2006-10-19 / Youth

Foundation draws crowd to kick-off

Organization seeks to raise private funds for education
BY CASSIE TURANO SOUTH JETTY INTERN

The Port Aransas Education Foundation's kickoff reception drew strong attendance on Friday, Oct. 13, at the Community Center. The Port Aransas Education Foundation's kickoff reception drew strong attendance on Friday, Oct. 13, at the Community Center. The Port Aransas Education Foundation Kick-Off Party on Friday, Oct. 13, was "a huge success," board member Jana Snow said.

The event raised nearly $15,000 through a silent auction, raffles, and donations by members of the community and local businesses and developers. Roughly 150 people attended the event.

"We are overwhelmed and excited about the potential for the community and for the school district. It's hard to believe we raised that amount of money, considering it wasn't even a fundraiser, it was just our kick-off party," PAEF president Janice Roberts said.

What is most surprising about this event is the fact that it is the first of its kind in Port Aransas. There are numerous programs in place supporting Marlin athletics, but this was the first supporting academics. School districts all over the country have had similar foundations in place for years, and they work in much the same way as Port Aransas' will.

Local residents and businesses can donate varying amounts of mon- ey to the program, and the money is distributed by the school board between the elementary school, the middle school, and the high school. Money donated to PAEF will go toward computers, books and other classroom tools, and to further our teachers' continuing education.

"It's a win-win situation for everyone involved," Snow said. "The contributions are tax-deductible, the money goes to a great cause, and they (community members) can watch their investments grow."

"It's just another example of the way Port Aransas does things," said the Rev. Richard Safford, pastor at Community Presbyterian Church.

"Lots of volunteers are willing to put themselves out there and find unique solutions to problems and not sit around and wait for someone else to solve the problem."

Plans are under way for a second PAEF function for anyone who was not able to attend the kick-off party.

"A date and location for the event will be announced later," Roberts said.

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