Education supporters gave generously at Lake Washington Schools Foundation’s April 23 “Legacy for Learning” fundraising luncheon, raising the largest amount ever, over $240,000 to help the Lake Washington School District (LWSD) build pathways to success for all students. The ninth annual luncheon, held at Juanita High School, was attended by 585 parents, educators, business and civic leaders, and other community members.
Corporate support and partnerships also reached a new high, with 34 sponsors and community partners from industries such as construction, healthcare, aviation, and high tech, including 12 new organizations. Gold sponsor Waste Management helped to create the foundation’s first zero-waste event, which generated less than one ounce of garbage per person.
Luncheon proceeds will support students from kindergarten through high school. According to LWSD Superintendent Dr. Traci Pierce, “The foundation helps us to build pathways for student success through funding programs that would not be possible without their support.” These programs include STEM Signature Programs in all high schools, Core Academic Summer School and the LINKS mentoring program.
The keynote speaker, EvergreenHealth Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jeff Tomlin, explained how the superior education that students receive in Lake Washington schools contributes to the health of our community. He told the audience that many of the students educated here remain in the area after high school or return after college to work in local businesses such as EvergreenHealth. The strength of the Lake Washington School District allows Tomlin to attract top talent to join the hospital staff.
Juanita High School student Lauren McAllister’s attitude about learning changed dramatically through her experience in Juanita’s global health Signature Program, funded in part by the foundation. “Six months ago I didn’t value education the way I do now,” McAllister explained. “I wouldn’t be the student I am today without this program.”
Lake Washington Schools Foundation presented an Education Champions Award to Roger and Terri Blier, supporters of the foundation since its inception in 2005. Terri Blier has served as both foundation president and vice-president and continues to serve on the board. Roger Blier’s company, Passport Unlimited, has been a luncheon sponsor since 2007, and he serves on both the foundation and a school district advisory board.
In addition to the previously listed programs, luncheon donations will also help struggling students feel confident and cared for through the LINKS (Looking Into the Needs of Kids and Schools) tutoring and mentoring program, provide Reaching for Success grants so that students have extra help and activities that inspire them, and support the Access Fund, which allows students in need to fully participate in middle and high school. A short video highlighting the impact the foundation made on schools this year is available on the foundation website.
The foundation’s new logo, a cheerful, multi-colored tree, was displayed prominently at the luncheon. Local graphic design firm Monster Design donated its design services to create the new look. The tree logo represents the foundation’s growth, the vitality of students, and the maturing foundation’s strength.
This successful event was made possible thanks to the work of community volunteers, event sponsors, PTA members, school district staff, foundation trustees, and over 75 table captains who helped fill the room with advocates for kids and education. All Lake Washington students benefit from such strong community support.
About the Lake Washington Schools Foundation
Lake Washington Schools Foundation is a partnership between parents, business and community leaders, and the education community. Founded in 2005, the foundation’s mission is to support academic excellence and success for all students, and it has granted approximately $1.6 million for programs that have reached all of our district’s 52 schools. The Lake Washington School District serves students in the Kirkland, Redmond, Sammamish, and Woodinville communities.