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OASD event raises $100,000 to support CTE programs

OASD event raises $100,000 to support CTE programs

Source: Photo Courtesy of Oshkosh Area School District

May 13, 2024 8:25 AM CDT
By: Lisa Hale

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OSHKOSH, WI- (WISS) – A Kentucky Derby-themed event raises 100 thousand dollars to support career and technical education programs in Oshkosh schools. The Oshkosh Area School District (OASD) Education Foundation’s annual gala featured over 120 attendees, some sporting student-designed derby hats. 

Funds from the event will pay for over half of the “wishlist” items CTE educators have requested. The remaining wish list items can be found on the Gala website and may be purchased online or through the OASD Education Foundation. Visit oshkosh.k12.wi.us/gala to learn more.

Press Release:

OASD Education Foundation Gala Raises $100,000 for Career and Technical Education

Kentucky Derby-Themed Event Celebrates Outstanding Student Work

Oshkosh, WI -The Oshkosh Area School District (OASD) Education Foundation’s annual gala on May 3rd at The Waters in Oshkosh was an inspiring success, raising $100,000 to support career and technical education (CTE) programs in the school district. Over 120 attendees donned their finest Kentucky Derby attire and were treated to an evening showcasing the remarkable skills of CTE students.

A popular highlight was the CTE student showcase featuring handcrafted items including cribbage boards, charcuterie boards, decals, screen-printed shirts, etched glass, and miniature food truck models. Attendees were captivated by the student battle bots demonstration, cheering as the robots competed. The dessert bar delighted with student-made treats, and the backdrop replicating the famed Churchill Downs racetrack set the perfect scene. Floral displays arranged by students under the mentorship and generosity of Brian Pribbernow, owner of UBloom and Robin Salzieder, owner of Robin’s Nest Florals, also added elegant touches.

A special online hat auction was also held ahead of the Derby Day gala, showcasing the work of talented OASD student designer Elizabeth Bird. Bird created a stunning collection of unique Kentucky Derby-inspired hats with support from district alums and entrepreneurs Brandi Whitney of Blonde Russian and Caitlin Stolley of Lily Guilder. The lucky auction winners were at the event proudly displaying their unique hats.

OASD student designer Elizabeth Bird created a stunning collection of unique Kentucky Derby-inspired hats with support from district alums and entrepreneurs Brandi Whitney of Blonde Russian and Caitlin Stolley of Lily Guilder. The hats were up for grabs in an online auction before the Gala. The lucky auction winners were at the event proudly displaying their unique hats. (Photo courtesy of Oshkosh Area School District)

“The gala was a true celebration of the incredible talents of our CTE students and the outstanding instruction they receive,” said Theresa Duren, director of the OASD Education Foundation. “We are deeply grateful to our generous sponsors, attendees and the community for their support in funding valuable educational opportunities, and our event co-chairs Komal Mehta and Dawn Davis for their leadership.”

Pictured from left, OASD Education Foundation Director Theresa Duren, OASD Education Foundation 2024 Gala Event Co-chairs Komal Mehta and Dawn Davis, OASD Superintendent Dr. Bryan Davis. (photo courtesy of Oshkosh Area School District)

Over half of the evening’s “wish list” items, identified by CTE teachers, were funded and will be purchased for use in classrooms beginning next year. The remaining wish list items can be found on the Gala website and may be purchased online or through the OASD Education Foundation. Visit oshkosh.k12.wi.us/gala to learn more.

The Foundation extends its sincere appreciation to all sponsors, donors, attendees, volunteers, and community partners for making this event a resounding success in support of outstanding CTE programs in Oshkosh schools. Special thank you to Triple Crown sponsor, JEK Foundation; Garland of Roses sponsor, Nicolet National Bank; CTE Champions Bray Architects, First Business Bank, Fox Valley Surgical Specialists, and Miron Construction; CTE Advocates Avergent, HPS | PayMedix, Oshkosh Coil Spring, Praemittere Fund, Prairie States, Triangle Manufacturing, John L. & Susan T. Vette Family, and Witzke Electric; as well as in-kind donors 4imprint, Sturgeon Spirits, and The Waters.

The OASD Education Foundation’s fundraising gala aims to support Oshkosh public schools, with proceeds benefiting a specific need or area each year. The inaugural gala in 2023 benefited visual and performing arts in the OASD.

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About the OASD Education Foundation: The OASD Education Foundation engages the community in supporting Oshkosh public schools and is committed to providing resources for innovation, fine arts, athletics, and other resources to enhance students’ lives. The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation manages the OASD Education Foundation funds. For more information or to donate, contact Theresa Duren at theresa.duren@oshkosh.k12.wi.us or 920.424.0395. Additional information is available at www.oshkosh.k12.wi.us/district/oshkosh-education-foundation.

About the OASD: Building community through education. The Oshkosh Area School District is located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, serving over 9,000 students and operating 13 elementary schools, four middle schools, two high schools, one charter school, and an eAcademy. For more information, visit www.oshkosh.k12.wi.us.

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