The Oakdale Educational Foundation (OEF) didn’t miss a beat this year as its annual fundraiser on Sept. 24 at the Oakdale Golf and Country Club (OGCC) offered up musical entertainment, live auction action, and fine dining all in the name of drumming up financial support for Oakdale schools.
With approximately 250 people in attendance at this year’s event, OEF president Mitch Gagos said that they’re hoping for a record amount raised. Although the final numbers aren’t in, he said the total net profit for the event is expected to be $75,000 to $80,000. He also said that more money is expected to trickle in from the SOS run proceeds and other donations that will add to the OEF’s goal of funding approximately $110,000 in teacher grant requests in the Oakdale Joint Unified School District this year.
“The board worked exceedingly hard in getting the word out to prospective sponsors,” Gagos reported about this year’s event.
He said that the OEF board made an exceptional effort and was able to generate some interest from new sponsors this year, including some from outside the Oakdale community.
“On top of all that, the economy is tough,” Gagos added. “…The fact that people are somehow able and willing to make these contributions is appreciated.”
He said the reason the event is so successful is because of the generosity of businesses and individuals that provide financial support and donate auction items, as well as the people who buy the items in the auction. He noted that contributions to education can make a significant, positive impact on a student’s life.
“It is such an honor to be able to provide our teachers with the grants they need to educate our children in a creative and motivating environment,” said event committee chairperson Diana Paboojian.
“The whole event was a success. The community really came together to support Oakdale Educational Foundation,” she added. “Oakdale businesses went above and beyond what was expected with their donations for the silent auction, which was more successful this year than last.”
Numerous silent auction items and 14 live auction items, including vacation home getaways, wine tours, and special dining experiences, were offered to the highest bidder. Heavy appetizers were served throughout the evening and a filet steak dinner prepared by OGCC chef Dan Quint and his staff satisfied the taste buds of the attendees, Gagos noted. He also said that OGCC general manager Rick Schultz and the “cheery, pleasant” OGCC staff went the extra mile for the OEF event, which was much appreciated.
“I think the event went very well…One thing about this event is that we know that people will have a good time,” Gagos said, also noting that the OEF strives to provide “really good” entertainment.
The night began with a musical performance by Oakdale High School student Jesse Whitley, then “Take 2 The Party Band” took to the stage and provided the entertainment for OEF supporters to dance late into the evening. Gagos commented that it was “real fun music to dance to” and the dance floor was full.
“Oakdale Educational Foundation is an independent, non-profit foundation, autonomous in its orientation with the Oakdale Joint Unified School District – although we work closely with them to serve their needs,” Gagos reported, “…to provide better tools to enhance the education experience of students in the district.”
Some of those tools include classroom Smartboards, software, projectors, microscopes, and more. Gagos said that OEF contributions enhance a teacher’s ability to teach certain courses and helps fund some classes that aren’t core classes.
“We’re helping to ensure that there will be opportunities for kids to associate school with a fun and enlightening experience,” he added.
A solid date isn’t set yet, but Gagos said that the grants will likely be awarded prior to Thanksgiving.
“We’re pleased to have this opportunity to serve the Oakdale Joint Unified School District because of our appreciation of all personnel within the district and recognizing the fantastic teachers,” Gagos said. “We have no doubt the funding for these grants is going to a good cause and put to good use.”