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Gatsby-Themed Dinner a Great Success at BVT Annual fundraiser

May 12, 2015 05:28PM ● By Pamela Johnson

Culinary Arts senior Samson O'Brien of Milford and Multimedia Communications senior Jillian Karakeian of Bellingham were all smiles at this year's Superintendent's Gourmet Dinner, which featured the theme of "The Great Gatsby."

In a dazzling event worthy of approval from the Great Gatsby himself, students of Blackstone Valley Tech recently used F. Scott Fitzgerald's great American novel as inspiration for the school's largest annual fundraiser.
Working with their chosen theme of "The Great Gatsby," students in every Valley Tech program contributed to this year's Superintendent's Gourmet Dinner, which brought the Roaring Twenties back to life by celebrating the food and culture of the 1920s. Painting and Design Technologies team leader George Creely said the annual event was a wealth of experience for his students, as they conceptualized, designed, and created the backdrops necessary to transform the school's cafeteria into the world of "The Great Gatsby."
This year's event marked the first time Painting and Design Technology students worked with the program’s new wide format printer, which was utilized to create life-sized images of Leonardo DiCaprio and other stars of the most recent film adaptation of "The Great Gatsby." Hours prior to the event, the immense backdrop featuring DiCaprio's image was secured in place by staff and students, including Painting and Design Technologies senior Jade Kaye of Milford. Reflecting on her final year participating in the planning and execution of the annual fundraiser, Kaye said she appreciated the opportunity to produce work that would be prominently displayed for a large audience. 
"It's great experience painting things that will really matter and absolutely have to be excellent," Kaye said. "We have to be precise."
Developing the gourmet dinner's menu was a challenge for the Culinary Arts department, as "The Great Gatsby" famously focuses more on its characters' beverages of choice than it does their favorite foods. But according to the event's master of ceremonies, Carly Martino of Hopedale, Culinary Arts students found plenty of inspiration when they looked beyond the confines of Fitzgerald's narrative and began studying the food and culture of the 1920s. Inspired by their historical research, the Culinary Arts department designed a menu of era-appropriate gourmet dishes, including cream of celery root soup, pan seared duck breast a l'Orange, roasted leg of lamb, and vanilla bean cheesecake.
Superintendent-Director Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick thanked the hundreds of Valley Tech parents, supporters, staff, and private partners who attended the event, which serves as both a showcase of student talent and a fundraiser for student activities and reserve accounts.
"This year's gourmet dinner occurred mere days following the School Committee's decision to utilize $250,000 in reserve funds for Fiscal Year 2016," Fitzpatrick commented. "Our ability to drawn on, but not exhaust, reserve funding is due in part to Valley Tech's unique fundraising capabilities. The annual gourmet dinner would not be entering its 21st year of success if not for the skills and passion of our students and staff."
Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School serves the towns of Bellingham, Blackstone, Douglas, Grafton, Hopedale, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northbridge, Sutton, Upton and Uxbridge. Located in the heart of the Blackstone Valley, Blackstone Valley Tech creates a positive learning community that prepares students for personal and professional success in an internationally competitive society through a fusion of vigorous vocational, technical, and academic skills. The school’s website is





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