White Salmon schools will be the beneficiaries of another successful Grape Escape event, the 7th annual fundraiser for the White Salmon Valley Education Foundation (WSVEF).

“We are thrilled to say the evening’s festivities netted a total of $120,000 for our local schools,” said WSVEF Executive Director Anne-Marie Slater. “That’s an increase of more than 12 percent over last year, and just goes to highlight the amazing generosity of our community. With record volunteer community involvement and record attendance producing a record total, we’re thrilled to say that our community is the foundation. We value the continuing support and pride in our schools.”

Live auction action brought entertainment and excitement, several guests battled for high stakes over paella parties, a student-art emblazoned kiteboard, sailboat racing, stunning paintings by local artists and students, and so much more.

A number of local wineries contributed to the evening’s success with some of their finest vintages, which were poured throughout the evening and packaged up with many of the auction items.

There were some outstanding private donations as well. Inspiring many guests, long time benefactors and supporters of White Salmon schools, Wally and Priscilla Stevenson, made the night’s largest individual donation, with $50,000 going to the WSVEF. Mr. Stevenson stood up and addressed the crowd sharing his passion for education and recognizing how different things are today from when he was on the school board so many years ago. Doug and Leslie Campbell showed tremendous support with a gift of $10,000.

The entire event would not have been possible without the countless gifts of time, services and goods from dozens of others in our community.

Said Slater, “More people than ever are devoting their core competencies and resources to support the Foundation’s role in our schools. Each and every person gave extra effort and time from their busy schedules to make this event happen. I’ve heard from many that they had a wonderful time. So thank you from myself, and our Board of Directors, for your amazing input and help.”

Attendees were treated to a demonstration of newly funded art tablets and Adobe Photoshop software by Columbia HS Digital Imaging students. A quartet from Columbia High School’s music program greeted arrivals with Dixieland music. There was also a video featuring students, teachers, and administrators talking about the differences WSVEF grants have made in their lives and schools.

Event coordinator and parent Susan Coulon said “It was a wonderful experience to see how people were eager to help with the event and so rewarding for it to be a success. All the hard work paid off. I feel so good about our community because people are very supportive of the Foundation.”

Since 2006, the WSVEF has granted or secured grants totaling more than $1.1 million to over 92 programs in the White Salmon Valley School District.

For more informationvisit www.wsvef.org or call 493-1175.

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