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Chappaqua School Foundation Hosts Spring Benefit

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – The Chappaqua School Foundation continued its fundraising efforts for the district Friday night with its 18th annual Spring Benefit at the Trump National Golf Club.

Foundation President Michael Kaufman said the silent auction and dinner raises thousands of dollars and is the organization's largest fundraising event of the year. It was moved to the larger venue in Briarcliff in anticipation of almost 400 attendees.

"This is the first time we've done it here, and it's a beautiful setup for us," said Jane Shepardson, a foundation board member. "There's a lot of stuff, and usually everything goes."

Donated items included VIP parking for Horace Greeley High School's graduation; tickets to New York Knicks, Yankees and Jets games; a puppy; a signed jersey by Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony; and dozens of items from local businesses.

"It's amazing how the businesses in town really stepped up and donate stuff," Shepardson said. "Because everything we make goes right back into the foundation."

Valued at $8,500, a photograph of Bruce Springsteen by Annie Leibovitz, donated by the photographer herself, was one of the night's featured items.

Leading up to Friday's benefit, Chappaqua merchants and restaurants offered discounted prices to build awareness for the School Foundation. Participating businesses in the Spring Madness event will continue to offer discounts until May 15.

"It was our second year. We had some traction this year. We have more merchants this year signed up," said Spring Madness organizer David Gefsky.

The money raised at the event will be part of the foundation's total donation to the district in 2013. The foundation raised $104,044 for grants in 2012, which adds to its donation total of $1.7 million to the district since its inception in 1993.

Throughout the year, the nonprofit organization takes requests from Chappaqua teachers about programs they would like to see implemented with money the foundation has raised. The complete list of grants can be viewed on the foundation's website.

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