Like the light burning well into the night at the U.S. Capitol recently, our city leaders are burning the midnight oil to finalize our community budget for next year. Personally, I’m grateful to these stalwart leaders for their commitment to the Little City and the amount of hours they dedicate to their work on behalf of the Falls Church City residents who elected them. But there are many, many others in our community who work quietly behind the scenes to contribute their support-whether they are parent coaches of youth sports teams, drivers in car pools, snow shovelers for elderly or ill neighbors-we all have a role in making the Little City the community that we call home.
Fortunately for our students, many of our residents care deeply about our schools in particular. These residents elect candidates who support our schools, turn out for school board and city council meetings, place signs in their yard in support of the school budget, serve on committees, and make contributions to school affiliated organizations. School organizations like the Falls Church Education Foundation provide a mechanism for those of us who wish to support the schools beyond what our taxes provide for. When the City budget is all said and done, our residents can still have the last word by designating their contributions to the Foundation.
Contributions can be made to the Falls Church Education Foundation in a variety of ways that readers may not be familiar with including:
• state tax refunds;
• the Combined Federal Campaign;
• booking a trip through our Family Education Adventure Travel program (look for more information about exciting destinations for Summer 2012);
• running or walking our annual 5K race on September 18th ;
• buying a ticket to the 7th Annual Gala on Friday, May 6th at the Westin Arlington Gateway
With the Annual Gala fast approaching, there will be a variety of opportunities for school supporters to contribute to programs that make a difference in the schools. From new initiatives such as the Pathway to the Baccalaureate Fund which provides counseling services to junior and senior students to prepare for college transition and the Smart Technology Fund which provides funding for new technologies that support student learning in the classroom to ongoing FCEF programs such as funding of our teacher grants program (now administered through the PTAs), there will be ample ways for our supporters to give.
School organizations like the Falls Church Education Foundation provide a mechanism for those of us who wish to support the schools beyond what our taxes provide for.
Generous corporate donors have also demonstrated their support of the Falls Church City Schools through sponsorship contributions to this year’s Gala which currently total $35,000. These corporations (to date) include Acacia Federal Savings Bank, Akridge Real Estate Services, Atlantic Realty, Beery Rio Architects, Case Design, Cox Communications, Creative Classics, Exemplar Communications, Keller Williams, LSC Designs, Lambert, O’Connor and Johnston, McLean Asset Management, Moore Cadillac, Needham, Mitnick and Pollack, Northern Virginia Tutoring Service, Pal-Tech, Valic Financial Advisors, Viget Labs, Virginia Lottery, and The Young Group. In addition, Gala volunteers Laurie Clark (Chairperson), Catherine Beddow, Kate Nesson, and Steve Trundle (Honorary Chairman), have been working over many months to make sure this year’s Gala is truly about “Celebrating our Schools”. Student artwork, music and academic skill-match your wits against State Scholastic Bowl winners-are all part of plans for this exciting evening.
Other plans include a silent and live auction, dinner and dancing. This year’s auctioneer is Ireland’s 4 Provinces owner, Colm Dillon. For those readers who are unable to attend the Gala, you can place your bids on exciting auction packages for items such as tickets to Wolftrap and the Washington Nationals, as well as dinners at local restaurants, and much more at www.auctionforourschools.com. For sports fans there is exceptional memorabilia including an autographed Washington Capitals jersey from Alexander Semin and an autographed Redskins football from the entire team, for travelers there are exciting vacation packages to Florida and Arizona, for busy families there are personal chef and home services. Bidders can use the absentee bidder function and need not be present to win. Tickets to the Gala are $125 per person and order forms are available at www.fcedf.org.
For more information about the Gala and Falls Church Education Foundation activities please visit www.fcedf.org or call (703) 538-3381.
Donna Englander is Executive Director of the Falls Church Education Foundation.