The Gahanna-Jefferson Education Foundation will hold its annual fundraising gala March 6.

The Gahanna-Jefferson Education Foundation will hold its annual fundraising gala March 6.

The gala is intended to raise money to fund programs outside the standard curriculum. The Celebration of Excellence includes 400 silent-auction items donated by local businesses and four live-auction items.

Dale Foor, the district's community-services coordinator, said silent-auction items include a Lake Erie island-hopping charter and lunch at Mezzo with former Ohio State University (OSU) basketball players Clark Kellogg and Jimmy Jackson, among other items.

"We get huge community support," Foor said of the donations.

The live auction includes four items: a trip to a villa in Mexico, lunch with U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Genoa Township) in Washington, D.C.; dinner for four at Lindey's before the James Taylor/Carol King concert and dinner for eight on the OSU Buckeyes bullet recreational vehicle.

Gahanna graduate Yolanda Harris will serve as hostess for the evening, and an auctioneer has been hired to run the live auction.

Foor said a new fundraising auction this year is called "Fund the Need." Through the program, the schools are trying to purchase 24 microscopes to keep eight at each middle school. Foor said each microscope costs $650, and the auctioneer will begin bidding high, dropping as bids come in.

"He'll basically work backwards," Foor said.

People who want to donate money for a microscope but do not want to participate in the silent or live auction will have the opportunity to donate money by simply raising their hands during that portion of the evening, he said. Different dollar amounts will be announced, and people who want to donate signify they will donate that amount by raising their hands.

The microscopes fit in with the evening's theme: "Scope Us Out."

Information from the foundation's Web site states, "Our curriculum department has requested that we upgrade our microscopes, telescopes and other science equipment, thus prompting our planning team to select "Scope Us Out" as our celebration theme.

All donations will go to the purchase of science equipment.

The event will be held from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, March 6, at the Creekside Events Center. Tickets are $50 each and include one drink ticket. The event offers heavy hors d'oeuvres, desserts, soft drinks and a cash bar.

Foor said the event raised $97,000 last year. Proceeds fund grants requested by teachers.

For information on purchasing a ticket, visit www.gjef.org.