By Kaye Nelson
The focus at Heritage is always on the students and that was brought home recently as Heritage School presented its 6th Annual Gala. Money was raised for activities and programs that directly benefit the kids.
“It’s all about them,” said Development Director McKaye Treanor. “The donated funds directly affect them. We always want to be very transparent about where the donations go.”
A change in this year’s gala, held on October 8th, was that the students ran the show: giving awards, serving as emcees, explaining programs and serving the meal.
McKaye said the Spirit of Heritage award was given by students to the Murdock family, Dean Peterson and Keller Williams Westfield who built and helped furnish the Outdoor Adventure Shop where students now have access to bikes and outdoor gear.
“Each award was given by a student who prepared a thank you,” she said. “It was neat that they came from the kids.”
Two hundred and thirty people attended the gala and McKaye said one thing people commented on this year was the student involvement. Students manned booths that represented various countries. Guests had passports to each country where they could visit with a student, eat an appetizer pertaining to that country and find out about programs at Heritage like performing arts and equine therapy, among others.
“People said it was neat to talk to the kids about the programs and their experiences at Heritage,” McKaye said. “One of our emcees, Stephanie, graduates this month and she said Heritage saved her life; she wouldn’t be here if not for Heritage but now has plans to attend college.”
She said at last count around $50,000 was raised from the gala which will be used for more home remodels, scholarships and outdoor adventures – a “win-win” for all.