“Our goal is to supplement the traditional education experience in ways that maximize the effectiveness of teachers and result in enhanced student achievement in an increasingly complex and competitive worldwide environment. We have the opportunity to positively impact over 30,000 students and 1,500 teacher annually,” states Branden Shaffer, Acting Executive Director, in the gala’s program.
The Education does many things support St. Vrain Valley Schools. The two things featured in the gala’s program were the 2017 Scholarships awarded to local high school students and the 2017 STEM and Classroom Grants.
The evening began with a social gathering and perusing of baskets and items donated by several schools and local contributors. Guests were able to bid on the items via an online bidding system. The system notified bidders when they were outbid so that they could continue socializing while maintaining their bids.
The social gathering also included refreshments and several games. One game featured throwing darts at a deck of cards in hopes of winning the best hand at poker. This time was dedicated to several ways of donating small amounts of money and having lots of fun. It was a great time to socialize with members of the community such as Mayor Elect Brian Bagley.
The ballroom of the Westin Westminster opened up its doors for guests to be seated and dinner to be served. Speakers including: Brandon Shaffer, Superintendent Dr. Don Haddad, Westview Middle School teacher Danny Hernandez, and Niwot High School Senior Mary Gillet, spoke about the positive impact that the Education Foundation has on the school district by sponsoring events like the gala, Crayons to Calculators, and much more. Each mentioned that without these events and the Education Foundation, St. Vrain Valley Schools would not be able to excel in all they areas that they do.
Just before dinner was served, a game of Heads or Tails was played for the chance to win 52 bottles of wine, donated by the Directors of the Education Foundation of St. Vrain Valley. In order to play you had to purchase a string of beads. Then the announcer, Jim Berz of Wow Events Denver, asked those members of the audience to place their hands on their head or their “tails”. After taking a moment to allow the participants to decide Mr. Berz flipped a coin and announced the verdict. This continued for several rounds until a winner emerged. It was a fun interactive game that kept the crowd engaged and entertained.
The evening also included a live auction. The items up for bid included:
- A Kids Just Wanna Have Fun Locally package
- An African Safari for two
- A Royal Caribbean cruise to the Caribbean
- A Longmont Golf and Beer experience
- Champagne and a hot-air balloon ride for two
- A Mystery Box
- Three night stay in Copper Mountain
The Education Foundation is still working on the total donation amount. When we receive that information we will update this article.