GOOD FOR YOU: Flip Flop Gala raises more than $100,000 for local education |

GOOD FOR YOU: Flip Flop Gala raises more than $100,000 for local education

James Redmond

Guests stream in over the bridge to The Island at Water Valley for the Weld RE-4 Education Foundation’s second annual Flip Flop Gala Saturday. The event raised more than $100,000 that the Foundation will use to support education in the Windsor-Severance Re-4 School District.

Hundreds showed up in flip-flops and island attire Saturday to support local education and raised more than $100,000 for the Weld RE-4 Education Foundation at their second annual Flip Flop Gala.

About 500 people in total streamed in over the bridge to The Island at Water Valley for the island-themed fundraiser helping the Foundation support the Windsor-Severance Re-4 School District, Kim Schutt, Education Foundation board member, said Tuesday.

"I don't think the weather and setting could have been any more perfect if we had tried to arrange it," she said.

The event's guests have repeatedly shared how much fun they had and how impressed they were by the show of support for the Foundation and the schools it supports, Schutt said.

"Everyone loved the tropical and casual theme of the event, the music — by local band Equally Challenged — and mingling with so many other members of our great community who were there to celebrate and support our schools," she said.

Martin Lind and Ryan Scallon conducted the evening's live auction, which is expected to have raised more than $100,000. Included in that total was a special "paddle raise" auction that raised $35,000 specifically for the purchase of Chromebooks in the schools.

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"We are still tallying numbers and collecting funds raised that night, but I think we can safely say we raised in excess of $100,000 this year," Schutt said. "(Outside of the Chromebooks) we do not yet have any specific plans for the rest of the proceeds, but we utilize a grant process to distribute funds within the schools."

"I am incredibly humbled by the generosity of the community," Tempy Bowman, treasurer for Foundation and school board member, said. "The funds raised by the gala will help our teachers and students access the tools they need to be successful 21st century learners."

An email went out Monday to all the building principals reporting on the success of the gala and asking them to have their teachers submit grant applications by Sept. 15 so that the Foundation can put a good part of the money to work right away.

"We know there are many needs within our schools, so our board of directors expects to have a lot of worthy applications for those funds to consider at our next meeting later in September," Schutt said. "I think it goes without saying that our Foundation board is completely thrilled with the success of this year's gala. We love that people are already asking about plans for next year's event and how they can be a part of it.

"There are probably a few things we will want to tweak for next time, but we truly look forward to making this event better with each year and hope it becomes an annual summer tradition for our community."

The Weld RE-4 Education Foundation

The foundation is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization, comprised of a group of dedicated community members passionate in their support of the Weld RE-4 public schools. The Foundation’s goal is to provide opportunities and resources for all of our schools, students and educators, by:

• Raising funds from events, individual and corporate donations, school district employee contributions, grants and other community sources to help fill the widening gap between traditional school funding and the rising cost of educating students with 21st Century skills;

• Encouraging innovation and creativity in the classroom, and recognizing individuals who have had a positive impact on student achievement;

• Supporting and rewarding improvement and excellence in our students, and fostering opportunities for continued success;

• Strengthening community relationships and involvement within our schools.

For more information, go to