Oracle Schools Foundation

Tapas Anyone?

Ann Vernon

One of the fixed-price events for the Oracle School Foundation 2022 auction was an authentic Spanish dinner prepared by Nile Vernon and assisted by Ann Vernon and Pat and Ron Andrea. Nile spent many summers in Spain and picked up cooking tips from various families he stayed with while teaching in a graduate program in Santiago de Compestela.

It was a beautiful night, so guests enjoyed sangria and tapas around the fire pit. They munched on chorizo in red wine, dates stuffed with marcona almonds wrapped in bacon, pimientos de padron, Manchego cheese and artichoke skewers, and tortilla Espanola. Luckily they weren’t too stuffed to drink some Spanish wine with their gazpacho and paella, followed by bread pudding with whisky and caramel sauce for dessert.

Proceeds from the dinner support the Oracle Schools Foundation, which funds preschool and other much-needed educational programs. Our 2023 Spring Fling Gala and auction will be held on Saturday, March 11, at MountainView. You can help contribute to the foundation in several ways:

* Become a Champion of the OSF—see details on our website:

* Buy gift cards or solicit donations from local businesses and donate to OSF

* Attend the Spring Fling Gala and bid on some great events such as this dinner

* Donate to the auction—contact Ann Vernon at [email protected]

Check the website for more information about the Gala and to register for the event in February.

Also mark your calendars—The Tributaries will be performing their second benefit concert on April 16 at DesertView! You won’t want to miss this!

A New Year’s Resolution You Can Keep

Photo by Tiffani Webster, president of Oracle Schools Foundation

Dale R. Farland

We all have New Year’s resolutions—lose weight, exercise more, take up a new hobby. How about a New Year’s resolution that can help others? Consider becoming involved with the Oracle Schools Foundation (OSF), which supports the Oracle School District and the Mountain Vista K-8 School.

What is the Oracle Schools Foundation?

The Oracle Schools Foundation is not the Oracle School Board. School board members are elected officials responsible for the oversight of the school district whereas OSF board members are volunteers who dispense money received from donors.

It is a volunteer-run fundraising organization that provides financial and related support to every Oracle student, ensuring unlimited opportunities for them to succeed. Their primary focus is providing free preschool for 3-year-old and 4-year-old children in the district. Did you know that Arizona does not provide funding for preschool? Since Oracle is a rural community with more than 65% of the Mountain Vista students qualifying for free or reduced lunches and 22% of the students in special education (compared to 13% state average), it is extremely beneficial to provide free early childhood education for the children of our district. Their preschool program prepares our students socially and academically to be successful in kindergarten and above grade levels.

OSF also funds an accelerated reading program and 8th grade scholarships, in addition to paying for unfunded items the school urgently needs to help the students. For example, during COVID, OSF funded ”hot spots” needed by students so they could access their homework.

What does an OSF board member do and who are they?

OSF consists of men and women from SaddleBrooke Ranch, SaddleBrooke, and Oracle, all coming from various professional backgrounds to contribute their expertise with the same goal of helping Oracle students. The primary fundraiser is an annual gala. The next one will be March 11, 2023, at the SaddleBrooke HOA TWO MountainView Ballroom. In addition, OSF is excited to host more musical fundraising events featuring the well-known music group, the Tributaries, at the DesertView Performing Arts Center at SaddleBrooke. These successful events help provide the monies necessary to fund the programs. As aforementioned, funding of the preschool, which costs $75,000 a school year to operate, is our prime objective. Board members typically help coordinate these events as well as attend monthly meetings to review requests from the school.

What can SBR residents do for the Oracle Schools Foundation?

OSF was initially started by SaddleBrooke residents when they recognized the need to help the students of Oracle by funding a preschool. Therefore, residents of SaddleBrooke have been active in OSF for years and now we would like to see more SBR residents become involved on the board. Currently, Donna Pedota and Dale Farland, SBR residents, are on the OSF board.

Interested? If you are interested in helping out, we are interested in hearing from you! Please contact Tiffani Webster, president of OSF, at [email protected] for more information.

Oracle Schools Foundation Goes Back in Time

Oracle Schools Foundation event attendees included, left to right, Randy Greene, Abby Greene, Judy Weiner, Joel Weiner, and Betsy Levenson.

Betsy Levenson

Chalk up another winner for the Oracle Schools Foundation’s series of fixed price “Something for Everyone” events: an opportunity for friends and neighbors to meet, socialize, and partake of ethnic gourmet food, all while supporting crucial preschool, developmental, and literacy programs at the Mountain Vista School in Oracle.

Not to be outdone by our friends who celebrated the food of Italy, Spain, Greece, and Michigan, the group that gathered at the Levensons’ house on Nov. 11 wandered back in history to feast on the staples of the old European Jewish diet: knishes, chopped liver, matzo ball soup, brisket, noodle pudding, challah, Israeli salad, apple cake, and rugelach—all made or donated by members of the Jewish Friendship Group and the Institute of Judaic Services and Studies.

Unlike our ancestors, if our guests wanted to go home and make some of the food themselves, they didn’t have to “taste and guess,” as was the tradition generations ago. Coordinator Sherry Kaplan provided guests, with production expertise provided by Linda Lyons, a cookbook containing the recipes for the food served that night.

The highlight of the evening was the opportunity for each of us to think back in time, through the generations, and share our own family’s story of migration to the United States. It was an incredible—and touching—experience, one that cannot be described on paper, with words. You had to be there.

The evening ended with full stomachs, new friends, and a deep sense of gratitude to our forefathers who had the courage and fortitude to leave all that was familiar and make the difficult journey to this wonderful country.