More than 150 people gathered at the Barn at Hillside Park in Andover for the Sparta Education Foundation’s ninth annual Wine & Food Pairing on March 4.
The event raised money that will be used to fund grants for projects in the Sparta public schools.
“I am so proud of how the Sparta Education Foundation has been able to grow this event over the years,” said Heather Egli, president of the foundation and co-chairwoman of the Wine & Food Pairing.
“In the beginning, our wine pairing evenings were held in board members’ homes. Now, we bring together more than 150 members of our community in such a great space, highlighting just how much value we bring to our public schools and how much it is appreciated.”
In the past few months, the foundation has awarded more than $75,000 in grants for VO2 Max machines in Sparta High School teacher Kim Scomaglia’s physiology classroom, new graphing calculators for the high school’s Math Department, novels to be used in eighth-grade math classrooms, new Promethean active panels for Mohawk Avenue School and more.
Jill Palleschi, the foundation’s vice president and co-chairwoman of the fundraising event, said, “This year’s event is building on the success of all our previous years, and we are excited to bring back some popular features this year, including our wine pool and auction. Both help to fund our mission of providing innovative grants to Sparta’s public schools.”
The event featured cuisine by Chef Dorant Wolfe of Truffles n’ Thyme, who was named the 2022 Chopped Sussex Champion at Sussex County Day last fall.
Hors d’oeuvres, such as bacon-wrapped dates, butternut squash shooters and miniature crab cakes with mustard cream, were served while the Treble & Bass Jazz Trio played live music.
“As an all-volunteer foundation, we keep our costs low with the goal of rewarding as much as we can to our schools in the form of educational grants,” Egli said.
“Pulling off events like the Wine and Food Pairing is a lot of work, but seeing our community have fun in the name of public education makes it all worth it.”
She encouraged members of the community to join the foundation as volunteers.
She also thanked the sponsors of the fundraising event, including wine sponsors Liquor Factory and Opici Family Distributing; the food-pairing sponsor Duphney Financial; and the music sponsor M. John Skallen Funeral Home. The auction sponsor was Goran Matlijoski, a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty.
Cocktail table sponsors were Meaningful Melodies, Black Bear Fitness, Skylands Legal, the Lesser Family, Heidi Burn and Amy Lineski Realtors at Keller Williams Realty.
Sommelier sponsors included Sparta Society, Sparta Tire, Pure Bar of Sparta, Refined Design and Jula Paper Co.
In the beginning, our wine pairing evenings were held in board members’ homes. Now, we bring together more than 150 members of our community in such a great space, highlighting just how much value we bring to our public schools and how much it is appreciated.” - Heather Egli, president of the Sparta Education Foundation