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Grape Escape Raises Money For Schools

Nearly 70,000 collected

It appears the local community is willing to forget about the on-going recession when it comes to helping local schools.

The White Salmon Valley Education Foundation announced its major fundraiser, the 4th annual Gorge Grape Escape, raised nearly $70,000.

Approximately 135 people attended the evening of fine wines, fun auctions, and fundraising at the Best Western Hood River Inn.

"The donors at the event were extremely generous," said WSVEF Vice-President and Event Coordinator Sue Davis. "Our final total for the evening came to just over $68,000. We couldn't be more pleased with the way everything turned out."

All of the monies raised at the event will go directly to helping schools, thanks to the benevolence of Steve Maier and ICE, Innovative Composite Engineering of Bingen, who sponsored all costs for the evening, said David.

As the primary sponsor of the event, their support makes every dollar spent at the event, from ticket sales to auction items a direct donation to the Foundation.

And if that were not enough good news, the announcement of four recent major gifts totaling an additional $140,000 was made to hearty cheers and applause.

"These gifts are helping us make big strides, especially in terms of our endowment fund," said WSVEF President Anne-Marie Slater. "They bring the endowment fund balance to $338,000. Our short term goal is to reach $500,000, with a longer term goal of $2 million. Reaching the $2 million dollar mark will allow the Foundation to become a permanent source of funding for our schools."

Said Slater, "The enormous support we've received in our almost three years of existence has been outstanding. There is no question that our community values public education. On behalf of our schools, we can't thank this community enough for its generous support, which will impact students now and into the future."

Over five bi-annual funding cycles, the WSVEF has granted $82,000 to the White Salmon Valley School District, and assisted in the securing of thousands of dollars of other grant and program monies.

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