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Eureka Schools Foundation raises nearly $170,000 for district

Funds support music programs, sports, fully staffed libraries and more
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The Eureka Schools Foundation’s annual fall auction gala and online auction raised nearly $170,000 for students in the Eureka Union School District. The two-part fundraiser consisted of a live auction held the first 10 days of November and a sold-out gala, which took place Nov. 13 at the Granite Bay Golf Club. “We are overjoyed with the results,” said auction chair Margot Birch, in a press release. “We had a record number of items for the online auction including vacation packages, restaurant gift certificates, children’s parties, sports camps and one-of-a-kind experiences with teachers. As a result, we had a record number of bidders.” Birch is mother to four children in the district, which has seven schools that encompass Granite Bay and parts of east Roseville. The foundation formed in 1992 to bridge the gap between money provided by the state of California and what the district needs to offer quality, well-rounded education for its students. The need has increased more in recent years as the state continues to cut school district budgets, and the Eureka Union School District faces declining enrollment, resulting in revenue loss. The annual auction serves as the district’s largest fundraiser of the year. “The money the district receives from (the foundation) helps make our school district one of the best in the region,” said foundation President Renee Nash. “Not only do we have the highest state test scores and lowest class sizes in the region, we still have important programs such as band and choir, fully staffed libraries, junior high athletics and much more.” The funds also pay for technology in the classroom, computer technicians, summer training for teachers, Spanish language education for children and block grants for individual schools. “I can tell you frankly that without the foundation our district would look dramatically different, and not in a good way,” said Superintendent Dr. Tim McCarty. “We have been able to weather the financial downturn better than our neighbors because of the extra funding.” But, he said, the foundation will have to raise even more to help the district cope with additional, crippling budget cuts expected by the state next year. In 2011, the foundation hopes to raise more than $500,000. The first event will be the second annual Art and Music Exhibition at Bayside Church on Feb. 11. This free event will include live entertainment from Eureka Schools Foundation-funded bands and choirs, and art projects by students. For more information, visit www.eurekaschoolsfoundation.org. ~ Sena Christian