Windermere High legacy fund to host 'Downton Abbey' themed social

Guests at this year’s Windermere High Legacy Social will be transported to a 20th-century British tea room in honor of the ‘Downton Abbey’ theme.

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  • | 1:33 p.m. October 23, 2019
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“Downton Abbey” enthusiasts and Windermere High supporters, mark your calendar for an evening out in downtown Winter Garden.

The Windermere Wolverine Legacy Fund is hosting an evening of high tea, British bingo and inspiration during its second Legacy Social Saturday, Nov. 2. From 6:30 to 10 p.m., the Roper Co-Op Ballroom in Winter Garden will be transformed in a British tea room of sorts. Guests will feel as if they’re in Yorkshire as they enjoy tea, biscuits and finger foods buffet style from Cookie Jar Catering Company.

The theme was inspired by the movie “Downton Abbey,” which was released in late September. The last Legacy Social was an ‘80s-inspired party, but Jane Dunkelberger, WHS Legacy Fund vice president of community relations, said that the team wanted to do something different this year. The social has been in the works since earlier this year.

“We’re just trying to make a tradition to have a social every year, and the first year — the inaugural year — we did an ‘80s night,” Dunkelberger said. “Last year we weren’t able to plan a social, but this year we’re going to make it a little different and make it themed around the movie because the movie just came out. The purpose of our event, as with all of our events, is that all the monies we raise goes toward future scholarships, club grants and our programs for the school.”

This year’s social also is considered an exclusive event — only 100 tickets are being sold. Guests will not only be treated to high tea, but they also will hear from three inspirational guest speakers: children’s author Christina Farley, financial advisor Michael Brodsky and Central Florida Community Arts’ Leah Porrata. 

In between the guest speakers, attendees will play fast-paced rounds of British bingo. The game has 90 numbers, and for each “bingo,” attendees will win raffle tickets for the bingo prize drawings. Prizes include gift cards and gift baskets.

The Wolverine Legacy Fund was established in 2017 when Windermere High first opened its doors. The fund exists to provide scholarship opportunities to students, as well as grants for the school’s clubs, classrooms, athletics and performing arts. Dunkelberger said that new schools still face funding challenges.

“This is the first high school that we’ve had built in this area since Olympia,” Dunkelberger said. “Being that this is the first high school since then, and with any public school that opens within Orange County, there’s a lot of shortfall as far as what the school can provide for electives and programs such as performing arts, theater and band. Within any new school that opens, many schools start with the basics of instruments, tools and resources that are used in the classroom. Even being in Year Three here, we’re still short instruments and any type of resources used in the classroom.”

It’s why Dunkelberger and the rest of the Legacy Fund volunteers hope that the community, families and supporters of the school will step in and get involved with the social in some way. Whether it’s buying a ticket to attend or offering an event sponsorship, the funds will go a long way. 

Even though some of the school’s programs have their own booster clubs, Dunkelberger said the Legacy Fund acts much like an overall booster that helps with shortfall of continuing to build up the Wolverines’ programs.

“With the school continuing to grow we’re up to 13 pre-majors,” she said. “They’re very important to the fund as far as aligning partners and business owners to help support the 13 pre-majors that we offer ... We just want to create a tradition for our school and our community of the community gathering together and supporting Windermere High.”


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