ADA — Ada City School Foundation held its first “Salute to Education” Gala and Fund-raiser April 22 at the home of Dr. David and Penny Martin. More than 200 guests attended the party according to Foundation President Amy Lawson.

“This is our biggest fund-raising event since the Foundation’s beginning and we think we have raised $50,000 to $60,000 for the endowment fund,” Lawson said.

Income from the Foundation’s endowment is issued each year through grants to teachers in the Ada School System, grades K through 12. Prior to this event, the Foundation’s endowed funds totaled $450,000 and the president said the Foundation has a goal to increase the endowment funds to $1 million in the next few years.

Every year the Foundation turns down about 1/3 of the grant applications requested by teachers due to the limited amount available to distribute. The total grants awarded each year are between $17,000 to $21,000 and provide money to teachers for special grant projects that teach special science, math, art, music and history projects that the teacher would otherwise not be able to offer their students. The Foundation is a tax-exempt organization and is run by a volunteer board of business leaders, bankers, CPA’s and parents.

“An event like this was something we had talked about for years and to see it actually happen with such success is a great thing,” Lawson said. “The more money we raise, the more grants our board can fund in the upcoming years. Our teachers and students are the real winners this evening because they are the ones who will ultimately benefit from everyone’s generosity.”

Ada City School Foundation Executive Board is composed of Amy Lawson, president, Lone Beasley, vice president, Stephanie Boone and Shari Ross are co-recording secretaries, and Keywood Deese is treasurer. Board members are Jimmy Eppler, Somerlyn Cothran, Mendy Robson, Joe Mankin, Diane Criswell, Rita Cloar, Rob Ratley, Bill Horne Jr., David Keith and Bruce Cowart.