PUSD Education Foundation Sip & Savor gala raises $75,000

Proceeds from 8th annual fundraiser support PUSD teacher and student programs

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Originally Published: October 1st, 2022

The night sparkled as guests gathered at the Sam Hill Warehouse Event Center on Saturday, Sept. 24 to raise funds for teachers and students throughout the Prescott Unified School District. Seats were hard to come by for the second year in a row, as the event was sold out three weeks in advance.

“The community’s generosity and commitment to public education helped us realize a 45% increase in dollars raised over last year,” said Foundation Executive Director Paul Kirchgraber in a news release. “Even as the economy continues to struggle, people understand that our school districts are in need of additional financial support like never before,” he said.
The foundation had a goal amount of $52,000, and the amount not only exceeded that expectation but was the most raised in the gala’s history, Kirchgraber said.

Music was performed by the duo of Drew Hall and Anton Teschner who welcomed the 150 guests to the event. The evening commenced with Prescott City Council member Steve Sischka serving as emcee who highlighted that the need for education is now more important than ever, as it forms the ultimate pathway to success in life.

Foundation President Jenna James also took time to honor a revered civic leader, the late Dr. Taylor Hicks Jr.

“I would like to take a moment to honor Dr. Taylor Hicks Jr. who passed away earlier this month. He was a proud PHS alum, a devoted Badger sport fan and a staunch advocate for PUSD schools. He will be truly missed,” James said in the release.

Abia Judd fourth grade teacher Whitney Williams, a former foundation Innovative Grant recipient, shared with attending guests the importance of events like the Sip & Savor to the “everyday life of a teacher,” the release said.

“The health of our local economy and our Prescott community is inextricably linked to the quality of education students receive,” Williams said in the release. “Donors like you who support PUSDEF, make a direct impact on the classrooms of our exceptional educators.”

The evenings live auction event was emceed by former Prescott mayor Greg Mengarelli who kept the bidding lively, competitive and entertaining.

A highlight moment was the 1 in 100 diamond raffle- out of 100 packages one lucky winner went home with the donated $4,000 gem.

Proceeds from Sip & Savor will be used to support PUSD programs and activities that include innovative classroom grants for teachers, free teaching supplies to support classroom instruction, career and college preparation for students and teacher recognition programs.

To learn more about the PUSD Education Foundation visit: www.PUSDEducationFoundation.com

To donate to the Dr. Taylor Hicks, Jr. memorial fund at the PUSD Education Foundation please visit: www.PUSDEducationFoundation.com/Hicks