“Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Hustle” director David O. Russell played a key role in raising $150,000 for The Glenholme School, a therapeutic boarding school for young people with high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders including Asperger’s; ADHD, PDD, OCD, Tourette’s, depression, anxiety, and various learning differences.

David O. Russell raised $150,000 for the Glenholme School's endowment fund and gymnasium expansion efforts
David O. Russell raised $150,000 for the Glenholme School's endowment fund and gymnasium expansion efforts

During the school’s Parents’ Weekend Live Auction on May 3, 2014, David talked the personal connection he feels with Glenholme, the success of his recent movies, and he auctioned off several walk-on movie roles for his upcoming films. His effort raised $150,000 for The Glenholme School’s endowment fund and gymnasium expansion efforts.

Each year in mid-spring, The Glenholme School community comes together for the extraordinary experience of Parents’ Weekend — the school’s foremost fundraising effort of the year. Throughout the weekend, Glenholme parents have the opportunity to bond with their children, to meet other parents, and to become more familiar with the school. As new parents are greeted and guided by families who have experienced Parents’ Weekend in the years past, bonds are made, friendships are forged, and the Glenholme community is strengthened.

The tenth annual event began with an impressive student concert in The Center for the Arts on Friday, May 2, 2014. The show, aptly named “Keep Your Dreams Alive!” was a fitting reminder of the school’s 45-year history which began when the Van Sinderen family generously donated the Glenholme Farm to the Devereux Foundation with the dream of creating a school where students with special needs could find and reach their true potential. The concert featured forty-six students performing inspirational songs in various ensembles, along with four piano solos, one award-winning essay reading, and entertaining dialogue – all of which was an absolute pleasure to behold.

During the Saturday on-campus portion of the weekend, families participated in a vast assortment of sporting competitions and an array of engaging activities. The Center for the Arts offered arts-lovers a karaoke talent show and a recap of the 2014 Glenholme Idol competition. The tennis courts, equestrian riding ring, Segways, zip line and rock climbing wall were bustling with adventurous family members. In the main tent, faculty members and parents zealously competed and collaborated in the Silent Auction and the “You Pick, We Draw” Raffle, while bidding on items, trips and gifts generously donated by members and supporters of the school. Meanwhile, in the gymnasium and on the softball field, the Parents vs. Students basketball and softball games provided the perfect venues for some pleasant rivalry between family members – with Glenholme students besting their parents in both sports!

Glenholme parents, faculty members, and supporters gathered at the Crowne Plaza in Southbury, CT for the celebrated tenth annual Parents’ Weekend Live Auction. The evening began with parents mixing and mingling during a cocktail hour featuring delicious appetizers and the signature Glentini cocktail. During dinner, a special video presentation of school events played on two giant screens, as two exceptional parents were presented with awards acknowledging their steadfast efforts and immeasurable contributions to the school and the community.

During the auction, bidding paddles were spiritedly lifted for the fantastic assortment of honors on campus, tours across the northeast and trips to exotic places that were up for grabs to the highest bidder. Several parents took up the microphone to talk about their child’s experience and even auction off items on their own. “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Hustle” director David O. Russell extended walk-on movie roles to Glenholme with astonishing success— the opportunity individually generated $150,000 for the school. Several coveted honors followed Mr. Russell’s movie opportunities, including Head of School for a Day, Name Your Road and luxury vacations. Just before the results were tallied, Arts Director Matt DeLong spoke ardently about the success of the school’s arts enrichment program. His appeal was met with a delightful outpouring of support from parents and faculty, whose incredibly generous contributions will ensure the continued offerings and growth of this essential program for students.

The two days of community excitement and astounding kindness resulted in another immensely successful Parents’ Weekend with over $300,000 raised for Glenholme’s Gymnasium Expansion and Endowment Fund.

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