“A Night of Purpose” event raises thousands for Pelham schools

By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter

PELHAM – The PCS Foundation hosted its first major fundraiser “A Night of Purpose” on Saturday, Feb. 8 to raise money for schools in the Pelham Schools System.

The foundation described the event as a “casino night mardi gras style” gala, where guests could play various casino games, win prizes in a silent auction, dance and intermingle with other members of the community all to benefit teachers and students.

“Our goal with this event was to raise as much money as we could to give back to the schools,” PCS Foundation President Jim Sumpter said. “I’ve personally been to a few casino night fundraisers before, and I knew this would be a fun way to get the community together.”

Between the selling of more than 200 tickets and more than $3,000 of prizes from the silent auction, the foundation ended up raising more than $10,000 for the city schools.

Sumpter explained that the foundation had three pillars that it wants to fulfill and the fundraiser hits all three in some way.

“Our three pillars are to help teachers with teacher excellence, students with career preparedness and foster a sense of community building,” he said. “This event is the building community aspect, and the fundraiser helps us fulfill the other pillars.”

The event was supported by many city officials including Mayor Gary Waters, PCS Superintendent Dr. Scott Coefield, members of the city council, the school board and teachers from PCS.

The event featured a silent auction with thousands of dollars of prizes available ranging from football tickets, round-trip airfare and several prizes from local businesses.

Sumpter said that this was the first of many events designed to raise money for the school system. He expressed that he wanted to be able raise money “not to keep in the checking account, but to give back to the schools.”

Sponsors for the fundraiser include SouthWest Water Company, Ballantrae, The Canopy, American Family Care, Andrews Sports Medicine, Pipelines LLC., Bellas, ATC, Ferguson Waterworks, ARC Realty, Apex, the City of Pelham and RFG.