FC Education Foundation Gala Raises $90,000 Funds for School Programs


May 12, 2011

A crowd of more than 200 school supporters showed their support for the Falls Church City Public Schools through generous contributions at this year’s Gala on May 6th.   A variety of events at the Gala engaged the crowd-from placing competing bids for exciting silent auction items, including an opportunity to be serenaded with an Italian opera  ballad sung  by GMHS student, Anne Briggs,  to an academic duel against the State Championship George Mason High School Scholastic Bowl team, to a Live Auction which raised funds for several new school initiatives.   In total, the Gala raised more than $90,000 and was the most successful fundraiser for the Foundation since its inception in 2003. 

David Chavern, former Falls Church City Council member and the foundation president, said “Money raised by the foundation pays for items not funded by the school budget, allocations like teacher travel and advanced classroom technology, and the explosive-proof freezer for a George Mason science lab.”  Mr. Chavern also announced that the Woman’s Club of Falls Church will transfer their sizable scholarship fund to the Foundation to continue stewardship of this award which provides two scholarships of $2,000 to two graduating seniors who have demonstrated exemplary achievement in community service and academics.

Proceeds from this year’s Gala will support teacher grants in all four schools, new technology to support student learning (link to video), classroom libraries at Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School, and the Pathway to the Baccalaureate program for junior and senior students at George Mason High School to facilitate their transition to state higher education colleges and universities. 

The FCEF is engaged in a campaign to build a $10 million permanent Endowment Fund to help ensure that our students are prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century.  For more information on the Foundation and how you can help sustain our community’s commitment to strong support for public education, contact Executive Director Donna Englander at (703) 538-3381.


4 Responses to “FC Education Foundation Gala Raises $90,000 Funds for School Programs”

  1. Robert Thomas, Falls Church on May 12th, 2011 1:35 pm

    What is the balance of the endowment at this point? Take in 90K, give out 2K scholarships to two and buy a few smart boards and train tickets. What is the ratio of the amount going to the endowment vs. the amount given back to the schools now and to FCEF staff salaries?

  2. Laurie Clark, Falls Church on May 13th, 2011 7:55 am

    Mr. Thomas, I can’t answer your question about the endowment. But as Gala chair, I do have this information about this year’s Gala: of the $90K, we do have to pay expenses (meal, marketing, auction website, etc.), but this will be less than $20K. Of the $70K profit from that night, money was raised directly for the the classroom libraries at MEH, the Smart Technology Fund, and the Pathway to the Baccalaureate program. This will be in the neighborhood of $18K that will go directly to the schools/programs in the next few months.

    As for your scholarship comment, none of the money from the Gala goes to scholarships. That is all from other restricted gifts. As of last Spring, over $260K had been given out in scholarships, with another $18K going to the Wilden After School program.

    Working with the FCEF the past few years has shown me that their biggest problem is not getting money and spending it unwisely, it is the fact that they don’t have anyone touting where they do spend the money. Money is given to the schools and the school board and no one knows about it. Such as the $99K HUD facilities planning study grant request that Donna Englander wrote and won that is responsible for the current expansion plan at TJ. But no one knows that this is what the FCEF salaries/time are being used for. So if you know anyone in marketing that can donate their time to help the FCEF get the word out, please let them know.

  3. Imma Dunn on May 13th, 2011 9:08 am


    The FCEF has marketing consultants, publishers, and newspapers on their board and advisory board. I am sure that they are willing to help. Look to your own board.

  4. Robert Thomas, Falls Church on May 13th, 2011 1:13 pm

    OK – 90K (gross) – 20K (expenses) = 70K (net), 70K – 18K (to libraries etc.) = 52K to be given to the endowment and to fund FCEF daily operations. You are right, FCEF doesn’t do a good job of promoting what they do. Some might then question where all of the money goes. Hence my post.

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