“You are Gladewater. You showed up. You showed out. You showed your heart.”
It was a packed house at Tempest Club Saturday night for the fourth annual fundraiser from Education Foundation Gladewater. Acting as emcee, foundation president Katie Ellis exhorted, encouraged and extolled the crowd’s generosity throughout the evening at Tempest Golf Club.
Ultimately, the night’s activities netted about $65,000 for the foundation and its efforts to fuel innovation in classrooms throughout the district. The evening’s tally included some $16,000 in table sponsorships, almost $6,000 from sponsors and more than $42,000 in auction proceeds.
It was an overwhelming night, Ellis said later, thanking attendees and other supporters for their help.
“You are here on behalf of Gladewater’s education foundation that funds grants for teachers who in turn give back to the students of Gladewater ISD,” Ellis reminded the audience of enthusiastic school supporters between sets by The 3AM Band. “I want to reiterate that our kids are more than a test. Our teachers know that and by you being here, you know that, too.”
Saturday’s event included an online silent auction from donations by community members along with a live ‘heads and tails’ challenge.
Returning auctioneer Chuck Darling spearheaded the evening’s big-ticket rapid-fire sale of everything from vacation packages to projects handmade by GISD students and community artisans.
Every dollar benefits the faculty and student body of the district, Ellis told the sold-out crowd, funding innovation grants for teachers such as the night’s ‘Ask’ for choir director Darren Richardson’s Keyboard Kapers.
Requesting $5,200, Richardson’s idea reaped $7,100 from attendees in a matter of minutes.
“Our staff lives our children,” Ellis added, queuing up a spotlight video featuring staffers and children singing Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love of All.” Truly, Ellis said, “Our children are our future and it’s our job to teach them well.
“We are all about loving these students, about giving them our all as teachers and giving them our best, everything they need. The Gladewater education foundation listens to their needs and fulfills them. The only way that we can find those needs is because of you tonight.”