Collegiate-themed party raises money for Education

VERO BEACH — A comfy recliner surrounded by piles of pizza boxes and dorm room paraphernalia, a classic Chevy Impala convertible, Christmas reindeer with dangly beer can earrings and the requisite ‘pledge’ artfully ‘sleeping it off’ in a grocery cart, evoked fond memories of yesteryear at the Education Foundation’s College Night at the EF fundraiser Saturday night.

With a nod toward National Lampoon’s Animal House, co-chairs Lee Moore and Sue Tompkins and their ‘sorority’ cheered on guests, who arrived wearing bright school colors and fraternity/sorority garb.

Given the large number of Vero’s UF alum, Gators predominated, including a vividly blue and orange clad Kay Brown sporting Gatored shoes, handbag and earrings, and a stunning gold alligator cuff.

Committee members had gone on scavenger hunts through closets and garages to find bits and pieces of college memorabilia for use as decorations and to wear.

“Even my sorority sisters sent me things,” said Tompkins.  “I kept telling people it’s the party of the year.  Really, the inspiration was Animal House.  We wanted to do an old-fashioned frat house party.”

“I spray painted my first sheet sign,” Moore said proudly of her colorful Keg Party sign.

Bob and Joanne Quaile generously donated the use of their newly remodeled riverfront home, and its spacious design and expansive outdoor pool area made it the perfect party house.  Dozens of round tables were set up poolside, decked out with pompoms and those favorite staples of college students everywhere – Twinkies, Raman Noodles and Boones Farm wine.

When asked where they found the Boones Farm, Gail Kinney laughed and said, “It’s still a stock item at Wal-Mart; something like $3.99 a bottle.  I guess it’s still popular.”

The Boones Farm and Ramen Noodles were just for show though.  The requisite keg (Sam Adams Oktoberfest) was on tap, along with a full bar.  And guests chowed down (no food fights allowed) on a tasty Bono’s BBQ dinner.

The fabulous Ruby Baker Band out of south Florida got the crowd rocking, once a potential calamity was thwarted.  Joanne Quaile and her friend Eileen Salvador sprang into action after learning that the band’s sax player had arrived sans sax.

“He’s playing our son’s sax,” said Quaile.  “Eileen had to ask the maintenance department at Saint Edward’s to open up so he could use it.”

Professional auctioneer Ron Rennick presided over some fabulous auction items including, a gold and gemstone necklace designed by Karen Campione Saucier, a Rolling Rock Escape, a Night in Havana dinner prepared by Chef David Rodrigues, a Golf Getaway and an ultimate Tailgate Package.

“One-hundred percent of all money we raise will go to the programs of the Education Foundation,” said Moore, who gave a lot of credit for the event’s success to EF staff.

“Cynthia is such a rock star; and Mary. The two of them run this teeny little office and do incredible things,” said Moore of Executive Director Cynthia Falardeau and Program Coordinator Mary Miner

“We’ve got an amazing board right now; fun loving and creative,” added Moore.  “For this event, instead of having people spend a lot of money on outfits, we just wanted them to come in collegiate attire and come with spirit.”

Education Foundation programs include the Sneaker Exchange, the School Fund, the Indian River Regional Science & Engineering Fair, the Great Ideas! Grants, and Teacher Development initiatives. {igallery 281}

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