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Southlake Style

Thanks A Million!

Sep 19, 2011 05:01PM ● By Mike

After 15 years the Carroll Education Foundation will surpass $1 million in giving

After a decade and a half of success helping CISD students, the Carroll Education Foundation (CEF) will once again put on the most anxiously awaited soiree in Southlake. This years 6th installment of CEF’s annual Culinary Celebration, takes on a festive theatrical presence in the Style of Cirque du Soleil. Aptly named Cirque du CEF, this year’s event promises to be something truly special with many great reasons to celebrate.

CEF Executive Director Kacy Hankins appreciatively explains, “Over the past 15 years, and thanks to generous donors, parents and sponsors, CEF has donated more than $966,000 to CISD through teachers’ grants and scholarships for graduating seniors. Once we conclude our grant process in October we fully expect to surpass the million dollar mark!” Hankins along with this year’s event chairs Glen Harvell, and Lisa Quinn, are adding the finishing touches to this year’s event scheduled for Sunday, October 9th at the Hyatt Regency DFW. Together these three entertainers for education took a moment from their party planning to give us an update on CEF and their plans for this year’s event.

SS: Kacy, It’s been fifteen years since CEF was formed. Can you tell us how the mission of the Carroll Education Foundation has grown and changed since its inception in 1996?

KH: The mission of the foundation hasn’t varied throughout the years but continues to grow and expand thanks to the forethought of the group that first formed CEF. From the beginning, the founders determined that an endowment was essential to ensure that CEF would have the staying power needed to be here for CISD no matter what might come in the future. Thanks to those forward-thinking individuals and very generous sponsors and donors, CEF now has a million dollar endowment and is striving to give more than ever before to CISD.

SS: So how exactly does an endowment work?

KH: An endowment functions somewhat like a savings account establishing a strong financial base for CEF so even if there are years when we don’t have a major fundraiser we can continue to meet our goals of giving to CISD. We’ll definitely be here for the long term.

SS: Glen, the growth of CEF has been phenomenal the last 15 years. What plans are in place to assure continued growth in the future?

GH: We just concluded a long range planning meeting that identified a number of areas where CEF can focus to ensure continued growth. Areas of focus include fund raising, membership, community outreach, and communications. We generated a number of exciting initiatives and will be working through on how to execute those plans in the coming months.

SS: As Chairman of CEF this year Glen, what would you like to see accomplished under your leadership?

Lisa Quinn and Glen Harvel are ready to have fun at this year's CEF galaGH: Our goals for this year have included expanding the CEF Board membership to bring in additional talent and energy to our efforts. We want to challenge ourselves to look beyond what we have done in the past and focus on taking CEF to the “next level”. Rising to the next level includes; expanding our base of sponsors, exploring new and different fundraising efforts, extending our community outreach and awareness, and a deeper partnership and cooperation with CISD.

SS: Kacy, what’s the most thought-provoking grant CEF has given?

KH: All of our grants are innovative and beneficial to CISD, thanks to the wonderful teachers and administrators that write them. Durham Middle School’s, Julie Presley was awarded a grant that stands out in my mind. It was entitled “Pacman Finds a Career: This isn't your dad's video game!” Ms. Presley believed that video game design would provide an opportunity for her students to engage in real world interaction while learning math, language, science, and technology. Students love video games and she felt that this could create an exciting platform for learning while bringing in critical thinking and problem solving skills. The inclusion of this curriculum in the technology classroom enhanced every aspect of the students’ education by making learning relevant and fun. Ms. Presley’s hoped that much could be gained from this experience that could lead students toward dynamic careers through a venue they loved. Later in 2010, two eighth grade students at Dawson Middle School, Jan Timpe and Reid Long, designed a video game called “Moon Rover.” This game won the national Future Game Designer Challenge 2010. We were honored to be a part of this exciting and successful program.

SS: Lisa, the annual culinary celebration serves as CEF’s major fundraiser. Would you fill us in on the theme for this year, Cirque du CEF?

LQ: Cirque du CEF, is a vision that was inspired by our fabulous decorators, Macaux Floral Events. At the conclusion of last year’s event, a 50’s Dine around Town theme, we were contemplating how to one-up ourselves. Macaux suggested the flashy and fun Cirque du Soleil. Thus the Cirque du CEF theme was born! This year’s theme offers many fun avenues for creativity. We’re looking to involve CISD students and professional actors for part of this year’s entertainment. The ballroom will be decorated with a Cirque du Soleil feel as will all the auction tables. We’re also working with the chefs to incorporate the theme into their individual restaurant booths.

SS: Lisa, You have three children who all graduated from Carroll. How do you feel they benefitted from CEF?
LQ: My son Will, was part of the class of 2001; Elizabeth, class of 2002; and Alex, class of 2006, and all three benefitted from funds given to the district to expand programs. Elizabeth has realized a direct benefit from CEF even after her graduation. Elizabeth currently teaches at Carroll Elementary School as a math and science teacher. She received a grant from CEF in 2009 entitled “Science MATTERS.” In part, this grant enabled the teachers in her department to purchase Full Option Science Systems, or FOSS kits. This gave students the opportunity to learn science through hands on investigations and learning experiences.

Every year the Carroll Education Foundation continues to go above and beyond in their efforts to assist Carroll Independent School District meet and exceed their mission of “Excellence in Education.” This year’s Cirque du CEF promises to be a fun-filled evening full of great food and entertainment, all for a very good cause, the education of our children. Make your plans to attend.