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Suffield Shines at SFES Charity Auction

More than 200 people attended the 2011 Charity Auction and Ball over the weekend, raising funds through auction bids and donations.

Instead of bumping into each other in school hallways or the market, Suffield residents bumped into each other on the dance floor Saturday night during the 2011 Charity Auction.

Held at the Riverview in Simsbury, more than 200 formally dressed guests raised their paddles for chances to win Taylor Swift concert tickets, a trip to New Orleans and many other special items.

According to SFES President Chelen Kost, revenue from the event pushed total grant money raised in nine years past the $500,000 mark. 

"The surprise of the night was the amazing generosity of the community, given the current state of the economy," said Vice President and event organizer Christine Mercadante. "It was awesome to see the Suffield community's support of SFES. "

Guests enjoyed appetizers and cocktails while putting their numbers down during the silent auction portion of the event. More than 200 items were available. After dinner and the live auction guests literally kicked off their shoes and danced to local band "The Score."

"We were so glad to see people having fun eating, dancing and of course bidding!" Mercadante said. "It was great to have [Suffield High School teacher] Tom Donato's band play – they are so good."

A special moment in the night came when guests gave a standing ovation to Suffield parent and SFES supporter Lt. Col. Jim Works from the Air National Guard. Works is expected to be sent to Afghanistan in late summer for a tour of duty.

Mercadante credited the student volunteers for their help during the event as well as Shoreline AV for lights and sound and auctioneer Steve Camerota for "doing an outstanding job."

"If you missed this great event there is still an opportunity to donate through the Web site," said SFES President Kost.

Over the past nine years, SFES has funded more than $440,000 in grants for arts, music, foreign language and math software, literacy programs and science equipment. The group can be reached via their Web site.

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