"I am pleased to announce the was a success," Liz Hall said during Upper St. Clair's School Board meeting.
Hall is 's Director of Advancement—a new position that was developed to find ways to raise funds for the district.
On Monday night, the board commended Hall for making the Homecoming Gala idea become a reality.
"It's amazing to hear where this has come from," said Louis Piconi, school board member. He believes the event will have a net financial impact for the district over time.
Those interested in the district were invited to The First Annual Homecoming Gala held at on Oct. 1. Hall also reached out to community members and corporations for donations.
There were food stations, a cash bar, a silent auction, musical entertainment and a Hall of Fame presentation for the class of 2011 inductees. The Community Foundation covered the event's expenses.
Hall said the event raised more than $55,000 for the district. About $37,000 was donated from corporate and individual sponsors. Most of the 202 attendees paid $100 to attend the Gala—some received complimentary tickets.
Harry Kunselman, school board president, said beside from the Gala's financial benefit, the event made the "partnership between the district and the Community Foundation stronger," allowed for Hall of Fame inductees to speak to and inspire some high school students, and brought alumni back to the district.
Amy Balsinger was a Hall of Fame inductee and traveled from Charlotte, NC to attend the Homecoming fesitivities.
"Everything has been first class," Amy said during the Gala. "The effort and passion everyone has for education and the community is amazing."
Amy's mother, Linda Balsinger, was also impressed with the Gala.
"It's incredible," Linda said. "We expected it to be nice, but I can't believe all the planning...it's beyond what we could have imagined."
Upper St. Clair Hall of Famer and former Major League Baseball player Sean Casey was a featured speaker at the Gala. Casey moved back to Upper St. Clair with his family when he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2006.
"A big reason we're back here is the education," Casey said. "I'm happy my kids are going to school here."
The district plans to hold a Second Annual Homecoming Gala. Hall said her goal is to have next year's event attract more "family participation" and raise more than $70,000.
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