HCN News & Notes

Willie Ross School for the Deaf to Host Annual Gala Oct. 13

LONGMEADOW — Willie Ross School for the Deaf (WRSD) will hold its annual gala on Thursday, Oct. 13 at Twin Hills Country Club in Longmeadow. The event will begin at 6 p.m. and will honor longtime supporter Grammatiki Anderson and longtime partner Paul Robbins Associates.

WRSD is holding an online auction as part of its annual gala event. Bidding is now open and runs until Oct. 12. The auction link can be found at www.wrsdeaf.org/annual-gala. Winners will be announced at the gala.

Anderson has been a supporter of WRSD since its founding in 1967. She moved to the U.S. in 1956 and eventually settled in Longmeadow. Her son John was born deaf, and Anderson, after struggling to find the right program for her son, was introduced to Willie Ross in 1967. Her son became part of the school’s inaugural class.

In the school’s early years, parents contributed whatever skills they had to support the success of Willie Ross. Anderson coordinated bake sales and tapped her contacts in the Greek community to help get the school off the ground. She said the kindness and caring she experienced in the beginning continues to be the experience she has at Willie Ross today.

Paul Robbins Associates has been a longtime partner of WRSD, first becoming involved with the school when longtime board member Erica Broman reached out for help with the school’s communications. Paul Robbins, principal of Paul Robbins Associates, noted that “Erica understood that Willie Ross was at a point that it needed assistance with communications, from a new website to new collateral materials to media engagement in telling the Willie Ross story. I immediately fell in love with the schoo — the teachers and children so joyful on two campuses where you could hear the heartbeat. It has been a joy to raise the profile of the school in so many ways and to play a very small part in seeing the school flourish and grow.”

To register or become a sponsor for the gala, visit www.wrsdeaf.org/annual-gala. A livestream option is also available for those who cannot attend the gala in person. Tickets cost $75 to attend in person and $35 for the livestream.

According to Bert Carter, president and CEO of WRSD, “our annual Gala is a time when we come together to celebrate the school and the great partnerships that are an essential part of our success. I speak on behalf of the entire Willie Ross community in saying we appreciate the support and partnership of Grammatiki Anderson and Paul Robbins Associates.”

Auction prizes to date include gifts from the Hartford Yard Goats, the Boston Red Sox, Total Wine & More, the BroBasket, Mystic Aquarium, Elite Island Resorts: Caribbean (eight packages up for auction), Mohegan Sun, Exit 7 Theater, Sonny’s Place, Oriental Trading, the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun, TreeTop Adventures, Celebrity Series of Boston; Buzzards Bay Brewing, the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, Mass Audubon, and the New England Revolution.