On Thursday evening, over 150 kind-hearted people gathered at the Avalon Manor for the 17th Annual Hobart Education Foundation (HEF) Taste Of Autumn with one simple goal: to help the students of the School City of Hobart. For just $30, guests had the opportunity to participate in an impressive silent auction while mingling with friends and enjoying appetizers and beverages.
With over 160 items up for auction - ranging from a night at the Radisson to a signed Brett Favre jersey - the goal of surpassing last year’s $25,000 seemed completely within reach.
“The HEF Taste of Autumn is the community coming together for a social event fundraiser, which in turn supports so many initiatives in the School City of Hobart. The scholarships and grants that HEF provides to our students and teachers are quite overwhelming,” said Dr. Peggy Buffington, Superintendent of Hobart Schools. “We are very appreciative of the many volunteers and attendees who make the event fun, with the returns all going to benefit our students!
Because of the support from all those in attendance, Hobart students will benefit in a number of different ways. Proceeds will help fund a trip for a mock government program in Indianapolis, a visit to the Military History Immersion Museum, as well as a trip to the Indiana Dunes State Park. They also plan on funding College and Career Readiness programs to assist students in applying for college, scholarships, and financial aide. Other benefits include a chance for students to dissect sheep brains, smart board technology, media center enhancements, music materials, and student scholarships. With a long list of amazing programs for the students, the 17th Annual Taste of Autumn was a heartwarming event for all.
Lisa Young, President of Hobart Education Foundation, explained, “This is our biggest fundraiser of the season. We fund activities that the normal school budget cannot afford. Last year, we gave $3,000 to the school system to start an Orchestral group. This year we surpassed $500,000 in what we have given back to the school system since we were founded in 1998.”
Michael J. Rogers, Vice President of the School Board, said, “The kids eat up the programs started with this money. They absolutely love them! Without the foundation, those programs would not be possible.”
To top off an eventful evening, the first ever Golden Johann Service to Kids Award was awarded to Joe Clemmons, a Corporal in the Hobart Police Department.
“We’ve been having this event for seventeen years and we wanted to add something to it. Joe was named Indiana School Resource officer of the year. He has a lot of accomplishments at the schools and we thought he would be the perfect candidate for the first award," explained Linda Buzinec, former mayor and current board member of HEF. “We just want people in the community to look for someone who is genuinely helping out the kids.”
For more information on the Hobart Education Foundation, click here.