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Gratitude Gala to honor Superintendent Lisa Carter’s retirement


CANAAN – Retiring Region 1 Superintendent Lisa Carter is being feted with a Gratitude Gala April 27 with all proceeds being directed to the Housatonic Youth Services Bureau.

The Colonial Theater owners Stacey and David Fiorillo and Marc and Lenore Mallet (left to right). The theater ballroom in Canaan will be the venue for the Gratitude Gala of the Housatonic Youth Service Bureau April 27. Photo by Kathryn Boughton

Tickets are selling fast for the Gala will be held at the renovated Colonial Theatre, 27 Railroad Street in North Canaan on April 27 from 5 to 10 p.m. HYSB will host the event in the ballroom.

“We started last year with the Gratitude Gala and it was very successful,” said Ashley Adkins, director of donor engagement for HYSB. “This year when we heard that Lisa Carter was retiring, we thought what a perfect person to honor.”

Carter has been part of the Region 1 school district for over 22 years and she retires in June.

“Her leadership during the pandemic was really instrumental in making things go on and go smoothly. She also has been on the board here at HYSB so the well being of the children and youth in our community is a cause that is near and dear to her heart,” Adkins said.

“It seemed like a perfect match to celebrate her tenure and all of her service and dedication to the Region 1 community and to thank all of our community for their support to help us expand our services so we can do a better job of servicing the youth and families in the Region 1 area.”

The goal of the Gala is to fund expanded services.

“Hosting this fundraiser is in direct response to the increase in demand for the services we as an organization have experienced since the pandemic of 2020,” Adkins said, noting the organization saw a 60 percent increase in demand following the pandemic and it hasn’t abated.

Individual tickets are $200 per person and that includes the cocktail hour, the live music, the games and all the sorts of fun things offered. There are a variety of ticket levels. Register online.

The theater is a limited capacity of 100 and a quarter of the tickets have already been sold as of April 5.

“We’re having it at The Colonial Theater and will be in the ballroom upstairs. It is the first event that they’ve had in this style since the current owners bought it two years ago. We’re excited to partner with them and show off what you can do there,” she said.

The owners of The Colonial Theater are happy to partner with HYSB on the fundraiser.

“We are all proud supporters of HYSB and love the important work they do in our community. We’ve heard so many great stories from families in the community about the services they provide,” said one of the owners, Lenore Mallett. “We were over the moon when they selected the Colonial as their venue for the 2024 gala. Our art deco decor makes for a great theme.”

Catering is being provided by Theresa Freund of Freund’s Farm. The two bands are local. It is Ram Miles and the Crownback Funk Band. Miles is the Music Department chair at Indian Mountain School. They are playing during cocktails. The Steve Dunn band, which is well known in the area and performs in area venues, will be performing after dinner for dancing.

There’s a silent auction during cocktail hour and then a live auction during the dinner portion of the evening.

The auctioneer is Luke Miller, who lives in Falls Village. He returns to the role of auctioneer, having done it last year for HYSB. “He brings up the energy and he knows a lot of the local community members,” Adkins said.

She said the items will be unveiled on their social media pages during the next two weeks. Last year’s items included getaway packages, as well as gift cards and items from local stores.

Those interested in contributing to the auction, purchasing tickets or becoming a sponsor should visit or contact Ashley Adkins, director of donor engagement, 860-824-4720.

Lynn Worthington
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