The announced today that its eighth annual fundraising breakfast raised over $644,000, more than 34% above last year’s record results.
“In these tough times, it’s gratifying to see the Mercer Island community once again step up and continue to invest in our schools and teachers ensuring we can deliver outstanding education to all students in our district,” said Dr. Gary Plano, MISD Schools Superintendent. “This incredible outpouring of generosity will continue to help us mitigate the effects of the Olympia-based budget gaps while continuing to deliver on our far reaching 2020 Vision promise.”
A record 540 people attended the fundraiser held this morning at Mercer Island High School. Jean Enersen, King5 Anchor and Mercer Island School District graduate, emceed the event.
“We’re thrilled with the response from our community with their record-breaking generosity. Donation-matching angels and close cooperation with our PTAs were key to our success in the Bridge the Gap effort and events at the schools”, said C. C. Crenshaw, co-president of the Foundation board.
“The district-wide Bridge-The-Gap effort created by a committee with PTA, Schools Foundation and community volunteers was the key to achieving these results,” said Claudia Robbs, co-president of the Mercer Island PTA Council. “Our PTAs are stepping up in unprecedented ways to raise our members’ awareness of our district's budget gap.”
Again this year, the foundation benefited from a challenge fund – where donors will provide an additional $200,000 in funds if the community donates $1,000,000 which will then complete the Bridge the Gap goal of $1,200,000: the expected budget shortfall from Olympia.
Funds raised will be used once again for retaining up to 20 teachers who would have otherwise been laid off due to the cuts.
“This year, we are delighted with how our community stepped up during these tough times,” said Penny Yantis, MISF Executive Director. “Our supporters responded tremendously making the all-important investment in our schools, teachers, children and ultimately our future a priority.”