The Breakfast of Champions, the Mercer Island Schools Foundation annual communitywide fundraising event, will be held next Tuesday, April 30, at Mercer Island High School at 7:30 a.m.
The breakfast is an annual Island tradition and celebration. It is a celebration of exceptional students, outstanding teachers and innovative educational programs. It’s a celebration of the direct and meaningful impact that community support can have on the quality of education for all students. It is also a celebration of an Island that collectively demonstrates our commitment to our children and their future each year.
Providing an excellent education for all Mercer Island students is a shared community goal. Islanders, regardless of the age of our children or even grandchildren, usually count “our high quality schools” as a significant motivator that drew us here.
We are fortunate that Islanders also consistently support public education. For 31 years, the nonprofit Mercer Island Schools Foundation has supported the Mercer Island School District (MISD) with financial donations from generous MI community members. Under the leadership of Executive Director Penny Yantis, over the past several years, the foundation has significantly increased its fundraising commitments in response to major cuts in state education funding.
Consistent with past years, all gifts this spring will be designated to the ‘Bridge the Gap’ Campaign. The fundraising goal is ambitious — $1.2 million — and is needed to allow the school district to keep 20 teachers in classrooms and maintain the lowest possible class size.
Bridge the Gap is a joint MISD/PTA/Foundation initiative that started in 2009 when multiyear, multimillion dollar cuts to MISD’s state education funding resulted in district budgets that were so squeezed that the alternative was to lose a significant number of teachers.
Thankfully, our community has since rallied each year to support students and teachers at an unprecedented level. In an era when there is division at the federal, state and sometimes even local level, this is an annual demonstration that investing in our students’ education unites us.
The entire Mercer Island community is invited to the Breakfast of Champions celebration of our schools. Whether you have or had students in the district, live or work on the Island, you are welcome. Join the foundation board, your neighbors, and education, community and business leaders at this special event.
Again this year, donations of $1,000 or more will be matched 1:1 by a generous group of ‘Angel’ donors. Donations made at the breakfast or throughout the spring Bridge the Gap campaign are eligible to be matched.
Reservations are recommended to make sure that we have enough places and breakfasts — call (206) 275-2550 or register online at www.mercerislandschoolsfoundation.com/breakfast.
Can’t make it to the breakfast but want to help? Donations of any amount are always gratefully accepted — funding 20 teachers requires Island-wide support. Donations can be made online at www.mercerislandschoolfoundation.com.
Lisa Brown Spencer is a board member of the Mercer Island Schools Foundation Board.