Facing a financial shortfall for its creative arts programs, P.S. 132 threw a party. On Monday, the celebrated Manhattan Avenue school celebrated its fifth annual Spring Gala and Auction at Spritzenhaus on Nassau Avenue.
The huge beer hall was a flurry of activity. Colorful decorations adorned the walls and a fire provided warmth to people walking in from the cold. Framed paintings by local artists, designer jewelry, bags, clothing, food, wine and more – all up for auction covered the tables. Members of P.S. 132’s Parent Teacher Association welcomed guests at the door while other parents added last minute touches to the items on display.
As in previous years, the proceeds from the gala and auction go towards running the school’s creative arts programs, particularly its TADA Youth Theater program.
The results have progressively improved. The first time the PTA organized the auction they raised $15,000. Last year they reached $30,000, plus an additional $20,000 in an online auction.
This year the total tally is expected to surpass $55,000, including the online auction.
But raising funds is not without hurdles and each year the gala continues to add pressure to the PTA and the school – it is essentially the only resource they have to keep the creative arts program alive.
“It is really unfortunate that we have to go to such great lengths to keep the program going and cannot rely on the department of education,” said Kristen Zarcadoolas, the president of the PTA. “But it is truly amazing how this community pulls together each year, and how we keep getting stronger. It really does the take the entire community’s efforts to make this a reality.”
Towards the end of the evening a live auction sold items including a Derek Jeter signed baseball, plane tickets on Jet Blue, and a holiday to Puerto Rico.
The school’s principal, Beth Lubeck, too credits the efforts of the parents, and the active roles they play in their children’s school life for ensuring P.S. 132 remains a vibrant community.
“The PTA’s work is really integral to us not losing our creative arts program,” Lubeck said. “It’s really a testament to the parents, of how they continually bring in support and donations. It is truly awe-inspiring.”
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