The 14th Bay Ball will be held at Discovery World on Nov. 19, with all funds going toward technology in local classrooms.
The Bay Ball is the major fundraiser for the Whitefish Bay Public Education Foundation, and all of the monies raised benefit the children who attend the district’s four schools. With the first Bay Ball held in 1996, the event has raised more than $1 million over the past 16 years.
This year, the education foundation hopes to raise $75,000, which will be divided equally across the four public schools to advance the district's 21st Century Teaching and Learning Initiative. In the past, the fundraiser has paid for netbooks, science equipment and greater access to other advanced learning tools.
"All of it is extra money the schools wouldn’t have," said Lori Kampschroer, a board member of the foundation.
Foundation President Sandy Murphy said the event also plays another important role beyond fundraising.
“One of the event’s purposes is to bring the community together. Whitefish Bay schools and community have recently received national recognition, and this is a great opportunity for the community and teachers to come together to celebrate," she said. "I think it’s an awesome effort—an incredible amount of work done by outstanding volunteers who are happy to donate their time for a good cause.”
This year’s Bay Ball has a new presenting sponsor in M&I Bank, thanks to a hometown connection. Brad Chapin, Executive Vice President of Personal Banking for M&I, a part of BMO Harris Financial Group, attended school in Whitefish Bay, and he is once again a resident along with his wife Mary and their family. The Chapins are serving as honorary chairs for the Ball.
The group chose to hold this year’s ball at Discovery World because they share a similar cause — helping young people feel empowered and impassioned about education. The night will start with dinner from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., then musical entertainment at 9:30 p.m. High school musicians perform during cocktail hour. Students from the Whitefish Bay High School art club will have their artwork available in a silent auction. In addition, there will be a live auction and a fifty-fifty raffle.
Another student art display will be showcased at Winkie's starting Friday. The pieces at Winkie's will be sold in advance of the event, with proceeds also going toward technology in the schools. Every student in both elementary schools is involved with the artwork, which includes a photograph of third graders spelling out the alphabet with their bodies.
"These teachers use this as a teaching tool, as well as an opportunity to provide artwork for the event," Kampschroer said.
The event is open to everyone who has an interest in supporting public education. Tickets are $100 and are available by calling Arlene at 414-270-3000, ext. 230.
Other sponsors include Invitation Design—Burczyk Creative; Entertainment Sponsor: Milwaukee Admirals, Honor Roll Sponsors: Godfrey & Kahn, Master Screen Printing and Embroidery/Network Photography, RW Baird & Co., Sendik’s of Whitefish Bay, and Valet Sponsor Sommer’s Subaru.
The Whitefish Bay Public Education Foundation was established in 1993 and was the first of its kind in the state. This past summer, its leaders met with the Oshkosh schools to help them set up a similar foundation. In addition to the Ball, the Whitefish Bay Public Education Foundation conducts an annual appeal and sponsors Run the Bayto raise money for the schools.