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James Marsden takes Center Stage, joined by Jessica Biel, to help raise funds for Devereux Glenholme's Center for the Arts

(Washington, CT)

Devereux Glenholme Articles
James Marsden
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James Marsden successfully boosted bids when he yielded the gavel at Glenholme's Live Auction Event.
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Devereux Glenholme's groundbreaking ceremony for The Center for the Arts on Saturday, May 2 included (from left to right) Development and Planning Board members Stephanie Scott (kneeling), Barbara Feeney and Maureen Holohan, special guest James Marsden, Development and Planning Board members David O. Russell, Stuart Flaum, Devereux Glenholme Executive Director Maryann Campbell, Development and Planning Board Chair Rick Doucette, Devereux Sr. Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Maggie McGill, Development and Planning Board members Debbie Doucette and Darla Quinton and student, Madison Q.
Jessica Biel
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Jessica Biel is captivated by the evening's auction catalog.
Washington, CT - On what began as a dreary May morning on the campus of Devereux Glenholme, instantly brightened the moment James Marsden of the X-Men and leading man of 27 Dresses, made his mid-day entrance during the students’ performance in the elegant tent that doubled as a dining hall and theater. Marsden joined the young people on stage and spoke briefly to parents, students and faculty, followed by autographs and photo ops! Marsden spoke to the student body and their parents about his young school years in the seventh grade, when he took his first steps on stage and how the arts provided a venue which allowed him to develop as a person.

Parent's Weekend is an annual Glenholme tradition where families spend an exciting day together on campus. The weekend customarily kicks off with a chorale performance by the students, who this year celebrated four decades of Glenholme with songs from the last 40 years. Saturday delivered an active day of fun, music, art and much more. Rooms full of sound from percussion, piano, dance and singing competed with those around the corner which explored “improv” with the young people, their parents and some staff. Activities abounded with a bungee jump, go-karts, spinning classes for all, the premier of a student movie production, and the school’s robotics team demonstration featured their special regional awards. The campus team competitions united parents, students and staff in both a high-energy basketball game and a rousing game of softball. For the truly daring, adrenaline junkies, the zip line sailed them one by one across the field twenty feet in the air.

This year Glenholme’s Parents’ Weekend celebrated the ground breaking for their Center for the Arts. Joining Glenholme’s executive director, Maryann Campbell, were Devereux's chief operating officer, Maggie McGill, Glenholme's Advisory Board chair, Rick Doucette, along with his wife Debbie, several board members, Maureen Holohan, David O. Russell, Barbara Feeney, Stuart Flaum and special guest James Marsden. The crowd of more than 350 amassed on the hillside overlooking the site for The Center for the Arts and listened to speakers, who took a moment at the microphone enlightening the onlookers about the progress of the school’s fundraising efforts and the effects philanthropy has had on the school’s arts program.

Parent’s Weekend culminated with two lively auction events, one held for the students on campus who bid on all kinds of student-tailored items and activities donated by the staff. The adults experienced a lively auction evening to continue to raise fund to see the theater become a reality. The Center for the Arts has been a dream for many years.

Jessica Biel’s arrival created a stir of excitement and enthusiasm at the evening’s live auction event. While flashbulbs flashed, Biel and Marsden reunited as leading lady and leading man from the comedy film, The Nail. Once settled and fans, parents and onlookers finished their meal, bidding for trips for their children, Head of School for the Day and other exciting activities for the student body kicked into high gear.

Jessica Biel, James Marsden and David O. Russell took the auctioneer’s gavel and microphone and raised the bar for “walk-on parts” for an upcoming movie. Bidding went wild and ultimately three parts were auctioned off and brought in the second highest sum of the evening. Surprise additions to the auction items were six tee shirts autographed and artistically handcrafted and kissed by Biel and Marsden who charmingly brushed his hair with the tee, landed exceptional sums. Marsden continued to compete with the auctioneer, making for a delightfully exciting evening.

While promises and pledges are still coming in, the weekend tally resulted in the most successful auction event to date. Even though construction will begin, the fund raising effort continues as funds for the final phase are needed to complete the project.

Devereux Glenholme is an exceptional boarding school for students with special needs, which offers an individually prescribed learning environment with a steadfast academic curriculum. Using our effective individualized services, we apply a positive behavior support model focused on development of social skills and lifelong strategies for success. The school’s milieu therapy addresses varying levels of academic, social and special needs development in boys and girls ages 10-18 and postgraduates. We prepare graduates for continued education in traditional day schools, boarding schools, colleges and universities. For more information about The Glenholme School and its program, visit http://www.theglenholmeschool.org/.


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