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  • Writer's pictureKristin Guglietti

HEF ThanksForGiving Gala a success


Kristin Guglietti/THG People danced, socialized and raised money during the second annual Hammonton Education Foundation ThanksForGiving Gala on Nov. 18 at the Cart Barn at Pinelands Golf Club.

HAMMONTON—People in glittery and formal outfits enjoyed dancing while raising money to benefit students during the sold out second annual Hammonton Education Foundation ThanksForGiving Gala on Nov. 18 at the Cart Barn at Pinelands Golf Club.


During last year’s ThanksForGiving Gala, the Hammonton Education Foundation raised over $22,000 and this year’s goal is to raise $30,000 or more.


The money goes towards different grants that teachers can apply for. To date, the Hammonton Education Foundation has fulfilled over $600,000 in grants to benefit the students at the Hammonton School District.


Hammonton Education Foundation members Jessica Sacco, Heather D’Amico and LaSchelle Mento helped organize the event.


“The purpose of the event is to raise funds to enhance the education of the students in the Hammonton School District, so if you all take a second to look at the mini grants that were highlighted on your table, you’ll see some of the grants that we were able to fulfill for the students,” Sacco said.


One of the grants included a book vending machine.


“One of the grants that we fulfilled was for the book vending machine. My kids are obsessed when they’ve been able to get a book from the vending machine,” D’Amico said.

While addressing attendees, D’Amico said they were blown away by the support of the community.


“We were completely blown away by the support of the amazing, beautiful community. We would like to thank our sponsors, our prize auction donors. Last year we raised over $22,000 and I know tonight we are going to exceed that because of all of you,” D’Amico said.


During Mento’s speech, she gave a special shout out to DJ Brandon Lee Bobal.


“He is literally the best and provides flawless entertainment and we could not do this event without him,” Mento said.


Some of the stand-out prizes in the high-value prize auction included a $700 Botox package donated by Dermalogic Laser Center, and Epoxy floor for a garage by Collins Construction LLC, two Phillies tickets donated from Marinella Funeral Home, four Flyers tickets from the Flyers Organization secured by Tom McFlynn and hotel stays at the Borgata & Bethlehem Sands Casino.


The grand prize vacation sponsored by D’Amico Travel was an all-inclusive Caribbean vacation valued at $2,500. The winner will enjoy a three night/four day stay for two adults and two children at a resort located in Cancun, Riviera Maya, Punta Cana Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos.


There was also a 50/50 raffle. The 50/50 raffle and grand prize raised $10,700, Sacco said after the event on Nov. 20.


Hammonton Education Foundation President Roseann Struble seemed pleased with the event.


“The girls did a fabulous job. They really did organizing, getting all the sponsors, all the tickets they sold, they just did fabulous,” Struble said.


After spending time on the dance floor and enjoying a gourmet meal with crabcake and filet mignon options, the organizers received positive feedback from attendees.


“We’re getting so many people just coming up to us, ‘I can’t believe how fun this is.’ The feedback is out of control,” D’Amico said.


According to Sacco, the main reason why they are doing the ThanksForGiving Gala is for their children.


“We are doing this for our children. All of us have kids in the school, so like all the time and effort we put into it like most of everyone here has kids in the school, so although we’re having fun it just means even more to know all the money that we raised is going back to kids,” Sacco said.


D’Amico hopes the event brings awareness to the teachers that they know they have the power to bring their ideas to life.


“We hope our event brings awareness to the teachers that they know that they have the power to bring their ideas to us, we believe in them and we want to fulfill their dreams and goals for the children,” D’Amico said.


Mento said they couldn’t have done the ThanksForGiving Gala without the community.

“We couldn’t have done it without the community. Yes us three started it, but without the community of Hammonton, nobody would be here,” Mento said.


For more information about the Hammonton Education Foundation, visit their website hefonline.org and follow them on Facebook and Instagram @hefonline.


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