Garden City's high school seniors effortless mingled with senior citizens, as did students from all of the district's schools at the third annual 'Afternoon Tea' earlier this month.
The event, hosted by the Garden City School District and the Garden City PTA, welcomed nearly 120 senior citizens and past parents on May 3.
The afternoon’s festivities were free to Garden City residents and included delicious food and various teas served by volunteer high school students. The event took place in the high school cafeteria, cleverly transformed into a lovely venue, and included a K-12 art display, and incredible entertainment from the district’s talented elementary, middle and high school musicians and performers.
The ladies of Garden City dressed for the Tea in elegant dresses and fancy hats with suited gentlemen on their arms, a sight perfectly matched to the opulently decorated Tea tables, each one a different English garden or spring-themed wonder of “tablescaping.” District administrators and members of the board of education mingled and conversed with the guests.
Local businesses partnered with the district and the PTA to provide the china and silver creamers (The Garden City Hotel), the tea and finger sandwiches (Chartwells), and delicious desserts almost too beautiful to eat ( Bagelman, La Bottega, and Riesterer’s).
For the third year, The Garden City Hotel generously provided $25 gift cards for each attendee. Garden City’s PTA donated the tablecloths, and door prizes were donated by My Three Sons Bagel Café, Garden City’s Continuing Education program, and, courtesy of high school guidance counselor Joanne Meyer-Jendras, gift certificates to Joinus Nail Salon and Exclusive Barber Shop.
Students volunteered their time to honor the guests as their servers, provided the entertainment and created the backdrop of beautiful art works. Thirty-eight members of the high school’s Key/Interact Club, of which Joanne Meyer-Jendras is advisor, served the delicious food donated and prepared for the Tea, and tended to guests’ needs during the event. Four student groups entertained with outstanding vocal and instrument performances.
After the attending veterans led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance, the high school’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of music teacher Robert Ludwig, sang the National Anthem. The afternoon’s entertainment included performances by the lead characters from the middle school’s Cinderella, who sang and danced the ballroom scene from their recent production (Kristin Aguilo, director; Nancy Menges, musical director). Performers from Stratford’s The Music Man, Junior, sang and danced “76 Trombones,” “Til There Was You,” and “Shipoopi” (Meredith Lavin, director), and two groups from the high school performed: the cast of Beauty and the Beast sang favorites such as “Me,” “Something There,” and “Beauty and the Beast” (Stephen Mayo, director) and the Chamber Orchestra, under the baton of Margaret Gullotta, performed “Scarborough Fair,” “Nordic Waltzes,” and West Side Story’s “Somewhere.”
In addition to the aforementioned sponsors, many others joined together to offer this annual event honoring our senior citizens and past parents, including AAA Party Rentals, Alma-Lillian Abruzzo (www.thetablescaper.com), the district’s PTA, district food services director Diana Intintoli, chef Jimmy Green, Dr. Nina Prasso, district coordinator of Music and the Arts, high school lead art teacher Shawn Uttendorfer, Stephen Mayo, Eddie Beska and the high school facilities staff, high school Assistant Principals Dave Perrotta and Kevin Steingruebner, the Afternoon Tea Committee (Althea Robinson, Garden City Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Gail Madigan, PTA Executive Board President, Cris Kilberg Executive Board President-Elect, Julie Germano and Liz Menges, Past PTA Executive Board Presidents, Beth Kramer, high school PTA Director, Alma-Lillian Abruzzo, PTA, Steve Mayo, Dr. Nina Prasso, Diana Intintoli, Joanne Meyer-Jendras, and Catherine Knight, coordinator of Public Information), and all the students and parents who participated.
Next year’s Afternoon Tea is sure to be another hit not to be missed! The Tea will be listed on the 2012-13 school calendar and parent guide mailed to homes in August. Remember the event is free, but registration is first-come-first-served and reservations fill up fast, so check your calendars and watch for more information next spring.
-By Elizabeth Menges