Champs – Edited

Thank you, Oracle Schools Foundation champions!

Maria Menconi

On Oct. 20, a large group of Oracle Schools Foundation (OSF) champions made history! At the annual OSF Gala, the largest group of champions ever (more than 190 strong) gathered at the Vistas in SaddleBrooke One. And then, to further establish their claim to fame, this group contributed more than $39,000, the most money raised at this annual event. As in past years, these funds will go towards the cost of supporting universal preschool for three- and four-year-old students attending Mountain Vista School. This year there was also an opportunity to help improve the preschool playground, and generous champions contributed $725 towards this effort.

The group heard an update on public education in Arizona from Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman and also an update on happenings in the Oracle School District from Superintendent Crystle Nehrmeyer. Alan Levinson, Oracle Schools Foundation vice president, acted as emcee and deftly kept the evening events moving. An excellent dinner from Chef Dave Bishow received great reviews. The many positive comments about all aspects of the gala encouraged the gala committee to begin meeting again immediately to plan next year’s event.

No article about this wonderful evening would be complete without a list of people who deserve tremendous thanks. Chief among these is Ann Vernon, gala committee chair. Although this was Ann’s inaugural event for Oracle Schools Foundation, her experiences with the Unit 21 Treats and Talents Auction in past years moved the Foundation Gala to a new level. Ann was expertly assisted by Tiffani Webster, live auction coordinator; Chris Crum, fixed events coordinator; Carol Dimit, baskets and silent auction coordinator (with very able donation gathering from Barry Swartzberg); Linda Lyon, website, ticket sales, meals and tables coordinator; Art Posner, check out coordinator; Sherry Kaplan, decorations coordinator; Richard Martin, auctioneer; Maria Menconi, publicity; Richard Borland, raffle and finance coordinator; and Nancy Moore, program designer. Beyond this group were dozens of SaddleBrooke, Oracle, and SaddleBrooke Ranch residents who offered fixed price, live, and silent auction items for the champions to purchase. Profuse thanks to each and every one who donated to and attended the gala!

If you are interested in learning more about the Oracle Schools Foundation, visit their website at Currently, there is a need for volunteers for next year’s gala committee, so if you would like to assist with this effort, contact [email protected]. There is always a need for grant writers and volunteers to assist with communications and publicity for the foundation. If you would like to assist in either of these endeavors, contact [email protected].