Issaquah Schools Foundation luncheon raises more than $400,000

May 14, 2010

By Chantelle Lusebrink

UPDATED — 2:30 p.m. May 14, 2010

The Issaquah Community Center was busting at the seams with education supporters Thursday afternoon as the Issaquah Schools Foundation hosted its annual luncheon.

More than 770 residents, teachers, educators and legislators attended the foundation’s Nourish Every Mind Luncheon. Donations of more than $5,000 each poured in during the event. The estimated final total reached $406,000 — a new record, foundation Executive Director Robin Callahan said.

“This luncheon is an event the entire community can take pride in because it is a culmination of the combined efforts of hundreds of volunteers,” Callahan said. “We owe a special thanks to our Golden Apple Sponsors, Swedish Medical Center and Microsoft for underwriting the event which allows most of the donations from yesterday to go directly to the students we serve.”

“Awesome! That is what I have to say about today, in one word, just awesome,” Superintendent Steve Rasmussen said. The foundation “really connects our community in a different way to our kids to our teachers and to our school communities.”

Proceeds benefit the Issaquah School District, its students and schools by providing crucial funding for after school programs; classroom grants; teacher scholarships to pursue National Board Certification; funding for textbooks, like a financial literacy program for eighth-graders; the high school and middle school robotics teams; and many other essentials.

Local celebrity and comedian Pat Cashman donated his time for the seventh year to be the master of ceremonies. Throwing out punch lines and honoring many of the district’s most inspirational teachers was his role.

Foundation officials hoped to raise $150,000 this year and easily cleared the hurdle with outright donations and auction items, like ski trips to Sun Valley and Seattle Mariners tickets.

Funding this year will help district officials pay for a new chemistry curriculum and provide money to help purchase a new elementary school science curriculum in 2011-12.

Money and support from the foundation “really smoothes out our funding sources and fills in some of the blanks to fill in some of our gaps,” Rasmussen said.

This year’s Golden Apple sponsors were Swedish Medical Center of Issaquah and Microsoft. Jointly, the companies are underwriting the luncheon’s expenses.

If you weren’t there, it isn’t too late to donate. Go here.

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