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Spelling Bee Dinner & Theatre Night




Spelling Bee Sets Fundraising Record


On Friday, April 28, the Morton 201 Foundation hosted its fifth Dinner & Theatre Night: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee in Room 200 at Morton East. The event was hugely successful and raised a record $7,445 for the Pay It Forward Scholarship Fund.  

A large number of alumni and former administrators attended the event, which helped to boost ticket sales to 72 (the highest to date). Guests had the opportunity to view a student art exhibit before the event, listen to amazing mariachi music, bid on four walk-on roles for the night’s performance and enjoy a cast Meet & Greet.

Guests were treated to a delicious play-inspired specialty mocktail (Spelling Bee’s Knees, rimmed with bee pollen) and a four-course meal planned and prepared by Morton East Culinary Arts students, followed by VIP seating for the performance in the Morton East Chodl Auditorium. After the performance, all alumni received a private tour of the school.

Appetizers included: Spanakopita Equilateral Triangles, Caprese Syzygy Brochette, and Wild Mushroom Bruschetta.

The main course consisted of a Vichyssoise, Braised Beef Short Rib with Risotto Milanese and a delicious Sous Vide Crème Brûlée for dessert.





Foundation President Jessica Jaramillo-Flores and Morton East Alumni Sherry (Moran) Ray, Jack Smith and John Szubert were the winners of the four walk-on roles.

Keepsake photos were provided by Hector Ramirez from Gabriel Studio. His wife, Araceli, provided the lovely Spelling Bee centerpieces which were auctioned off at the end of the night along with signed cast posters.

Guests also had the opportunity to win one of four fabulous raffle prizes including:


After dinner, the Morton 201 Foundation presented Pay It Forward Awards to Morton East Culinary Instructors Chef Yves Chambaz and Chef Jessica Herrera along with all of the Culinary Arts students for their hard work, hospitality and dedication to creating our amazing Dinner & Theatre Nights over the last several years.







The Morton 201 Foundation would like to sincerely thank the following for purchasing tables at our event:

Cicero Voters Alliance
District 99
Morton East Classes of ’83, ’84, '85, '86 & ‘87
Town of Cicero
United Scrap Metal

We would also like to thank former Superintendent Dr. Robert Giles and Morton East Alum and former Morton West Principal Cynthia Baranowski and their families for joining us this evening.

The Morton 201 Foundation would also like to thank the following for helping to make our Spelling Bee Dinner & Theatre Night such an amazing success:

Culinary Arts instructors Chef Yves Chambaz and Chef Jessica Herrera as well as the Morton East Culinary Arts students for their hard work, hospitality and dedication in preparing the meal served and ensuring that our guests had a warm and welcoming experience.

Theatre Director Tyler Lubinus and the entire cast and crew of the Morton East Theatre Department as well as the Orchestra students who performed.


Music Instructor Andres Cervantes and the Mariachi Los Jinetes: Melody Vivas, Brenda Rivas, Melissa Alvarez, Crystal Munoz Montalvo, Osman Rebollar Hernandez, Areli Jacobo, Alex Taboada, Roberto Garcia, Santos Medina and Angel Lechuga for the lovely music during appetizers.

Hector & Araceli Ramirez from Gabriel Studio for providing the beautiful centerpieces, keepsake photos and lovely walk-on role souvenir mugs for our event.


Our raffle donors:

In addition, we would like to thank:

Toledo's Landscaping for donating 150 "Thank You" sugar cookies from Lulu’s Cakes & Sweets for all of culinary, theatre, tech, orchestra, music, mariachi and video students involved with the Spelling Bee production.

Lastly, the Morton 201 Foundation would like to give special thanks to 
Principal Jose Gamboa, Assistant Principals JoAnne Rzadzki and Phil Depa, the Maintenance Department, IT Department and AV Department for turning Room 200 into a beautiful banquet room.

Superintendent's Secretary Connie Chapman

Digital web Specialist Darrielle McCord

Interim Web Specialist Estrella Vargas

Video Instructor James Walski and his students Crystal Diaz-Molina, John Hernandez, Regina Lopez-Zazueta, Diego Rios. Sofia Ruelas Avelar, Joel Taboada, Elizabeth Tapia, Jukari Valdez, and Iran Vega for recording our event.

Assistant Principal Carol Best for taking all the Morton alumni on an amazing tour!

The Foundation's next Dinner & Theatre Night will take place at Morton West in November.

For more details, please follow us on Facebook or Instagram @Morton201Foundation.

To learn about more ways to give back, visit our Ways to Give page.

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