2009-09-24 / Island Life

Mardi Gras Oct. 2 is benefit for PAEF

Mardis Gras in October is one of the biggest parties of the year, and it all benefits the Port Aransas schools.

The event, scheduled for 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2, at the Port Aransas Civic Center, 700 W. Ave. A, is conducted by the Port Aransas Education Foundation (PAEF).

Individual tickets are still available for $35 each, which will entitle the buyer to a shrimp boil dinner, cooked by Charlie Zahn and crew. An open bar is included in the festivities.

Tickets may be purchased at Whitten Real Estate, 136 Cut-off Road; First American Title, 200 S. Alister St.; or at the Family Center IGA, 418 S. Alister St.

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

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.

Auctions will include 25 wrapped boxes for $100 each, one of which will hold a pair of diamond and white gold earrings, valued at $1,150. Treasure box keys will be sold for $100 each. One of the 20 will open a box holding two round trip Southwest Airlines tickets to anywhere in the continental U.S. Other prizes will be awarded through auctions, both silent and live, or prize drawings, including a Fredericksburg getaway, a book basket, a baseball signed by Nolan Ryan, and a catered cocktail cruise for 30. To donate a prize, call event chair Michelle Sowers at 749-3607.

This year’s event is again sponsored by the Clark family of Port Aransas and Mark Grosse Real Estate.

PAEF has awarded $135,000 in grants to Port Aransas schools over the past three years.

In the latest round of grants, conducted in April, PAEF awarded schools with 29 grants totaling more than $57,458.22. That money paid for teacher training, computer equipment and software, educational field trips, library books, interactive white boards, welding equipment, drug and alcohol education programs and more. Purchases ranged from musical instruments for elementary school students to an educational weather station for the roof of Port Aransas High School.

For more information about PAEF, visit www.paisdfoundation.org.

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