An event sponsored by the Canyons School District Education Foundation featuring the creator of the popular “Fablehaven” children’s books raised approximately $13,000 that will go toward student scholarships and teacher grants to augment classroom instruction.
The event, held last month at Kimi’s Mountainside Bistro at Solitude, one of the District’s generous community partners, was the first major fundraising effort of the year for the foundation, which was established to complement and support the overall mission of Canyons District, the first new school district to be created in Utah in nearly a century.
The dinner and discussion with New York Times best-selling author Brandon Mull was free. Donations to the so-called “fun-raiser” were accepted but not required. Allison Spencer, Canyons’ development officer, said she opted to forego the usual fundraising approaches in favor of having a social and educational evening for students, their parents and faculty of Canyons District schools.
“When people called to RSVP, they asked how much money each table was going to cost,” Spencer said. “They were surprised when I told them it was free. I think our community is suffering from ‘sponsor-itis.’ People are always getting hit up for something, but this really was an effort to introduce the foundation a little more to the community and to talk about our goals in a pressure-free environment.”
However, the capacity crowd contributed an average of $152 per person. Donations to the Canyons School District Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization, are tax-deductible.
Canyons students played a large role in the activities, as well. McKenzie Wagner, the Alta View Elementary student who wrote “The Magic Meadow and the Golden Locket,” which was released nationwide by Tate Publishing, read some of her work to the audience. Brighton High guitarist Yusef Farah provided the dinnertime entertainment with his musical repertoire.
“The Canyons School District Education Foundation exists to provide additional opportunities for children who attend our schools and faculty who dedicate their professional lives to the betterment of their students,” said Canyons Superintendent David S. Doty. “Thanks to the generosity of our community, we are swiftly moving toward our goal of becoming a district of national distinction.”