Pearland ISD Education Foundation’s fundraising gala, originally scheduled to occur on March 21, has been tentatively postponed until May due to the coronavirus.
The gala is the foundation’s largest fundraising event of the year and has raised a total of around $600,000 over the course of its existence, according to Chief Foundation Officer Natalie Clogston.
“We typically hold the gala in March and how much we raise determines how much we give out in grants in April,” Clogston said. “Everything we do is on hold right now, not only the fundraising but the giving of funds as well."
The money that is raised by the education foundation goes to innovative teaching grants which fund teachers’ ideas that go above and beyond the classroom curriculum but are not able to be funded by the normal district budget.
“Right now we would have been collecting applications from teachers, hearing all their ideas, choosing which grants to approve, but now that is all on hold,” Clogston said.
The decision to postpone the event was made in close collaboration with the school district. Clogston said that with elections postponed and school up in the air, the foundations board or the gala planning committee will be meeting soon to discuss the gala plans.
Despite the uncertain status of this year’s fundraising gala, Clogston said the foundation still has every intention to still give back to teachers and support the community’s needs.
“We are still committed to supporting the ideas of our teachers once school is back up and running,” Clogston said. “Until then the foundation is ready to step up and help in whatever way is possible."
Clogston said she and foundation president Melissa Black hope that one positive aspect of the situation is a renewed appreciation for the value that teachers bring to a community.
“With everything going on with virtual classrooms and homeschooling, we hope that people see how critical education is the community and the importance of supporting our amazing teachers,” Clogston said.