Gala for the Grove: Unforgettable Friday
Writer / Joyce Long
When Capitol Records released Nat King Cole’s album “Unforgettable” 65 years ago, their recording executives only imagined the lasting power of those lyrics. When Center Grove Education Foundation (CGEF) was established in 1998, its volunteer Board of Directors dreamed how their efforts would benefit students both then and for decades to follow.
Merging two visionary concepts, Gala for the Grove: Unforgettable Friday will be held April 22 from 6 p.m. to midnight at the JW Marriott Indianapolis (10 S. West St.). CGEF’s Gala raises most of the funds for the Foundation’s yearly grants, supplementing projects that go beyond the normal charter of the school corporation.
In response to the growing number of grant requests received in 2015, the CGEF Gala Committee, chaired by Lisa Clements, increased 2016’s fundraising goal to $60,000. Past grants have purchased e-readers for emerging readers, laptops for Early College program students who couldn’t afford them and “Flashmasters” for elementary and middle school students who need extra help with mathematic skills.
Primarily, grants are awarded to teachers to fund creative and innovative classroom experiences, so students can experience those “WOW” moments. CGEF provided a $60,000 grant to fund Camp REACH, a one-week remediation and enrichment camp for students grades K–5 during fall break in 2014 and 2015.
In 2015, the scope expanded to include professional development opportunities for teachers and administrators. “We are committed to supporting Center Grove educators in their quest to be exceptional,” said Clements. “It’s more important than ever for us to work together to meet the high standard of education that our community expects.”
An Unforgettable Night
Gala for the Grove will feature a VIP reception, dinner, silent and live auctions and music performed by The Company Band. WRTV-6 news anchor Rafael Sanchez will serve as Master of Ceremonies. Center Grove High School (CGHS) guests — soccer coach Jameson McLaughlin, softball coach Russ Milligan and football coach Eric Moore — will be recognized for their teams’ state championships.
CGHS classes from 1966, 1991 and 2006 will be honored. About Face Photography will take professional group portraits of alumni celebrating those graduation milestones. Honored alumni and their guests will receive a $20 discount per person through Friday, April 8. All Center Grove Community School Corporation staff can also receive discounted reservations.
Perhaps guests attending the annual Gala for the Grove will close out the night dancing to “Unforgettable” in the White River Ballroom at the JW Marriott. Reserve your seat to be a part of this memorable evening. Center Grove students and teachers will benefit from your involvement. Registration is open to the public for $100 per person or $850 for a table of 10 through April 15 at centergrovefoundation.org.