School supporters donate $406,000

May 18, 2010

By Chantelle Lusebrink

More than 770 people attended the Issaquah Schools Foundation’s Nourish Every Mind Luncheon May 13.

In some cases, luncheon goers donated up to $5,000 to set a new estimated fundraising record of $406,000, said ISF Executive Director Robin Callahan.

“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.

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

Proceeds benefit Issaquah School District students and schools by providing funding for after school programs, classroom grants, teacher scholarships to pursue National Board Certification, textbooks, the high school and middle school robotics teams, and many other essentials.

Local comedian Pat Cashman donated his time for the seventh year to be master of ceremonies for the luncheon. He tossed out punch lines while honoring many of the district’s most inspirational teachers.

Those teachers included the most recent class of National Board Certified teachers and two Academic Enrichment Grant winners, Pine Lake Middle School teacher Eric Ensey and Maple Hills Elementary School second-grade teacher Betsy Sanford.

With his grant, Ensey purchased several Apple laptops to create his Computers4Causes computer science elective course, where students help raise money or awareness for a nonprofit cause of their choice.

Sanford’s grant started a book bag program, enabling her to purchase classroom books to be checked out by students to read with their families at home. The program fostered a love of reading and advancement of reading skills.

Foundation officials hoped to raise $150,000 this year.

Funding will help district officials pay for a new chemistry curriculum and help purchase a new elementary school science curriculum.

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

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

If you weren’t there, it’s not too late to donate. Go to the foundation website.

Chantelle Lusebrink: 392-6434, ext. 241, or Comment at

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