2008-09-04 / Island Life

Mardi Gras in October raises money for schools

BY DAN PARKER SOUTH JETTY REPORTER

If you want to eat, drink, be merry, maybe win some great prizes and contribute to the cause of providing a good education for Port Aransas children, Mardi Gras in October might be just the ticket.

The event, scheduled for 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3, at the Port Aransas Civic Center, is conducted by the Port Aransas Education Foundation (PAEF).

All 24 reserved tables for guests have been sold out. However, tickets for individuals soon will be available for $35 each, with the cost the same for both adults and children.

Tickets will be available on or after Wednesday, Sept. 10, at First American Title, 200 S. Alister St., Suite B; Whitten Real Estate, 136 Cut-Off Road; and the Family Center IGA.

Participants will get shrimp boil meals. The event also will include an open bar.

Port Aransas cheerleaders will provide babysitting at the Port Aransas High School gym, where activities will include face painting and Cuddles the Clown.

Formed in 2006, PAEF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising money to award grants to Port Aransas schools for educationally enriching programs and items not funded in school budgets.

PAEF awarded more than $73,000 in grants to Port Aransas schools the past two years.

In the latest round of grants, conducted in April, PAEF awarded schools with 29 grants totaling more than $48,000. That paid for teacher training, computer equipment and software, educational field trips, library books and more. Purchases ranged from musical instruments for elementary school students to an educational weather station for the roof of Port Aransas High School.

"The community never ceases to amaze us with their generosity and giving, and hopefully, we can continue to build and strengthen that bond," said Janice Roberts, president of PAEF. "We hope the foundation will make a difference for the staff of PAISD and our children as well."

Mardi Gras in October is PAEF's biggest fundraiser of the year. The organization is asking Port Aransas individuals, organizations and businesses to donate items toward the Mardi Gras silent auction or raffle.

Folks interested in donating should contact Roberts at 749-7126.

This year's Mardi Gras in October is sponsored by the Clark family of Port Aransas and Mark Grosse Real Estate.

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