Chocolate & Diamonds Affair
On Saturday, February 8, 2020, The Woodland Hills Foundation held its Eleventh Annual Chocolate & Diamonds Affair at the Edgewood Country Club. Nearly 200 attendees came to celebrate the impact of the Foundation’s commitment to the faculty, staff, and students in our district. Guests enjoyed a sit-down dinner, a Silent Auction with many prize packages up for bid, chocolates provided by Sarris Candies, and a chance to win the evening’s pièces de résistance, a diamond provided by Presenting Sponsor William Penn Jewelers, a Chocolate and Diamonds supporter since 2013. During the cocktail hour, the Woodland Hills Brass Quartet—an ensemble of teachers in the district—entertained guests as they mingled. After dinner, local band Legacee provided the perfect smooth jazz background for the evening and guests danced the night away when the band was joined by vocalist Teresa Hawthorne.
Each year during the Affair, the Foundation seeks to salute the achievements of an alum whose personal and professional achievements, along with their service to the community, exemplify the objectives and vision of the Foundation. The Board unanimously agreed that State Representative Summer Lee was the ideal candidate to inspire the audience and represent the achievements of Woodland Hills alumni as a whole. Lee was presented with the Woodland Hills Foundation Distinguished Alumni Award and honored for her work in the Woodland Hills Community.
New to the event this year was a Live Painting by local artist Zachary Rutter, famous for the Port Authority bus that travels throughout the city, wielding his iconic “Sun Heart,” which is the symbol of his movement, called “The Spread Love Army.” At the end of the evening, the piece was auctioned off and all of the proceeds went directly back to the Foundation’s programs and services. Guests also had the opportunity to bid on over 125 trips, tickets, pieces of artwork, jewelry and more during this year’s silent auction, one of the highlights of the event. One guest remarked on how the auction seems to get bigger and better each year, having something different to offer nearly everyone!
Through all of fun, though, Board President Dr. Steven T. Gough was sure to remind guests why they were there. He raised his glass to the Foundation’s accomplishments in 2019 including the growth of the Mini-Grant and Dream Book Programs, the huge success of the H.U.G.S. program and their many free or low-cost events for the community, and the addition of the Patti Fedishan Zollner Scholarship to the annual roster of scholarships given by the Foundation.
Gough also made a personal plea to those in attendance, asking them each to introduce him to one person in 2020 who might help strengthen the Foundation. He cited the children in the school district who go hungry each day and the Foundation’s efforts to find donors willing to help provide food and supplies so no child is hungry in our community. “As we dine tonight,” he said, “let us remember these neighbors who often have to go without. This is why the work of the Foundation is so important. We are an asset available to the students and the staff across Woodland Hills. When a need is identified in our schools and our community, the Foundation is here to assist by seeking funding to fulfill and support those needs.”
We hope to see you at Chocolate & Diamonds 2021!