More than 100 people had a catered dinner and opportunities for lots of conversation, and many took part in enthusiastic auction bidding during the Sept. 12 Englewood Education Foundation Fall Fling.
“This is our major fundraiser and I think it was a success again this year,” said Karen Miller, EEF president. “This fundraiser is very important and all we raise goes to our programs since several years ago when we became an all-volunteer organization.”
She said the money goes to the foundation's two major projects, creativity grants and scholarships. Last year, the foundation awarded $18,000 in scholarships to 2012 graduates of Englewood High School and Colorado's Finest Alternative High School. Additionally, this fall the organization provided more than $16,000 in creativity grants to teachers for projects not included in the normal district budget.
She said sponsors have stepped up this year and their donations will cover the expenses. That will allow the money from ticket sales and the auctions to be used for scholarships and for creativity grants.
A variety of items were donated for the auctions, including a baseball signed by Colorado Rockies player Todd Helton as well as wine gift sets, gift baskets and hand-knitted scarfs.
Katie Pennington was attending her first fall fling. She said she moved to Englewood earlier this year and a neighbor offered her a ticket, so she decided to come and see what the event was all about.
“I came tonight because I am a strong supporter of public education. This is fun and I hope they raise a lot of money for a great program,” she said. “They won my heart when those kids in the Strings Attached program performed. I appreciate what the foundation is doing and I will do what I can to support it.”
She said she also had a great experience as she met four former Broncos players who attended the event.
“I am a big Bronco fan and meeting players like Larry Evans and Wade Manning was pretty special,” she said. “I got to talk to them and I got their autographs, which will go on my wall with the other autographs I have collected.”
This is the second year former Broncos players have attended the event. This year, Evans and Manning were joined by Larry Brunson and Frank Robinson.
The men joined the crowd for dinner and posed for dozens of photos with those attending the fling.
The former Broncos also stepped up to help the foundation's live auction as the athletes became an auction item by agreeing to be part of foursomes rounds of golf at Broken Tee at Englewood Golf Course.
The foundation was born about 20 years ago when then-school administrator Larry Nisbet met with a group of supporters seeking ways to help the schools. The end result was the creation of the Englewood Education Foundation. The organization established the process needed to raise donations of money and materials to support school programs not funded through the district budget.
The initial foundation project was awarding creativity grants, which provide full or partial funding for projects that aren't budget items. A few years later, the scholarships were added, but a lot of focus remained on the creativity grants.