“A great night for a great cause in the great outdoors.” That’s how the East Grand Rapids Schools Foundation described its fundraiser of the year, Hurrah: Adventure Awaits, on Saturday, April 22 on Wege Plaza behind the Community Center.
The Foundation sold nearly 600 tickets to the sold out event, and had to cut off ticket sales two weeks early because of extraordinary demand. Cold temperatures and a wintry mix of precipitation just before the 7pm start of the party didn’t deter attendees, who were already dressed in layers of denim, flannel, and fleece in keeping with the camping/national parks theme for the fundraiser.
Longtime west Michigan favorite band “Troll for Trout” provided the entertainment, and more than a dozen local purveyors–Carolina Lowcountry Kitchen, Connie’s Cakes, Eat EGR, Electric Cheetah, Fromage, Jersey Junction, José Babushka’s, Kilwins of East Grand Rapids, Mix, Olive’s, Rose’s, Schuil Coffee, Terra, Two Scotts Barbecue, and Wok & Mortar–provided hearty samples of their wares. Big Bob’s Pizza also arrived with late night eats for the hungry revelers.
While the party was as much FUN-raiser as FUND-raiser, there were opportunities for those in attendance to donate to help fund projects that will benefit all East students at every grade level and every school. Volunteers in park ranger hats staffed the Innovation Station, Teaching Is Heart Work, and Action Through Adventure donation stations. Among the items funded at the event were elementary and middle school team building camps, tuition for teachers to attend Columbia University Teachers College, and staff wellness carts.
“This event is a testament to the value our community places on public education,” says Foundation Executive Director Amy Stuursma. “It’s just incredible to me that you could gather hundreds of parents and community members in a tent on a cold wet night to celebrate our schools and everything the Foundation does for our students. It makes me extremely proud to be an East parent. Plus, it was a whole lot of fun!”
Alpine Events was the tent underwriter for Hurrah. Andrew and Logan Schmidt were the entertainment underwriters. And Print Metro was the invitation underwriter. Campground sponsors included the Adamy Family, Bissell, Comfort Research, Damian and Sara deGoa, Cynthia Daverman Gompers, Grand Wealth Management, Laurel & Jack, Meijer, NPF Investment Advisors, and Elaine Rongey. A full list of sponsors is available on the East Grand Rapids Schools Foundation website, egrsf.org.