Schools’ foundation fundraiser a virtual party this year

Each year, members of the Foundation of Monroe County Community Schools and the community throw on their party shoes and ring in the new year during the foundation’s annual gala fundraiser.

This year, the foundation is doing things a little different by asking community members to stay home and instead take part in a virtual party aimed at both raising funds and promoting reading.

“We just thought everybody is so busy at New Year’s, maybe this is an opportunity to promote reading and have a fundraiser at the same time,” said foundation executive director Sara Neeley. “And everybody’s invited!”

“I’d Rather Be Reading!” is a virtual party where people can stay home, read and then blog with the foundation’s virtual family and guests about what they are reading.

Ticket sales from the event will support MCCSC literacy programs by providing additional books and programs in the classrooms.

Neeley said she is excited to not only raise funds for MCCSC classrooms, but to also help spread the word about the importance of reading.

Prior literacy data showed 30 to 37 percent of MCCSC students are reading below grade level.

“Regardless of how much money we raise, this campaign will help bring awareness to this issue, and hopefully get parents reading more with their kids,” Neeley said.

Founded in 1973, the foundation has continued to work closely with schools and the community to help equip teachers and classrooms with the needed tools and equipment to teach MCCSC and by providing student scholarships.

That includes purchasing approximately 1,700 books for MCCSC libraries.

Foundation member Kelly King, of Kelly King Creative, helped create the E-Book invite that can be downloaded from the foundation’s website.

King said she is excited about the “different and impactful” approach the board is taking this year, which she hopes reaches more families in the community.

“It’s engaging the entire community that makes it so different,” she said. “We are connecting more with our target audience, which is parents with kids in our school system.”

Tickets for the event are available through the foundation’s website: Donations of $100 or more will receive a New Year’s Eve “Stay-at-Home” kit.

Copyright: April Toler,