The dinner and auction is a major part of the Hillsboro Schools Foundation's yearly budget.

COURTESY HILLSBORO SCHOOLS FOUNDATION - Hillsboro School District Superintendent Mike Scott addresses a crowd the Hillsboro Schools Foundation's annual gala fundraiser, Feb. 24.The Hillsboro Schools Foundation had another banner year at its annual gala fundraiser last month, collecting more than $190,000 for classrooms across the Hillsboro School District.

The nonprofit organization raises funds to help teachers and students across the district.

The $190,000 raised in February is equal to the amount the organization raised last year, which broke records for the most the organization had ever collected for the district.

Aron Carleson, executive director of the Hillsboro Schools Foundation, said she was thrilled with the amount the organization was able to raise from the gala, which had a smaller turnout than previous years events.

This year, the gala dinner and auction attracted 299 people from across the area. Last year's attendees topped more than 330, Carleson said.

"With fewer people this year, we're thrilled to make the same amount," she said. "The support from the community was phenomenal."

The annual gala dinner and auction makes up for about 40 percent of the foundation's annual budget, Carleson said.

"It's really a springboard for us to work through the year," Carleson said.

The funding helps to pay for after-school homework clubs at the district's middle schools, and provides grants to innovative teachers interested in trying new projects and programs in their classrooms.

Last year, Hillsboro Schools foundation purchased $140,000 worth of science, technology, engineering and math kits and microscopes to elementary schools across the district. The donation was the largest single contribution in Foundation history, but Carleson the organization has plans to announce a $250,000 initiative soon. Details of that program are expected to be announced this spring.

By Geoff Pursinger
Editor, Hillsboro Tribune
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