St. John’s Episcopal School’s Board Trustees and Friends of St. John’s are planning a Blue and Red Bash starting at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Odessa Country Club, 1 Fairway Drive.
Chris McQuatters, president of the St. John’s Friends Board, said the school board approached his board to join forces to devise a fundraiser to help with scholarships and an endowment for the school.
Traditionally, St. John’s big fundraiser has been the Kooky Karnival, which McQuatters said will still be held. This will be more formal with cocktails, dinner, dancing and live and silent auctions.
McQuatters said he’s looking forward to it. He has a daughter who attends St. John’s.
“This is a chance to socialize, visit and help support a great cause and a great school,” he said. “It’s just fun being a part of everything and being involved in helping the kids grow in their education and helping the school grow, as well.”
Raffle tickets are available from any Friends Board member, school board member or the front office of the school. Tickets are $100, he said.
The main prize is a credit for a full year of tuition for one child; second prize is a $2,500 Visa gift card; and third prize is a $1,000 Southwest gift card.
“The tuition is worth its weight in gold,” McQuatters said.
The live auction is going to be a puppy with a year of free veterinary service. There also will be a golf weekend package at the Rainmaker in Ruidoso, and a free two-hour rental of the yet-to-be opened D-Bat Permian Basin indoor softball training facility for up to 15 youngsters, McQuatters and Abby Bishop, vice president of the Friends of St. John’s Board said.
The silent auction items will be artwork by the students, McQuatters said.
“We’re going to sell the artwork up around for a silent auction. You will have the ability to bid on any child’s school artwork to put in your house. All the kids are involved. It’s something that you can take home. They’re going to be a part of this as much as the parents,” McQuatters said.
The endowment will be to help fund scholarships and financial aid.
St. John’s currently has 192 students from preschool 3 through eighth grade, Head of School Emily McDoniel said.
“As people are moving in, we’re getting more phone calls,” McDoniel said.
McQuatters said the things he likes about St. John’s are its low student-to-teacher ratio and that all the students know each other. He added that and his wife decided to send their daughter to St. John’s because it provides a quality education and a safe, secure environment.
“Every teacher in there knows practically every student, so they’re watching the students and they’re helping discipline if there are any issues,” McQuatters said.
Bishop has two students at St. John’s and said she is incredibly passionate about promoting the school.
In the past, Bishop said, the school has lost families because it wasn’t feasible for them to stay. Having a scholarship in place would help those families. She said the Friends Board and the school board have never collaborated like this.
Bishop, who was at the school last week helping students with their art projects, said the gala is a way to celebrate the school’s uniqueness and put it out there a little bit more so people know how “incredible” it is.
Like McQuatters, Bishop said she likes that all the students know each other and everybody looks out for everybody else. The older students help with the younger students at lunch and know them by name.
“The environment that’s up here, like I said, I feel like everybody knows everybody and they take care of each other. I think will be a beautiful evening,” Bishop said.
McDoniel said academic and leadership scholarships are awarded from first grade on, but this will be the first time the school has started an endowment.
“St. John’s is thrilled to be able to host the Blue and Red Bash. This first one will help seed the endowment program that St. John’s Episcopal Church established for the school. The endowment will in turn enable us to offer financial aid in the future, as well as help with school costs. Both the board of trustees as well as the Friends of St. John’s (the parent support group) have worked together to make sure that the gala will be successful, thus ensuring the school’s ability to invest in the future education of our students, which truly is a blessing,” McDoniel said in an email.