Luncheon raises $554,000 for schools

The Bellevue School Foundation hosted its 20th annual Spring for Schools Benefit Luncheon, raising a record-breaking $554,000 for the Bellevue School District. The proceeds provide funding for the foundation’s educational programs that are made available to Bellevue students.

Bill Pollard (at podium) a three-year trustee of the Bellevue Schools Foundation

The Bellevue School Foundation hosted its 20th annual Spring for Schools Benefit Luncheon, raising a record-breaking $554,000 for the Bellevue School District. The proceeds provide funding for the foundation’s educational programs that are made available to Bellevue students.

Approximately 1,000 business and community leaders attended the event.

Prior to the start of the luncheon, attendees had the opportunity to view a number of student projects on display.

First-grader, Katie Lane showed off her colorful drawings and favorite storybooks by local author Laura Mcgee Kvasnosky. A BSF grant provided the opportunity for the award-winning children’s author to visit Katie’s elementary school where the author led writing and reading workshops for the kids. She showed the kids the steps that go into creating a book and worked with the students to write their own stories. Katie’s mother, Kristen Lane said the kids had a wonderful time and added that without the foundation none of it would have been possible.

The luncheon was emceed by Q13 FOX News Meteorologist, M.J McDermott. The program included a presentation by BSF president Bob Lowe and special recognition of PACCAR Inc. Chairman and CEO, Mark Pigott for his many years of contributions and ongoing support.

The foundation’s strong partnership between business and community leaders, parents, and members of the education system have helped ensure quality education for Bellevue students despite unreliable state funding for public schools, foundation officials say.

To help raise the bar of academic success, the foundation provides funding and support for many before- and after-school programs including Science Discovery and Bridging the Achievement Gap.

A group of Newport High School students shared their stories of what the science program meant to them as third graders. Now returning as 10th graders, the same three students spoke about the positive impact the program had on their education.

The luncheon also featured four Woodridge Elementary School students who talked about the Bridging the Achievement Gap program and how it helped them with math. Nine-year-old Nicole Mander shared her struggles with math.

“At first I thought math was b-o-r-i-n-g and I would make excuses for not doing my math like getting a drink of water. I couldn’t wait for recess,” she said. “But after Math Club I learned that math is really fun and important.”

When teacher Gayle St. George was asked five years ago to teach math for struggling students at Woodridge she needed a way to get kids involved.

“I wanted to make it seem appealing to the kids,” St. George explained. She came up with the solution to call it a math club.

“As of now, more than 100 kids have benefited from being members of the club which was in danger of being cut this year because of funding,” she said. “But the Bellevue School Foundation generously stepped in and included us in the Bridging the Achievement Gap support fund- so we never skipped a beat.”

To date, the non-profit organization has raised more than $15 million during its 29-year history, reaching more than 16,500 students on a yearly basis.

Lindsay Larin can be reached at 425-453-4602 or at

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