The Edmond Sun

Education

February 14, 2014

School foundation plans first Hall of Fame event

EDMOND — Being recognized for the impact one has made on society is possibly one of the most gratifying things that can happen to an individual.

In keeping with that idea, the Edmond Public Schools Foundation members are presenting the inaugural Hall of Fame event April 4, at Oak Tree Country Club.

Three foundation chairmen including the present chairman, Brian Blundell with BancFirst, past chairman, Bryan Evans with Evans and Davis law firm and future chairman Marcus Crawford with Crawford Funeral Home have been working to make this first event a memorable one.

The foundation will be inducting three people into the Hall of Fame that evening. The first three Hall of Fame candidates were chosen from a field of  educators, alumni and contributors who have in some way added to the educational experience in Edmond.

Foundation members also will recognize Edmond’s Peter Markes who is not only the Edmond Public Schools District Teacher of the Year but also the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year.

“Growing up here I can say we are long past due in recognizing people who have had a positive influence on teaching in the Edmond School District,” Blundell said. “We found as we went through the process this first year we wanted to recognize people who have been supporters of the Edmond learning community, but not just financially.”

In addition to recognizing individuals who have had an impact on education in Edmond, the Hall of Fame Banquet and Auction also will be a fundraiser for the Edmond Public Schools Foundation.

Each year the foundation fulfills grant requests made by teachers.

“We have more than $400,000 in grant requests this year,” Evans said. “The EPSF was able to provide more than $90,000 in grant support to the Edmond School District in 2012-13 and our members are wanting to have a similar amount available if not more for this year’s grants.”

Grant funds fill in the spaces and provide opportunities for teachers and students with funds that are not available from the district.

“Many people look at Edmond as an affluent community,” Blundell said. “And in some cases that may be true, but that is not true of all of our residents.”

With 26 percent of Edmond students receiving free and reduced lunches, the foundation members know the need is great here, Evans added.

The foundation is selling tickets for 40 tables of eight for $1,000 each table. There will be a limited number of individual seats available at $125 each.

“We have sold 22 of the available 40 tables for the dinner and silent and live auctions that will be taking place,” Evans said.

Citizens Bank of Edmond is sponsoring the tables and Evans and Davis is sponsoring the auctions.

“All the money coming through the sale of the tickets is profit for the foundation,” Blundell said.

Evans said the foundation has made a lot of strides establishing itself as a premier organization in past years.

“Our first priority is to sell tables for the Hall of Fame event, and our second is to raise as much money through our silent and live auctions as we can,” Evans said. “Our auction items will be about quality with one of the items including a Chef’s Dinner prepared by Edmond firefighters.”

Other items include trips to Las Vegas and a Disney vacation. One of the more unusual items is a Day with the Bomb Squad. The foundation trustees are also planning an added value during the live auction.

“We plan to auction off some grants that were unfunded,” Blundell said, “and if it is going well we have an unlimited number of grants to be purchased.”

A live auctioneer will keep the crowd’s bids moving and the foundation chairmen, past, present and future, are hoping to be able to fund additional grants this year.

Since its inception the EPS Foundation has provided more than $1.5 million in direct financial support to the district. These resources have funded: new technology, classroom curriculum, software, hardware, teaching aids, teacher training, student scholarships, playground equipment, textbooks, supplies, musical instruments, artwork, equipment, teacher awards, and numerous other educational aids. Moreover, the EPS Foundation has developed thousands in indirect support for the district though volunteer service hours and organizational in-kind donations.

TO PURCHASE a table or donate an item for the auctions, call or email Brian Blundell at 270-1650, bblundell@bancfirst.com; or Bryan Evans at 286-2335, bryan@evansdavis.com or Marcus Crawford at 340-2333 or email him at marcus@crawfordcares.com.

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