The Gunston School welcomed nearly 200 parents, alumni and community supporters to their waterfront campus on Saturday, October 21 for their signature fundraising event, the Bull & Oyster Roast, raising a little over $120,000 for Gunston’s annual giving program, smashing their record from last year. Guests enjoyed delicious food provided by Phat Daddy’s BBQ (Chestertown) and Superior Oyster Shuckers (Baltimore) as well as sweet treats from Emily’s Produce.
“We’ve had volunteers working on this event since early August,” said Parent Association President Ildi Watkins, P’26 (Easton). “They’ve been pounding the pavement for auction items, procuring wine donations, and have spent countless hours on campus making name tags, rolling silverware, creating beautiful flower arrangements, and a lot more. The success of this event is truly a testament to our volunteers who came out of the woodwork to help!”
The online silent auction featured 50 items ranging from original artwork, specialty baskets filled with local gift certificates, professional photography session, fishing charters, luxury catered cruises, NFL tickets, spa packages, and a wide variety of experiences such as the opportunity to be a beekeeper for a day, almost all of which were procured by Gunston Parents’ Association volunteers.
The live auction featured six items including a Paul Reed Smith custom guitar, Ravens versus Dolphins tickets for six on New Year’s Eve, vacations to Jamaica and Mexico, a catered cruise for 10 with a private chef, and VIP tickets to the Gunston 2024 Commencement ceremony. The evening’s auctioneer was volunteer Woody Dunstan, P’24, who once served as the Director of Operations at Christie’s Auction House, where he trained as a charity auctioneer.
A very successful “Raise the Paddle” raised $42,100 for Health & Campus Safety initiatives including a comprehensive security audit with a professional security consultant that specializes in school safety, campus-wide upgrades including automated doors and locks, lighting, updated communications system, installation of tempered glass and faculty and student best-practices safety and security training.
Head of School John Lewis shared, “Each year, we gather together as a community to both have fun and raise funds to support our students and teachers. This year was especially inspiring as attendees were extraordinarily generous in their support!” Generous donations such as these allow Gunston to provide experiences above and beyond what tuition pays for as well as provide 60% of Gunston families with financial aid.
The event had 50 sponsors and included:
Grill Master: Fred Frederick Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Easton (Heron Heroes Janell & Jeffrey Frederick, P’23’25)
Rockefeller: Joyce & Associates, LLC (Heron Heroes Kevin & Christine Joyce, P’26) Easton Dermatology Associates, LLC (Heron Heroes Brigitte and Dr. Donald Stranahan, P’25’27), Friends of Gunston (Heron Heroes) and Ebb Tide Tent & Party Rentals.
Prime Rib: Jay & Colleen Baldwin, P’27, Faithful Accounting & Consulting Inc. (Edward & Heather Bennett, P’27), ShoreGate Partners (Chesley & Justin Nonemaker, P’27), Paul Ewing’s Contractor Supply (Pam & Charlie Andrews, P’26), Gillespie & Son, Inc. (The Gillespie Family, P’07’09’20’22’24), McCallister, Detar, Showalter & Walker (Heron Heroes Adele and Ryan Showalter, P’25’27 and Melissa and Doug Walker, P’25’27), Delaware Podiatric Medicine (Rebecca and Dr. Jacob Hanlon, P’22’25’27).
Select: Lakeside Run at Trappe, The Keith Family, P’24, PepUp (Melanie & Nash McMahan, P’27), The Figliozzi Family, P’26, Avon Dixon, An Alera Group Agency, LLC, Envision Wealth Planning (Ed & Sarah Schut, P’26’24’22’21’17), Glenn Michael, Heron Heroes Dr. Laurie and John Lewis and The Shifrin Family, P’21’21.
Sirloin: Smithey Law Group, Cohen Chiropractic Centreville (The Cohen Family, P’26), Brad & Kara Morris, P’27, Paco & Jill Labrador, P’27, DPC Emergency Equipment, The Chiochetti Family, P’27’27, The Sharp Family, P’25, The Morris Family, P’25’26, A Classic Design (Dave Griffin & Cindy Strauss, P’27), Island Creek Events (Katharine Greenlee Henning ’07) and Draper’s Bros., Inc.
Brisket: Eliza Niemann & William Hodge, P’24, The De Leon Family, P’22, The Hallmark Family, P’24, Farmer Properties, LLC (Calvin & Kerry-Ann Farmer, P’27), The Edmonds Family, P’27, The Walker Family, P’21’25, The Callahan Family, P’24, The Hartman Family, P’27, Ben and Karen Dize, Wye Mills Mechanical (The Thomas Family), Adam and Tracy Steinberg, P’25, The Marketto Family, P’26, Ildi & Mory Watkins, P’26, Wrench & Socket (Tim & Beth Lavery, P’26), and The Algier Family, P’23’26.
Founded in 1911, The Gunston School is an independent, nonprofit, nonsectarian, coeducational, college preparatory high school located on 75 waterfront acres in Centreville, Maryland. Visit gunston.org for more information.