In 1992, an organization formed to act as a sort of academic booster club for Eminence Independent schools. In the 16 years since, the group has raised and distributed more than $75,000 for the benefit of the district's students and teachers.
EIS Superintendent Donald Aldridge said the Eminence Education Foundation has served with the mission to "raise funds for the good and the betterment," of the district's students.
Kelly Mathis, a foundation board member, said the foundation functions similarly to the school's athletic boosters.
"Eminence has two types of boosters, including our atheltic boosters," she said. "As (with) our sports, (if) they don't have the money to buy uniforms, the booster club raises the money. It's the same way with (the Eminence Educational Foundation), it's our academic booster club."
Each year, teachers submit grant applications to the foundation. Mathis said the foundation has given money for the purchase of things like digital cameras, video cameras, or money for a class to go to a museum, and other "things that are going to be outside the ordinary."
She said the foundation has, in the past, purchased a piano, as well as the first smart board in the district. Last year, the foundation gave money to the Odyssey of the Mind teams to help them in their trips to the world championships.
But the foundation also gives scholarships to students.
And much of that money is raised during the foundation's annual dinner, which this year will be held on Feb. 9.
"Most every bit of this fund comes from our silent auction and dinner that's held every year," Mathis said, adding that the group usually raises $3,000-$5,000 at the event.
She added that this year's dinner may be a little bit bigger than in previous years.
"We're moving from the cafeteria to the gym and having corporate tables," she said. "The prizes are going to be a little more upscale."
Entertainment will be provided by Dave Stahl and Reid Moore, and the silent auction will be held throughout the evening. The last event of the evening will be the live auction.
Mathis said the list of prizes is far from final, but is likely to include prizes from Owen County's Elk Creek Winery and Max Performance Physical Therapy in Shelbyville.
She added that the foundation hopes to be able to offer a vacation prize. The dinner will be catered by All the Way Shop.
EIS Superintendent Donald Aldridge said the event gives the school and community one more opportunity to come together. Mathis encouraged participation in the dinner.
"It's benefiting the students an educational opportunities that we can provide for the school district," she said. "It's to give students, teachers, faculty and staff to be able to write mini grants to the board to enhance the learning process and the students" daily learning experience."
Tickets for the event are $25 and may be obtained by contacting a member of the foundation board or the Eminence Board of Education office. There is no limit on seating, and while Mathis said tickets will be sold at the door, advance purchases are encouraged so the group can have a more accurate head count for the caterer.
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