The Galveston ISD Educational Foundation (GEF) netted more than $70,000 during their annual Spring Event “Anchors Away!” fundraiser. Overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, the event took place in the Gulf View Terrace of the Galveston Island Convention Center at the San Luis Resort and featured live music by Galveston’s own Mid Life Crisis. GEF supporters attending the event enjoyed delectable food and desserts by the San Luis culinary team and libations courtesy of Del Papa Distributing Company.

Event attendees experienced a nautical oasis with decorations designed by event co-chair Margie Kusnerik. Guests were welcomed by the Ball High JROTC sporting their ceremonial rifles purchased by GEF through the organization’s Grants to Teachers and Schools program. People snapped photos with their phones and were professionally captured by the Ball High Photography students standing next to the oversized ship photo prop crafted by the Ball High Construction Technology students and painted by the Ball High Art students. Guests also had the opportunity to see demonstrations from the nationally recognized Ball High and Scott Middle School robotics teams.

“Anchors Away!” presented an impressive silent auction of more than 80 items gathered by the GEF silent auction team. Led by event co-chair and auction chair Donna Koehler Mencacci, the silent auction raised approximately $20,000 toward the event’s bottom line. The silent auction team, including Lindsey Serrette and Melanie Buck, solicited more than 120 GEF supporters for auction donations.

“The Galveston ISD Educational Foundation netted more than $70,000 at this year’s Spring Event, and I am incredibly proud of its success,.” states GEF President Laura Hughes McDermott.  “This means more money for the district, more money for our educators, and more money for our students. Without our generous sponsors and donors, the hardworking volunteers who poured hours of time and creative energy into the event, the people who attended the event and discovered what our mission is about, our supportive district, and our dedicated Board of Directors and Executive Director Erin Kay, the event would not have been possible. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the event’s success!”

Sherman Beafneaux, Principal of Central Middle School, and Annette Dailey, Principal of Crenshaw Elementary and Middle Schools, were the lucky winners of the GEF’s annual raffle drawing which takes place during the event. They  took home an iPad mini and a Carnival cruise for two, respectively.

“Anchors Away!” was supported by several corporate, charitable and individual sponsors. The highest level of support came from Dr. Leon Bromberg Charitable Trust Fund, DSW Homes and Kempner Capital Management at the Captain level. Generously sponsoring at the Commander level were AMOCO Federal Credit Union, Evia – Traditional Neighborhood and Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson, LLP. GEF was thankful for the Lieutenant sponsors including Alta Vista Development, Ben & Jerry’s – The Hart Family, CenterPoint Energy, Challenge Office Products Inc. – Debbie and John Barbosa, Galveston College, Hometown Bank, Dr. James Grant, Marathon Petroleum, Max and Dana Leaman – The Leaman Team, Mayor Jim & Carol Yarbrough, Moody National Bank, Scott and Renee Rice, Texas First Bank and UTMB Health. Rounding out the sponsors were the Steward level supporters without whom the event would not have be possible. They included Affinity Immediate Care and Affinity Laser + Med Spa, Carol A. Hodges, Chalmers Hardware & Embroidery – Genette & Keith Bassett, Dogs at Dolphins View, Duff Kitchel & Company, Gail Ayers and Armin Cantini. Kelly Kelley Broker Co/Owner RE/MAX LEADING EDGE, Ken & Kate Marx, Michael and Nancy Hughes, Michele and Matt Hay, Milt’s Seafood – Linda & Mike Dolfi, Rebecca and Joe Jaworski, Rochkind Insurance, Shane and Laura McDermott, Stewart Title, Susan Walker & Rick Benson, The Galveston County Daily News, The Grand 1894 Opera House, The O’Donohoe Agency of Allstate Insurance, Tom Schwenk, Realtor The House Company, Walsh, Anderson, Gallegos, Green & Trevino, P.C., Walter and Olivia Meyer and Dr. Thomas Kimbrough & Ms. Beth Schribner.

The Galveston ISD Educational Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax exempt philanthropic organization and is independent of the GISD Schools but complements it through partnership.  GEF’s mission is to enrich the educational experience and prepare students for the future by providing financial support to educators, schools and students. GEF works to increase private support for public education and benefits GISD students and staff by supporting activities not funded or not covered by tax dollars. The Foundation encourages and recognizes creative approaches to education through grants and awards funds through a volunteer Board of Directors made up of business and community leaders.