The Community Culinary School of Northwestern Connecticut, based in New Milford, will host its sixth annual "Dinner with Friends" dinner-dance April 14.

The festivities will kick off at 6 p.m. at the Ethan Allen Inn in Danbury.

Offerings will include a cocktail hour, with music provided by Eric Haglund on the keys, dinner and dancing to the sounds of DJ James Daniel.

In addition, silent and live auctions will be featured.

Items up for bid will include a signature Renee Davide Bonaire Satchel; two tickets to the David Letterman Show, with two nights of luxury overnight accommodations in New York City, a private full day's tour of New York City's ethnic food markets, butchers and specialty food shops with David Pollack; cooking classes and demonstrations by the culinary school chef instructors, students and graduates, a New Orleans Jazz Cruise, artwork, gift certificates, theater tickets and more.

Two special awards will be given out this year.

The inaugural Exceptional Service Award will be presented to Peg Molina, director of the New Milford Social Services Department and president of the CCSNC board.

"With a lot of hard work, the Community Culinary School has been a dream come true," Ms. Molina said.

"We have the privilege of witnessing transformation as students build skills and self-confidence, then go on to fulfill their goals and aspirations, as well as ours," she added.

The first annual Distinguished Appreciation Award will be presented to New Milford Hospital, part of the Western Connecticut Health Network, to be received by Deborah Weymouth, senior vice president and executive director of New Milford Hospital.

"We are delighted and honored to receive this recognition," Ms. Weymouth said. "As a community hospital, maintaining connections to great programs such as this is very important."

"Everyone wins as a result of this workforce development -- the students, the program, the hospital and our greater community," she said.

The dinner-dance will benefit the school, a non-profit entity dedicated to providing unemployed and underemployed men and women with the skills they need to find jobs with career paths in the food services industry.

The school's job placement rate is 95 percent, with an 89 percent job retention rate post six months graduation.

Tickets and sponsorships can be purchased by phoning 860-350-2737 or by visiting the school's website at

All proceeds will benefit the school.