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Charleston Development Academy Stuns with Safari Themed Gala
2/24/2016 5:01:07 PM

(left to right) Eduardo Curry, Jr., Jennifer Nutt, Sandy & John Tecklenburg, Cecilia & Jimmy Rodgers

Ann McGill, Kesha Graham, Tammy McCottry pose for a photo at the 2016 Capital Campaign Gala
By Kurt Walker

Charleston Development Academy Public Charter School held its 2016 Capital Campaign Gala at the Charleston Marriott Hotel on Friday evening, February 19th. CDA has been raising the bar each year with its gala and this one sure went to another level. Attendees were met with the sights and sounds of Africa as the hotel reception area had several animals on display including a small Zebra and a pair of entertaining Limas.

Several dignitaries were on hand that included recently elected Mayor John Tecklenburg and State Senator Marlon Kimpson. The event was hosted by Live 5 news anchor Ann McGill. “The secret is definitely out and I will be sure not to miss another gala,” stated McGill to a near capacity crowd. The event was planned and coordinated by the school’s Director, Dr. Shawn Johnson with the assistance of the schools staff members as well as parents and community volunteers.

The Marriott’s Crystal Ballroom was transformed into a room befitting of its theme. Two giant screens displayed video footage of various animals of the African Serengeti and the ballroom and tables displayed various African décor. Several life-sized Giraffes were placed throughout the ballroom and hotel, and monkeys were even part of the mix as their handlers carried them on the hotel’s concourse for those with enough courage to poise for pictures. A troupe of African drummers and dancers met the attendees upon arrival and performed an energetic show following the dinner portion of the program.

An additional component was a silent auction featuring several prints by artist Jonathan Green and a trip for two to South Africa. The proceeds from the event will support the renovation of a middle school complex that will be the future home for the school’s middle students as CDA prepares for expansion and the enlarging of its student body.

The school has an extensive waiting list and plans to offer its A-rated environment to more students in the fall of 2016. School Board member Michael Miller was on hand and offered his support to the school where his daughter presently attends. “I’m so very happy and proud of the Charleston Development Academy School and family for putting on their annual gala,” stated Miller. Miller also spoke on the schools plans for growth by stating, ”I look forward to the increase in enrollment which will better prepare them for a new facility to be built as a result of the passing of the 2014 tax referendum. CDA has a long history of high performance and I know it will continue in this tradition of academic excellence.”

The event was supported with various organization and individual sponsorships. To support the 2017 event please contact the school at (843) 722-2689.

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