Willie Ross School for the Deaf to Host Annual Gala Oct. 14

LONGMEADOW — Willie Ross School for the Deaf (WRSD) will hold its annual gala on Thursday, Oct. 14 as a hybrid in-person and livestreamed event, with the in-person event taking place at Twin Hills Country Club in Longmeadow. The event will begin at 6 p.m.

Gala honorees include Barbara Garvey, John Gallup (posthumously), and John Ernst, founder and president of Ernst Financial Group. Garvey currently serves on the WRSD board of trustees and has been involved with the school for more than 35 years, also having served as vice chair of the executive committee. Gallup was a longtime board member and supporter of the school. He passed away this past March. Ernst has also been a longtime supporter of the school.

WRSD is holding an online auction as part of its annual gala event. Bidding is live until Wednesday, Oct. 13, and the auction can be found by clicking here. Winners will be announced at the gala.

To register or become a sponsor for the gala, visit www.wrsdeaf.org/annual-gala. All virtual registrants will receive a streaming link and digital program on Oct. 14. Registrants for the in-person event must be fully vaccinated in order to attend.

According to Bert Carter, president and CEO of WRSD, “our annual gala allows our community to come together and celebrate those who have played a critical role in the success of the Willie Ross School. Barbara Garvey, the late John Gallup, and John Ernst are considered giants in terms of assuring the school’s success. We look forward to celebrating them and to bringing our school and our supporters together in this special in-person and virtual hybrid event.”

WRSD recently completed a $2.5 million renovation of the school’s Sidney Cooley Administration building, which accommodates its growing needs and programming. The renovation and expansion took two years to complete and added a second story to its administration building that features new space for interpreters, an updated audiology center, a redesigned main entrance, improved wheelchair access, new space for the school’s Work Study Program, and upgraded administrative technology.

For more information about the gala, contact Joel Skelton, coordinator of Community Engagement at Willie Ross School for the Deaf, at jskelton@wrsdeaf.org or (413) 304-2556.