23 May 2013

Killingly High School Career Pathway Celebration

Killingly High School Career Pathway Celebration

By Karen Lagace, Career Pathways Coordinator, Killingly High School


On Tuesday, May 21, 2013, 74 students, all of whom have completed one or more of the 22 Career Pathways offered at Killingly High School, were recognized at the annual Career Pathways Celebration. These students will also be given a Career Pathway medallion and will be recognized at their graduation.

Killingly High School Career Pathways lead students in the direction of their personal and professional goals, giving them the opportunity to earn free college credit while in high school, develop leadership skills, and explore career options. Students must take a series of courses including math, technology, communication, science as well as courses within their specific career path to be considered a Career Pathway Completer.

During this year's celebration, fourteen KHS alumni were inducted into the newly formed Career Pathway Hall of Fame. The alumni, who were chosen by their Career Pathway teachers, have completed their post-secondary education and/or acquired a job in their field. The successes these alumni have experienced since graduating KHS were very inspiring. One alumnus in particular, Michael Herklots, a 1998 KHS graduate and a 2002 graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, has been very successful in his career as well as in supporting his alma mater Killingly High School. 

Every year, Herklots holds two events to celebrate his birthday and raise money for the KHS Learning for Life Fund, which was set up to supplement funding for the Career Pathways Programs. He attracts guests from throughout the United States and as far as The Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua. At his birthday celebration he raffles and auctions items, which have been donated by his friends and associates. “This isn’t my generosity, I’m just the host. It is about the generosity of hundreds of people from around the world who believe in the young people in Killingly” said Herklots. Nine years ago at his first birthday auction he raised $2500 for the Learning for Life Fund. Every year the fundraising donations grew and grew. Last year he raised $75,000 and this year at the Career Pathway Celebration, Herklots presented a donation to Karen Lagace, KHS Career Coordinator, in the amount of $85,000 for the Learning for Life Fund, bringing the total amount raised since 2005 to $330,000.

Michael Herklots is truly an inspirational alumnus and motivational speaker! He has inspired KHS students and alumni to not only strive to be their best, but to give back in any way they can to their school. One 2009 KHS alumnus, who has a degree in Nursing, was so inspired by the Celebration and Michael Herklots, that she wants to go back to school to become a teacher and help reinstate the Allied Health Pathway in the future. Another, alumnus from the class of 2011 would like to follow in Michael Herklots footsteps and also hold fundraisers to help support the Learning for Life Fund.

The Learning for Life fund is a supplemental fund, which helps KHS Career Pathways partially fund student organization competitions, job shadows, speakers, field trips and events within each of the 22 Career Pathways. Students must fundraise for any of these events or activities and then apply to supplement for any funds they could not raise. Students greatly benefit from the donations that support KHS Career Pathways, which enable them to explore their personal career path!

06 May 2013

Michael Herklots Annual Birthday Raises $85,000 for Killingly Programs

Annual Birthday Fundraiser breaks record with $85,000 for KHS Learning for Life

Breaking the 2011 fundraising record by $10,000, this year's Annual Birthday Party Fundraiser brought in $85,000 for the Killingly High School Learning for Life Fund, bringing the total amount raised to $330,000 since 2005. Drawing incredible support in donations from the Premium Cigar industry, as well as the worlds of culinary, wine, travel and more... the raffles and auctions were the driving force behind raising tens of thousands of dollars again this year.

Of course, without the support of attendees, there would be no one to buy raffle tickets and bid at auctions. Roughly 200 attendees attended the two events.Over $25,000 in products were donated to help support the events’ raffles, silent auctions and live auctions. Further, two“experiential” auction lots accounted for $30,000 themselves.A “Private Cooking Class with Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian for ten people” fetched $10,000 and a private “Night at the Nat Sherman Townhouse with Chef Emeril Lagasse for 20 people” sold for $20,000. Additional funds were raised in an online charity auction by charitybuzz.com plus an ongoing push for donations.  

“I simply can’t express how much I appreciate the incredible generosity I receive, year after year, for my annual birthday parties to support the KHS Learning for Life Fund,” said Herklots, addressing the audience at the annual Career Pathways Celebration at Killingly Hgh School on May 21. Herklots went on to share, “Killingly is my home town. No matter where I live, where I travel... I will be forever grateful to this community. Though i live in New York City- my home will always be Killingly.”All money raised goes directly to the Killingly High School Learning for Life Fund, Herklots' hometown high school alma mater in Danielson, CT.

Huge thanks to all of the attendees, plus support from the following companies:

Altadis USA, American Sommelier Association, Anthony Toliver/Freedom Hospitality, Ashton Cigars, Carnegie Club, Charity Buzz, Normand Chartier, Chinnock Cellars, Crowned Heads, Daniel Marshall, Davidoff Madison Ave, Davidoff Distribution Group, Drew Estate, E.P. Carrillo, Emeril Lagasse, Fuente Newman, Geoffrey Zakarian, Grand Havana Room, Illusione, J.C. Newman Cigar Company, Joya de Nicaragua, La Flor Dominicana, La Palina, La Sirena, LeDu Wines, Lotus International/S.T. Dupont, MATASA, Men's Wearhouse, MGM Grand at Foxwoods, Mickey Blakes, My Father Cigars, Nat Sherman International, Pilot Pens, Procigar, RAM sales, Rapture, Rocky Patel, Roosevelt Hotel, SAG Imports, Schrader Cellars, Scott Conant, SEB Groupe, Spiff, Spriteborne, Tabacalera Falto, Tatuaje Cigars, The Sands Casino Bethlehem, PA, Widow Jane, Wine Symphony, Xikar
Here are a few pics from the events:

The Carnegie Club April 29, 2013
Photo courtesy of Geoff Sheridan

Auctioning off a bundle of Nat Sherman Celebraciones (not for sale)
Photo courtesy of Geoff Sheridan

Auction and Raffle lots galore
Photo courtesy of Geoff Sheridan

Blowing out the candles
Photo courtesy of Geoff Sheridan
Michael Herklots (l) Tony Darrow (r)
Photo courtesy of Geoff Sheridan
The Grand Havana Room April 30, 2013
Bill Paley auctioning off the first box of La Palina Goldie Laguito No. 5





OFFICIAL LAUNCH: La Palina Goldie Laguito No. 5

The Nat Sherman Townhouse is proud to host the official launch of the
 La Palina Collection Goldie Laguito No. 5 Limited Edition.
 (Only 2000 boxes of 10 made)
  • 6" x 54 'Fantail' cap
  • Wrapper: Ecuador Habano, Binder: Ecuador Habano, Filler: Nicaragua/Dominican
Thursday, May 9, 2013
We'll be offering some great specials on La Palina Cigars PLUS:
Meet Master Roller Maria Sierra.  Maria Sierra, who has personally rolled and signed each box of Goldie Laguito No. 5, was spent 32 years at the famous El Laguito factory in Havana, Cuba.
  • -Buy any three La Palina Cigars get one free
  • -Buy a box ($183.60 plus applicable taxes) of the New Goldie Laguito No. 5 and receive 2 freshly hand-rolled cigars from Maria Sierra
~Official Launch Party~
Thursday, May 9, 2013
$50 p/p
CALL TINA: 646-442-1850
Each Guest will enjoy:
  •  2 La Palina Cigars
  • 1 Goldie Laguito No. 5
  • 1 Specially rolled cigar (not for sale) by Maria Sierra
PLUS - Light hors d'oeuvres and a complimentary spirits tasting.