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USC Homecoming Gala Raises $55,000 for School District

School board pleased with The First Annual Upper St. Clair Homecoming Gala.

"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.

What are your thoughts on the Homecoming Gala? Tell us in the comments box below.

william atwell April 25, 2012 at 03:23 AM
Oh now the school board has to fund raise to pay for things? What will they come up with next? This really saddens me. I found a education helped me out of having to follow my family into the mill or mine. Never once has my high school asked me for money. Yet we are allowing elected officials to put on functions like this to beg for money? At what price for a quality education are we subjecting our children to? Is the school board really trying to say a person is better than me cause I went to Brooke high School? I think the school board would be better off trying to balance the budget and keep cost n check, that's what they where elected for not be panhandling money. It saddens me to when you hear school board saying they pay the teachers what they do because they want the best. I know teachers who made 30 to 40k a year and where great teachers, they made learning fun. We should give a round of applause to the teachers. And on the other hand should be asking the school board what are you people doing!

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