Article by: Sara Musgrove
“The idea just got up and came into the room one day,” said Larry Mathis, Brownwood Education Foundation Development Officer. “Denim and Diamonds,” the theme of the 2019 BEF Gala, will stroll its way into the historical Brownwood Regional Airport on Saturday, October 19th, at 6:00 p.m. “Expect good food,” Mathis said. “Expect a good band, and dancing, if you like to do that sort of thing. We have wonderful items to bid on in the silent and live auction. Expect lots of excitement. Expect to see a lot of friends and neighbors there. Expect to meet up with people you haven’t seen in some time. It’s kind of an electric evening. It’s a lot of fun.”
The Brownwood Education Foundation has spent months preparing for their annual gala, their primary fundraiser for Brownwood ISD. In past years, the gala helped pay for S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) grants, teacher appreciation, and additional classroom grants. BEF President Sam Stewardson said, “We give to the teachers. We get a lot of requests for things outside of the district’s budget; we step in and supplement that.” Last year the Foundation gave over $44,000 in S.T.E.M. grants. Teachers use those grants for their students, bringing tomorrow’s skills into today’s classroom. BEF also provided over $10,000 for teacher gifts and awards. “We love our teachers and staff and want to express our appreciation for their dedication and service to our district and students,” Mathis said. “The community has turned out to support this event in a big, big way, which is thrilling to us. They don’t get to see all that we do, but they see that these kids get scholarships and that the teachers get grants. It’s so exciting to see the community backing the Gala.”
Tickets are now available online and can be purchased at www.supportbisd.com. Last year over 400 seats were filled, and BEF expects seats to fill quickly. Single tickets cost $100. Tables can be purchased for $1,000. Registration opens at 6:00 p.m., and dinner will be served at 6:45 p.m. Renowned Perini Ranch, from Buffalo Gap, TX will be providing a brisket dinner cooked on the grounds, while an open bar provides refreshments. A variety of live music performed by Buzz and the Blue Cats will entertain guests throughout the event.
“This year our wine was donated by Rancho Loma Vineyards,” Mathis said. “We have some extremely gracious sponsors.” The community continues to support BISD through the gala, and both Mathis and Stewardson say they are excited to see this year’s turnout. So, for those looking for a way to support the positive role of education in Brownwood, purchase those tickets for the BEF Gala and freshen up that denim.
On Wednesday, June 6, Brownwood Rotary Club presented an additional check for $300 to the Brownwood Education Foundation (BEF) in support of their National Academic Signing Day (NASD) event.
The signing day was held Thursday, May 23 for Brownwood High School’s graduating class of 2019. The celebration filled the BHS gymnasium as the BEF honored the seniors who have elected to attend institutions of higher learning, to serve the country in the armed forces or who will enhance their skills at a vocational institute.
“The NASD was such a success celebrating and honoring our kids,” said Brownwood Education Foundation Development Officer, Larry Mathis. “With Texas Bank taking the lead as our signature sponsor, so many others came together to allow us the opportunity to be able to financially help our seniors. One such group was the Brownwood Rotary Club, which has now donated a total of $1200 to the event.”
Brownwood Rotary Club President, Don Roberts, presented Mathis with the donation check during their meeting Wednesday at the Brownwood Country Club.
“We are so grateful to the Rotary and blessed by their support of kids,” Mathis said.
The Brownwood ISD End-of-Year Employee Awards ceremony was held Friday, May 31, 2019. The ceremony, sponsored by the Brownwood Education Foundation, included recognition for those who earned advanced degrees during the year, service awards, retiree recognitions, employees of the year, teachers of the year from each campus, as well as regional teacher of the year nominees.