Gala Honoring Longtime Supporter, Grammatiki Anderson, and Partner, Paul Robbins Associates
Longmeadow—Willie Ross School for the Deaf will hold its Annual Gala on Thursday, October 13, 2022 at Twin Hills Country Club, 700 Wolf Swamp Road 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 opens on August 29 and runs until October 12. The auction link can be found at www.wrsdeaf.org/annual-gala. Winners will be announced at the Gala.
Grammatiki (Kiki) Anderson has been a longtime supporter of WRSD, since its founding in 1967. Anderson moved to the United States 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 original class at WRSD.
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. Anderson says that 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 Willie Ross, 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, said, “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 school—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 are $75 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: Hartford Yard Goats; Boston Red Sox; Total Wine & More; The BroBasket; Mystic Aquarium; Elite Island Resorts: Caribbean (8 packages up for auction); Mohegan Sun; Exit 7 Theater; Sonny’s Place; Oriental Trading; Connecticut Sun (WNBA team); TreeTop Adventures; Celebrity Series of Boston; Buzzards Bay Brewing; Institute of Contemporary Art/ Boston; Mass Audubon; and New England Revolution.
For more information about the Gala, contact Joel Skelton, Coordinator of Community Engagement at Willie Ross, at JSkelton@WRSDeaf.org or (413) 304-2556.
Willie Ross School for the Deaf provides a comprehensive educational program stressing academic excellence that focuses on the development of students’ intellectual, social, and emotional growth from the early childhood level through high school. Willie Ross serves students at its main campus in Longmeadow and at its partnership campus located in the East Longmeadow Public Schools. Mainstreaming opportunities are provided at the partnership campus.