Tennis; Artique – a paint bar; Barbara and Thomas Wright/Best Bib & Tucker; Bed & Breakfast at Taylor’s Corner; Body by Design; Brittan Goetz, LLC; Buckles in a Snap; Connecticut Science Center; Crabtree & Evelyn; Dan and Wendy Durand; David and Kathleen Stevenson; Devon Point Farm; Dina Godzik Photography; Eclipse Landscaping; Floki Hair Salon; Fred and Natalie Lynn; G. Leslie Sweetnam; Garden Gate Florist; Hart Tree & Landscaping; Jason and Michele Woz; Jay Livernois and M-P Marthe; Jessica Tuesday’s; Jim Reynolds; Laylock Cottage Design; LeBoeuf Rubbish Removal, Inc; Linemaster Switch; Macaran Printed Products; Mary Ann Haar; Metro Bistrot; Mike and Joan Warford; Minutemen Home Services, Jeff Child; Donna Lynch; Northpoint Mortgage; Northwood Childcare, LLC; Paul Nixon; Periwinkles; Price Chopper; Quest Martial Arts; Ravissante Aesthetics; Rawson Materials; Rectory School; Renee’s Working Girl Catering Service, LLC; Santa’s Village; Sarah Audrey Salon; Savage Systems/Eric Gould; Sawmill Pottery; Sean & Jennifer Dutson; Serge Saraidarian; Silver Circle Gallery; Soleil & Suns; Sprucedale Gardens; Taylor Brooke Winery; Taylor’s Corner Tree Farm; The Boston Red Sox; The Crossings Restaurant & Brew Pub; The Davis Family; The Mansion at Bald Hill; The Pomfret School, Inc; The Pomfret Spirit Shoppe; The Rigney Family Trust; The Strand; Tom Menard; UCONN Athletic Department; W.B. Mason; Woodstock Academy; Woodstock Acres Riding Stable, LLC; and YMCA Camp Woodstock.



World Drumming Grant


A 2012-2013 funded grant that has brought a world of music to the classroom.  African drums purchased for Woodstock Middle School are creating a unique sound and a whole new skill for music students.  They will be a great addition to this years spring concert and all that follow.

Family Fun Night 2013

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3rd Annual Family Fun Night
at Camp Woodstock

A great time was had by all!  Camp Woodstock provided the event with a facility that allowed for fun rain or shine.  We were so grateful to see the sun emerge on Friday after days of rain, and allow our fun filled evening to be everything we had planned.  A great big thank you to Camp Woodstock, operated by the Gronski family in Woodstock who made us feel right at home.  Entertainment included games, bounce house, balloon animals, Maggie the Clown, scavenger hunt, and face painting.  Highlights of the evening included Maggie the Clown, whom many said was the best clown they had ever seen, and of course the bounce house.   This “friend” raiser sponsored by the Woodstock Education Foundation helps to provide funding for all of the excellent programs WEF supports throughout the school year.  If you missed it this year consider attending next year and feel good knowing that you are contributing to the enriching activities taking place in the Woodstock Public Schools.

WEF Paver Project

WEF has installed a walk of granite pavers at both WES and WMS.  Consider honoring a student, teacher, or staff member with one of these beautifully engraved pavers that will last a lifetime.  Bricks cost $75 and can be viewed in either school office prior to placing an order.


Graveyard Grind September 28, 2013

The Woodstock Education Foundation’s annual fun, family cycling event,”The Graveyard Grind”, is now in its third year.


The event hosts a 10 mile family ride, as well as a 31 and 62 mile ride for more experienced riders.


The course takes riders through the beautiful rolling hills of Woodstock, Pomfret, Thompson and Eastford.  Although the 31 and 62 mile rides can be challenging, there are several rest stops along the way to allow riders to rest and re-fuel. Riders are given course maps and the route is well marked.


A nutritious and delicious homemade sandwich lunch is provided to all riders and is included in the cost of entry.  Improvements to this years event are a bike safety presentation for the students of Woodstock Public School prior to the event and a new course beginning and ending at the Woodstock Middle School.  Check back for more details as the event date nears or follow the event on Facebook by clicking below.

Hot Air Balloon Experiment Grant

One of over 118 grants funded since WEF’s inception in 2007, the hot air balloon Experiment Grant continues to be one of the most talked about grants that WEF funds for Woodstock Middle School students.  The hands on nature of this grant brings science to life in the classroom.