THERE ARE NO CURRENT SWSF EVENTS SCHEDULED AT PRESENT
Make Your Reservations Now for the May 18 Gala Dinner and Fundraiser
It’s time to make your reservations to attend SWSF’s fabulous Gala Dinner and Fundraiser Saturday, May 18th, starting at 5:00 PM, at the Useless Bay Golf & Country Club to support classroom education grants for our kids!
This year’s guest speaker will be Fred Lundahl, a retired Foreign Service diplomat with more than 30 years working in American Embassies abroad, member of the South Whidbey School District’s Long-Range Planning Committee, and a local businessman. His keynote address is titled “If you can read this, thank a teacher”.
There will be live music, a no-host bar, a before-dinner silent auction, two reports from teachers Jeff Greene and David Pfeiffer who received classroom grants this past year, a student presentation by Maddy Jerome, and an after-dinner live auction hosted by popular local host Jim Freeman.
This event is for everyone who supports our local schools and wishes to help support the Foundation in its mission to provide innovative, teacher-funded classroom grants that promote educational excellence.
Dinner tickets are $75 per person and may be purchased online at
The dinner entree choices will include roast prime rib with au jus and horseradish sauce, grilled salmon with beurre rouge and Portobello Wellington (a vegetarian entree. Each dinner includes a green salad with tomato, asiago cheese and balsamic vinaigrette or caesar salad, chef’s selection potato or rice pilaf, fresh seasonal vegetable, and a fabulous chocolate dessert with after dinner coffee.
Just a few of the auction items that we are featuring include the following:
- Consultation in landscape design and 2 large custom-made flower pots fully planted and delivered
- One day of expert carpentry work
- Deception Pass Jet-Boat Tour for 2
- Two 15# packages of grass-fed local beef from David Nelson
- Useless Bay Golf &Country Club – 1 initiation fee for a Social Membership, 1 initiation fee of $500 for a golfing membership, and 4 rounds of golf
- 3 personal training/physical therapy sessions from Marti Murphy with One-to-One Personal Training
- Georgia Gerber “Otter” valued at $650
- 6-month membership to Family Care Fitness Center
- Crab Feast from the Wileys: “We will cook crab and crack it, provide french bread/salad/corn-on-the-cob/and a dessert, and deliver to anyone on Whidbey Island
- $50 gift certificate to Quails Run Farm for produce at the Bayview Farmer’s Market
- 2-Night stay at the Boatyard Inn in Langley
- Overnight stay at the Pine Cottage Bed & Breakfast
- Wine and food tastings to include Bloom’s Winery, Prima Bistro, Comfort Farms, and Useless Bay Wines
- 4 horseback riding lessons with Sarah Moulton, valued at $160
- Gift certificates to Lind’s Pharmacy, Payless Foods, Pickles Deli, and Les Schwab Tire Center
- A “Shirlee’s” lemon meringue pie for 10 to 12, served in a Sharon Warwick ceramic pie plate.
Once again South Whidbey residents stepped up for education, donating over $18,000 to the South Whidbey Schools Foundation at its annual Gala Dinner and Fundraiser held May 19 at Useless Bay Golf & Country Club.
The evening’s program included live music by the DBJazz combo, presentations by recent Foundation grant recipients, a keynote address by South Whidbey School District’s Superintendent Dr. Jo Moccia, and both a silent and a live auction. The money raised will help fund teacher-requested project grants in the 2012-13 school year.
Highlights from the event included a presentation by elementary school students who participated in a sustainability “Green Team” project, which was funded in part by a $1,000 Foundation grant. The students explained how they first assessed their school’s waste production, then devised ways to significantly reduce it. As a result, teacher Susan Milan, grant author and project leader, was selected as an honorable mention recipient for the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators by the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. South Whidbey High School teacher Jeff Greene also gave a presentation on his two $1,000 SWSF grants and their impact on his students, which were the First Tech Challenge Robotics Club and a Digital Video HD Camcorder and Camera.
In her keynote address, Superintendent Moccia noted that it was exactly a year to the day since she had accepted the position with the district, and revealed she now feels fully acclimated to island culture, and loves it. Moccia explained her vision for making the district an “education destination”. Noting the unique opportunities the district offers students, such as the award winning music program, she believes there is an opportunity to attract more students as a way to off-set, at least in part, the general trend of declining enrollment. Moccia also thanked the Foundation for its efforts on behalf of the schools. (See separate video post of Dr. Moccia’s speech.)
Dave Haworth was recognized for his role as one of the organization’s founders in 1995 by a fellow founder and current Foundation board member, Jean Shaw. Both spoke briefly about the “early days” when meetings were held at kitchen tables and coffee shops, and they managed to raise a few thousand dollars each year to fund classroom projects. Both Shaw and Haworth said they are thankful that those early efforts blossomed into the Foundation’s current ability to fund close to $20,000 a year in teacher grants.
Foundation President John Knox and Gala MC noted how fortunate it is to have a community “consistently willing to step up for education, whether it is volunteering, attending school-sponsored events, or simply giving money.” Knox recognized event volunteers Sue Frause, who as auctioneer solicited $10,000 in donations during the live auction, and event organizer Becky Foote, who made sure the evening ran smoothly, as crucial to the Foundation’s success.
“Without people like Sue and Becky volunteering their time and talents, the Foundation would not be the effective and efficient organization it is today”, said Knox. He also extended his thanks to all the artists who donated to the silent art auction, Georgia Gerber, Rob Schouten, Gary Schallock, Don Wodjenski, and several student artists, to Mary McLeod who organized the art auction, and to the many organizations who helped sponsor the event; including Whidbey Island Bank, Coldwell Banker, One-to-One Personal Training, Family Care Fitness Center, Les Schwab Tire Center, Clinton Foodmart, The Goose Community Grocer, Ken’s Korner Red Apple, The Star Store, and Michael Gibson Wine Imports.
