4th Annual Penguin Party Fundraiser

After a slow donation year, the director of the Cape Girardeau Public Schools Foundation (of Southeastern, Missouri) hopes to bounce back. The not-for-profit organization is hosting its fourth annual Penguin Party on Saturday. The fundraiser is the foundation’s push to raise money for teacher grants, executive director Tammy Samuel said. “Based on the amount we raise, that’s how we judge how much we can award,” she said. Last year, the foundation awarded teachers more than $18,000 in grants compared to $26,500 the year before. This year, Samuel said, she hopes to raise between $20,000 and $30,000. “Donations have turned around; hopefully the auction will go well,” she said. The event, which includes about 165 attendees, will feature an auction, dinner and performances by the high school jazz band and Mike Renick Band. “Knowing that the work of all the board members and all of the volunteers achieves something that is such a productive purpose for the children” is the best part of the yearly event, said foundation president T. Robin Cole. “And the food is great.” Aside from operating costs, the organization uses the money it raises throughout the year to fund teacher grants. Last year it raised $27,000, and $18,000 went to fund teacher programs, Samuel said. Cole said the foundation serves as an “incubator for new ideas.” “Some of them work fantastically,” he said, “and some of them don’t.” He said he is challenging businesses to donate creative items to auction. Buffalo Wild Wings donated a gift certificate for all the french fries and chicken wings 20 people can eat in an hour. Kohlfeld Distributing donated beer that will be given to people who raise bids by $20, Cole said. The event starts at 6 p.m. at the Cape Girardeau Country Club. For more information, call 651-0555.

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