Fifth Annual Birthday Party/Fundraiser raises more than $25,000 for Killingly High School's Learning for Life Fund!!!

I don't know where to begin. It was the fifth year for my annual Birthday Bash/Fundraiser for my old High School... and for the fifth year in a row, the incredible generosity of all my friends blows me away! The event was Monday, May 4, 2009, at The Carnegie Club in New York City to benefit Killingly High School’s Learning for Life Fund. A couple buddies from the Soprano’s cast, Tony Darrow and Arthur Nascarella stopped in to lend a hand, as well as entertainment reporter Bill McCuddy (formerly of Fox News).

We also had on hand visits from The CAO Boys (Huber, Kapp, Faccenda), the ENTIRE Quesada family (MATASA, Fonseca, Cubita, Casa Magna, etc...),, Keith Park (Prometheus), Peter Banninger (President, Davidoff USA), Karen Lee and Jim Galle (S.T. Dupont), Savona, Mottola and Abrams from Cigar Aficionado, Roberta from Graycliff, the staff from BOTH Davidoff stores and the De La Concha folks... blah blah... the list goes on and on... and it was amazing!!!
We raised money though straight donations, as well as a KILLER raffle and an exciting live auction. All of the products in both the raffle and auction were generously donated!!!
Some of the Auction Highlights were a Cabinet of 50 2006 Davidoff 100th Anniversary Diademas ($3200), a ST Dupont 2008 Limited Edition Vendome Lighter with Ashtray ($2500), and a 2 day experience at Emeril Lagasse’s annual Carnivale du Vin Celebration in Las Vegas including dinner with Chef Lagasse himself ($5,000).
The party even got a mention in The New York Post’s “Page Six” on May 6. Check it out!!!


This year brings the five year total amount raised for my dear old alma mater to over $70,000!!! I spoke with Robert Brennan, the coordinator of KHS' Career Pathways program and one incredible guy, yesterday and here's what he had to say!
"We are truly grateful to you, your business associates and friends for their passion, zest, and enthusiasm. Our students continue to reach new levels of career and technical competency. Approximately one year ago, 90 students participated in the Connecticut Career and Technical Education Testing. Killingly High School achieved 1st Place out of 15 high schools in our educational region. Our rank statewide was #11 out of 150 high schools.The scores are a direct result of our Career and Educational Teaching Staff and the monetary resources afforded through the LEARNING FOR LIFE FUND. There isn’t a day that goes by that one of our career pathways doesn't benefit from the funds your party raises each year.”

There's nothing like enjoying great cigars, and having a great time... but when you can raise money for a great cause and help people... it's even better!!!! I get to return to my hometown on May 19th to present and announce the total at the annual "End of Year Career Pathways Luncheon" at Quinnebaug Valley Community College located in Danielson, CT.
I'll keep you all posted! And thanks again!!!!!!

SPECIAL THANKS TO THE FOLLOWING INDUSTRY DONORS (In no particular order): Miami Cigar, General Cigar, J Fuego, Alec Bradley, Altadis, Zino Platinum, Camacho, De La Concha, Max Benjamin, Ashton, Emeril Lagasse, Xikar, Prometheus, La Flor Dominicana, S.T. Dupont, Ghurka, Fuente, CAO, Graycliff, MATASA, S.A.G. Imports, Cigar Aficionado, Schrader Vineyards, Leroy Hendricks and MLB, Padron, Rebecca Moss, Pilot Pen/Namiki, Cipriani 55 Wall Street, Davidoff of Geneva, Falto, Kristoff, Mitchell Kogan, Drew Estate, Cusano, The Cigar Agency, 601, CigarTV.Com and anyone I missed!!!