By any measure the May 20 South Whidbey Schools Foundation gala was a success.

Held at Comforts on Whidbey Winery in Langley, the sold-out event raised more than $20,000 through its silent and live auctions, ticket sales and dessert dash – monies that will fund teacher-requested classroom grants next school year.

“Wow. What a night!  What a team!  What a community! I have never been prouder to be part of them all,” said SWSF Board President Chris Gibson. “Special thanks go to our gala coordinators, Susie and Hope Richards, who provided a rich lineup of entertainment, fun and great auction items.”

A highlight of the evening was the Foundation-funded Climate Arts Project presentation, “The Echo Chamber,” performed by three South Whidbey High School students, which received a standing ovation.

It was followed by remarks from three generations of the Davies family: Debra and Charlie Davies, who are teachers in the District, South Whidbey High school senior Joe Davies, and a tribute to family matriarch and retired SW School District teacher Jo Davies.

Jim Freeman led a lively and laughter-filled auction of donated items plus ‘shares’ of educational areas in which bidders donated to areas they are most passionate about supporting. South Whidbey Schools Superintendent Jo Moccia finished the evening with a 50/50 torn card matching game. Winner and new SWSF Board member Shelly Ackerman donated the $1,000 prize back to the Schools Foundation.

The event was sponsored by Whidbey Island Bank (a division of Heritage Bank), Whidbey Telecom, Forsyth Financial Services, Micro Computer Systems, Whidbey Tractor, and table sponsors The Star Store and Fitting Vacations.

May 20 Schools Foundation Gala Dinner Honors the Past While Looking Forward

The South Whidbey Schools Foundation is hosting its annual fundraising gala May 20 at a new venue this year: Comforts Winery in Langley. This year’s theme is “Honoring the Past / Shaping the Future.”

This year’s speakers will include three generations of the Davies family: Jo Davies, now retired, taught for 28 years in the South Whidbey School District, daughter Debra is an Elementary School teacher, and son Charlie  is the lead teacher at South Whidbey Academy. Grandson Joe Davies, a junior at SWHS will also make remarks from a student’s perspective.

A video about Langley Middle School–a joint project between the Foundation and the South Whidbey Historical Society–will also be shown, as will a video about one of the Foundation “Adopt-A-Grant” programs: Salmon in the Classroom. Students from this year’s Climate Arts Project (funded by the Foundation) will perform “Echo Chamber” and “Earth Goes to a Doctor” – both of which received critical local acclaim.

“We’re excited to share information about how Foundation funding is being used to enhance education in the school district, support teachers who are changing locations, and connect community patrons with areas of education that they are passionate about supporting,” said SWSF Board President Chris Gibson.

A 5 p.m. social hour will include live music by members of a SWHS jazz combo, a silent auction, and displays depicting some of the 20 funded projects this school year.

High School seniors involved with the Climate Arts Project will perform the acclaimed “Echo Chamber” and “Earth Goes to a Doctor” presentations that they did during Earth Week.  A video tribute to Langley Middle School in all its iterations over the years, will include a brief history of south end schools by local historian Bob Waterman. Master of Ceremonies Jim Freeman will conduct a lively auction of more than 10 items including four passes to Disneyland along with two airline tickets, VIP Seahawks Training Camp Experience tickets for two, four Mariners tickets, four Sounders tickets, a round of golf for four at Useless Bay Golf and Country Club, a Georgia Gerber sculpture, a Crab Feed Dinner for up to eight people, two nights at a Belltown Condo, tickets to the Paramount Theater, local Bed and Breakfast stays, two fold-down bicycles, and more.

Corporate sponsors for the gala include Whidbey Island Bank (a division of Heritage Bank), Whidbey Telecom, Forsyth Financial, Micro Computer Systems Inc., Washington Tractors, plus table sponsors: The Star Store and Fitting Vacations.

Since its inception 21 years ago, the Foundation has awarded more than $245,000 to local classroom projects. So far this year they have funded $27,000 in classroom grants.

Tickets are available online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2907141. The Foundation encourages early purchase of tickets as there is limited seating.

The South Whidbey Schools Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to supporting innovation and excellence in the South Whidbey schools.

Four one-day passes and two airline tickets to the happiest place on earth — Disneyland — are one of the more unique item packages that will be auctioned off at the May 20 South Whidbey Schools Foundation Gala Dinner at Comforts on Whidbey Winery in Langley.

“The Foundation Board has been working hard to secure some fabulous auction items for both the live auction emceed by Jim Freeman, as well as the silent auction,” said Susie Richards, this year’s gala coordinator. 

Is sports more your thing?  How about VIP Seahawks Training Camp Experience tickets for two. Watch the Seahawks practice from a VIP Hospitality Tent during the 2017 training camp and then have a “meet and greet” with a Seahawks player following the conclusion of practice.

Or, bid on four Sounders Soccer tickets or four Mariners tickets or a round of golf for four at Useless Bay Golf and Country Club?

Expecting out-of-town guests? Why not put them up at a local Bed and Breakfast such as the Boatyard Inn or the Pine Cottage B&B? Or want a weekend escape? How about staying two nights in a two-bedroom Belltown condo or two nights in a one-bedroom Ballard condo?

Who wouldn’t love this precious Georgia Gerber sculpture

Other items include two fold-up bicycles, a Crab Feed dinner for up to eight people, several wine tastings at local wineries, Monma College Planning Services (a $500 value), plus a variety of local business goodies and service baskets that will be featured in our silent auction.

New items are being added every week, so check our website weekly. Tickets are nearly half sold out already, so purchase tickets online today at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2907141.

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SWSF / PO Box 24 / Freeland, WA 98249

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