Mardi Gras beads and masks will decorate the Royal Bay Yacht Club as the Grove Education Foundation for Excellence (GEFFE) holds its 11th annual Gala on April 4, 2009.

A magical event is planned. GEFFE will recognize its Shining Star nominees, honor the high school’s top scholars and conduct its annual live and silent auctions. As an added touch to this year’s Gala, beautifully adorned masks will be available for the guests.

The Gala is GEFFE’s primary fundraising event and the money raised is given back to the Grove School District twice a year through grants submitted by teachers and principals.  Since its inception, GEFFE has awarded nearly $500,000 in grants to the school district, including nearly $78,000 in grants awarded in 2008 alone. 

 “Our annual fundraiser has always been such a success due to the generosity of our local merchants and businesses,” said GEFFE Board President, Kristi Wallace. “The items that they donate each year for our auctions are fun, exciting and unique.”

Once again this year, attendees at the Gala will have the opportunity to help the school’s reading program by sponsoring library books and tests for $20.  The books and tests will then be distributed to the district’s five school libraries.  Since GEFFE began this program, over $25,000 in books and tests have been added to the school libraries.

“Sponsoring the books is another way our community can support the school,” Wallace stated.  “As our district continues to grow in the number of students attending, it is often hard for the libraries to keep pace. GEFFE is thrilled we can assist the librarians with the addition of these books.”

Wallace added that this program allows GEFFE to continually aid students in all grade levels.  Students read the books as part to the school’s reading program and can earn points when the pass the test that accompanies the book.

Wallace stated that everyone is invited to visit for more information about GEFFE.  Visitors to the site can also make a donation through Paypal. 

Businesses wishing to donate an item to either the live or silent auction can contact Lisa Pitts at 791-0912 or Amy Rosiere at 964-9208.

Corporate tables are going fast and can be purchased for $575.  Single tickets are $75 a piece.  For more information on purchasing a corporate table, contact Joan Vermaire at 918-791-8252.  Individual tickets will be available at local banks at least three weeks before the Gala. For more information on the GEFFE Gala, please contact Kristi Wallace 7694.