The South Whidbey Schools Foundation is a non-profit 501c3 organization dedicated to supporting innovation and excellence in the South Whidbey schools.
Buy Your Tickets Now to Attend SWSF’s Annual Gala Event May 19
It’s time to make your reservations to attend SWSF’s fabulous Gala Dinner and Fundraiser May 19 at Useless Bay Golf & Country Club to support classroom education grants. This year’s guest speaker will be Dr. Jo Moccia, Superintendent of South Whidbey Schools, who will be speaking about the state of the school district and a vision to make South Whidbey Schools an ‘Education Destination’.
More than $13,000 was raised during last year’s Gala for the $19,000 that went to fund innovative teacher requested classroom programs for the 2011-12 school year. It’s time to again step up for the teachers and students for next school year.
The popular DB Jazz Quartet (Don Wodjenski, Dr. Bob Wagner, Dale Stirling, and Dan Gemano) returns to set a joyful tone during the 5 to 6 p.m. social hour. During this time, attendees browse and bid during a silent auction of student and community art works organized by art specialist, Mary McLeod.
SWSF President John Knox is serving as emcee and as in past years will introduce several classroom grant award recipients who will share student stories about the effect that the classroom project had on their academic and/or personal life.
Dinner choices include: either a vegetarian entree or a chicken breast with port wine glaze, topped with crispy leeks and served with wild rice, fresh seasonal vegetable, garden salad with balsamic dressing, and chocolate decadence for dessert.
Purchase your tickets on this website by clicking the link below, or by mailing a $75 check per ticket reservation to South Whidbey Schools Foundation / PO Box 24 / Freeland, WA 98249.
Corporate and individual sponsorship of tables is gratefully accepted. Please contact SWSF Vice President Chris Gibson for more information. Table sponsor levels are “Falcon” for donations of $1,000 and up (provides donor with two “free” dinner tickets and publicity), “Cougar” for donations of $500 to $999 (provides donor with 1 “free” dinner ticket and publicity), and “Orca” for donations of $250-$499 (provides donor with publicity).
Plan now to attend one of South Whidbey’s premier fundraising events which directly helps students and teachers.
2011 SWSF Annual Gala Event Raises More Than $13,000 for Classroom Grants
More than $13,000 was raised during SWSF’s annual Fundraising Gala at Useless Bay Golf & Country Club on May 21. The funds will be used for teacher grants and programs for the 2011-12 school year.
Here are a few specific thank you’s to those who made this a financial success and a memorable evening.
DB Jazz Quartet (Don Wodjenski, Dr. Bob Wagner, Dale Stirling, and Dan Gemano) set a joyful tone for the lucky early birds who browsed and enjoyed bidding at the silent auction of student and community art works organized by art specialist, Mary McLeod. Music was enhanced with captivating solos by SWHS senior, Gina Knox.
Three teacher grant award winners from 2010-2011 inspired the audience with student stories and multi-media views of their projects. Thanks to Jay Freundlich, LMS Rain Garden Project in the year of the Washington “monsoons;” Bayview teacher Charlene Ray and student, Natalie Frasier (Rites of Passage) who touched everyone’s hearts; and Kathy Stanley (Solar Oven and Sustainability Project) who left us all wondering how a single teacher can integrate so much learning in one project.
Our outstanding keynote speaker, Dr. Joey Shapiro Key (SWHS 1997), spoke enthusiastically of her work in astrophysics studying gravitational waves and her employment with the NASA Public Outreach Team in Montana. She traced the roots of her progress to a doctorate in astrophysics to important experiences in South Whidbey schools in math and science, track and field, and the arts. She noted particularly, the mentoring of physics teacher, Mark Racicot, also in attendance. We are so grateful that she took the time to visit here and share her amazing life story.
After all that inspiration, our auctioneer extraordinaire, Michael McInerney, began the exciting task of encouraging everyone to contribute to areas of interest for next year’s SWSF support for South Whidbey Schools. The final total shows both Michael’s talent for entertaining, and the audience’s generosity…responding to the new SWSF Motto: You can do ONE thing for South Whidbey students: contribute to the SWSF! He was ably assisted by student runners from the Knox and Baesler families.
Our auction donations were greatly enhanced by Corporate Sponsors: Whidbey Island Bank and Coldwell Banker/Tara Properties. The evening was also supported by three area merchants who provided wine for the evening: Red Apple—Ken’s Corner; The Goose; and The Star Store.
As always, we appreciate the flexibility and carefulness of Chef Blu and the waitstaff at Useless Bay Golf and Country Club. And the food was delicious, too.
Finally, we want to thank especially, we want to appreciate the Fundraiser Gala chair, Charlene Arnold, a true entrepreneur and tireless worker.
South Whidbey Schools Foundation, Board and Advisory Board
Dr. Lisa Bjork, Becky Foote, Dave Haworth, Wendy Baesler, Marti Murphy, Charlene Arnold, Jeanette Eveland, Chris Gibson, John Knox, John riley, Nancy Ruff, Jenny Sankey, and Jean Shaw
Advisory Board: Jill Engstom, Mary McLeod, Jamie Boyd, Sophia Merrell
We thank our corporate sponsors (Whidbey Island Bank and Coldwell Banker/Tara Properties) without whose support this evening would not have been possible.