Home Community Blog SPARK! Founders Gala 2021


“From a little spark may burst a might flame” – Dante

Thank You

Eyee Hsu and Sam Gellert
Eyee Hsu P’25 and Samantha Gellert P’31, 32, 33 in the Blackbox Theater

A night spent virtually “together” united our community in celebration of our exceptional teachers and students. Thank you for supporting Waterford School this year. 349 households logged into the event to  SPARK Caring, SPARK Community, SPARK Connection, and SPARK giving! We laughed, we cried and we ended the night with historic giving.

The Spark! evening was planned by an amazing Gala committee chaired by Eyee Hsu P’25. Beautiful videos brought parents into their student’s classrooms (something that has not been possible in this Covid year), sharing what Waterford has sparked for them. Highlights included a class countdown video, a kick-off video featuring our own orchestra playing the theme song from Mission Impossible, cameos from Adam Pascal of the original cast from Rent and Shannon Barkhe (“Sparky Bahrke”) a three time Olympic medalist in skiing, and a rendition of Katy Perry’s song Firework.

Golden Ticket The big opportunity drawing for the night was our Golden Ticket—where families could buy tickets for the chance to have $10,000 of next year’s tuition. Additionally, silent auction items and parent sign-up parties added some fun and healthy competition with amazing opportunities like a trip to golf in Ireland, diamond earrings, Hale Center theatre tickets, street photography lessons, and a hike with Waterford’s Outdoor Program director Chris Watkins. A video featuring our teachers and our school theme this year, Caring, was shown bringing highlighting the Teaching Excellence that is at the heart of Waterford. Gala attendees were then asked to virtually raise their paddles and donate in support of our school—parents, faculty and staff and extended family and friends showed a level of generosity and pride, which is seen in the amazing outcome of the night. A big thank you to parents Peter Osborn and Kristin Stockham for leading the paddle raise. 

Gala students
Lower School students deliver the envelope containing the Golden Ticket winner’s name

With a goal of $150,000, our school collectively raised  $354,369 at this year’s Founders Gala to support teaching excellence and tuition assistance. This is the most raised at any Waterford School Founders Gala, and approximately $100,000 more than our last Gala in 2019. And while we all miss being together, we showed how much the sense of community means to us, even when celebrating apart. Thank you to all those who attended, all those who made this night possible, and all those who continue to help Waterford support our students with a world-class liberal arts education.

The Gala Committee

The Founders Gala could not be possible without the parent volunteer committee who puts this whole night together. This committee contributes countless hours, creativity, and resources to the planning and execution of this event. Our heartfelt thanks to them all, especially Spark Chair, Eyee Hsu.

Gala Committee
The Gala Committee during a planning meeting
Eyee Hsu – Gala Chair
Sam Gellert
Betsy Wright
Kirstin Howard
Heather Scott
Bea Washington
Katie Rose
Detgen Greeff
Kyndra Peterson
Lexi Peterson ’22
Maike Jones

Corporate Sponsors

Corporate Sponsors made this evening possible—their generous support ensures that every dollar raised at the Founders Gala goes directly to the programs of Waterford School.  Thank you, sponsors, for your vision and commitment to Waterford School, especially in this unique year where we threw the Gala virtually.

Silent Auction Donors:

Alta Ski Area
Ballet West   
Brad and Megan Bonham
Chris and Camie Carlyle 
Christine Gore and Joe Masi
Kyndra and Douglas Peterson
Sari and Felix Rauscher
Suzanne and Gary Dildy
Heather Scott and David Schmidt
Hope and Kristine Eccles
Allison and Jason Dittmer
John Entwistle
Kristin and Tom Stockham
OC Tanner
Rosie O’Grady
Sam and John Gellert
Jen and Steve Miller
Traeger Grill
Bea and Vincent Washington
Waterford School

Gifts in Kind:

AlphaGraphics, Brian Johnson
Cummings Chocolates
Junior League of Salt Lake City
Pioneer Chip Company
Real Salt
Ritual Chocolate


Florentina Mueller-Planitz
Janice Ugaki
Kathy Morris
Kristin Stockham
Kylie Geci
Omeed M. ’21
Peter Osborn
Prodigy Media



To see the Firework video that premiered at the Founders Gala, click here.



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