East side school raises $250,000 in annual auction
Upper East Side P.S. 6, the 81st Street elementary school that has taught everyone from Chevy Chase to J.D. Salinger, held its most successful fund-raiser ever last month, raising a quarter-million dollars in a benefit and auction.
The haul puts P.S. 6, a public school, in the same fund-raising league as some of the city's private schools -- a testament, school officials say, to the community that has built up around the 120-year-old institution. "The auctions outdo themselves every year," said Lauren Fontana, the school's principal for the past eight years. "To me, it's not just about raising the funds, but really about the community coming together."
To that end, the school used its New Orleans-themed gala this year to bring together alumni and former staffers; Fontana said she invited every teacher who has worked at the school since she arrived. Peter Cincotti, the songwriter and an alum, performed and pledged a percentage of the proceeds from an upcoming concert series to the school.
Sheila Hultgren Giangrande, co-chair of the auction, said the money raised will go to the PTA, which uses it to support assistant teachers, arts, music and a theater program.