The Gahanna-Jefferson Education Foundation will hold "An All-Star Event" during the Gahanna Gala to support excellence in education.
Guests are encouraged to dress in their favorite team colors or as their favorite sports figure to enjoy the all-star sports theme for the event, slated for 6:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at Villa Milano, 1630 Schrock Road.
"They can show spirit for their favorite player or team," said Dale Foor, GJEF president. "We think our guests are all-stars. They can dress in favorite team (colors) or as athletes."
Foor appeared before the Gahanna school board as legendary Ohio State University football coach Woody Hayes in an effort to get district personnel hyped for the fundraiser late last year.
The Gahanna Gala formerly was the Celebration of Excellence.
Event attendees bid on live and silent-auction items, with proceeds benefiting programs throughout the district.
The GJEF awarded about $35,000 in grants in December, fulfilling the wishes of many district teachers by funding 16 grant requests and seven mini grants.
For the GJEF to continue to move forward to underwrite the grants, Foor said, it's important to have the continued support of business partners and community members at the gala.
Two-thirds of everything raised at the gala go toward grants, with the exception of Fund-a-Need, which benefits technology in the district.
"The principals, teachers and curriculum staff were so happy about the impact the iPad technology brought to the classroom last year that we're going to again raise dollars to further enhance the iPad technology throughout the district," Foor said. "We hope to surpass last year's $27,000."
The GJEF has funded numerous after-school enrichment programs, robotics, the art murals at Creekside, materials for the debate team, middle school microscopes and Experience the Artist, among many others.
Some of this year's auction items will be a hot-air balloon ride, skydiving, a suite at a Columbus Crew game, an Orlando Sheraton Resort stay and Disney tickets, a bed-and-breakfast stay at Put-in-Bay, a stay at a Steamboat, Colo., condo, Notre Dame football tickets, a private performance by Arnett Howard, lunch in Washington, D.C., or in Columbus with U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Genoa Township), lunch with OSU basketball legend Clark Kellogg, seven sets of Columbus Blue Jackets tickets, a golf outing at Jefferson Country Club, more than 20 golf packages, tickets for the Cleveland Browns versus Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland, Cleveland Indians tickets and tailgate packages for the OSU football home opener against the Buffalo Bulls.
A drawing for a $1,000 shopping spree at Easton also is being sponsored by Lew Griffin Insurance.
Tickets for the Gahanna Gala may be purchased online at gjef.org; follow the ticket link. Individual tickets cost $50.
Anyone who would like to support the Fund-a-Need program also should go to the website and follow the donation prompt. All auction items will be listed online.
New to the event this year will be a different bid process that will feature electronic clickers, according to Foor.
"Rather than having bid sheets, you'll bid with the clickers," Foor said. "It's something that has become prominent in fundraisers. It will significantly help expedite the checkout process."
WBNS-10TV's Karina Nova will serve as celebrity hostess at the gala.