Amphi Foundation Gala

The Amphi Foundation Gala is an opportunity for students to show off their hard work.

For decades, one organization has dedicated itself to providing assistance to students in need throughout the Amphitheater School District. That assistance comes in many forms: classroom grants, a clothing bank and technology initiatives, and fundraisers to provide supplies for families throughout the year.

It’s a difficult business, running a nonprofit, especially when the goal is aiding public school children in a state historically known for its lacking education system. Regardless of the circumstances, the Amphi Foundation has remained dedicated to its mission of improving the lives of those who need it most.

Despite the organization’s unyielding commitment to Amphi’s children, outside help is needed in the form of donations to keep the foundation thriving—and the year’s greatest opportunity to do so is just around the corner.

Hosted at the El Conquistador Tucson, A Hilton Resort next Saturday, April 13, the Amphi Foundation Gala is part showcase, part dinner and all wholesome fun.

“If there ever was a time to support the foundation, it’s at the gala,” said foundation executive director Leah Noreng. “It’s important, because the majority of our funding comes from this event. The more we raise, the more we can do for classrooms, and for our students and teachers.”

Like many galas, the foundation’s annual shindig includes cocktails, dinner and entertainment, but since it’s all about helping local kids, expect to see plenty of smiling munchkins in the spotlight. The event kicks off with the student showcase, which Noreng called a celebration of “all that is wonderful and great about our public schools.” 

It’s a great time for students and teachers to show off just what’s happening in the various classrooms and extracurricular clubs hosted throughout the district.

“I think it’s a unique opportunity because a lot of our donors don’t spend time in the classrooms anymore, and our classrooms have changed,” Noreng said. “Classrooms don’t look the same as they did 20 years ago, and kids are doing things that we weren’t doing in second or third grade.”

The showcase is followed by a cocktail hour and silent auction, with a dinner and award ceremony to round out the evening.

With the money they raise via ticket sales and fundraising activities at the gala itself, the foundation funds a wide variety of programs. Chief among them are the Amphi Clothing Bank, the Shoes to Smiles program, classroom grants, new teacher startup grants and the 21st Century Classroom Initiative.

With education funding in Arizona lagging behind, Noreng said everything the foundation does is a much-needed contribution to the community’s collective future.

“When you’re coming off of a decade of budget cuts, the holes have to be filled somehow,” Noreng said. “The foundation comes in with the technology support, the classroom supplies, the classroom grants… Who wants to come into a profession when they know they’ll have to spend their hard-earned money to get their job done?”

It takes a lot of work to keep the children who need help clothed and ready for school, teachers supplied and education initiatives alive—and plenty of money to keep it all running smoothly. If the successes of previous galas are any indication, this year’s event should be an exciting boon for all.

I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday evening.

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