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D 200 Ed Foundation raised $45K at Groundhog Day Dinner

Photo of Jaci Krandel speaking to crowd

The Woodstock District 200 Education Foundation raised more than $45,000 at the Feb. 8 Groundhog Day/Dinner Auction, which was held for the third straight year at Woodstock Harley-Davidson.

The dinner is the biggest annual fundraiser for the Foundation, which has also participated in a Wine Walk on the Woodstock Square with the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce over the past two years.

More than 330 people attended the dinner, bought live and silent auction items including a Groundhog Day poster signed by “Groundhog Day” stars Bill Murray, Brian Doyle-Murray and Stephen Tobolowsky, Blackhawks luxury suite tickets and fishing charters among other items.

Woodstock Harley-Davidson again donated the use of the space and the Foundation plans to hold the 2021 event there on Feb., 6. Several sponsors also contributed significantly to the event including Wells Fargo, Althoff Industries, American Community Bank and Associated Electrical Contractors along with dozens of businesses and individuals who donated money and auction items.

"These events really are true community efforts among our volunteer board, local businesses, school staff and the many supportive parents and community members who attend, contribute and appreciate our outstanding school district," said Jaci Krandel, co-chairperson of the D200 Education Foundation.

Photo of Bob Hackbart The evening is also an opportunity to honor someone who has made significant contributions to Woodstock’s education community by presenting the Sue Palmore Award of Excellence. This year’s honoree was Bob Hackbart, a former longtime middle school principal, coach and teacher admired for many qualities including his fostering of inclusion for students with special needs.

“We congratulate the Foundation on another successful event. These efforts are truly appreciated by our staff members who are able to give our students some rewarding opportunities. We’re grateful to the Foundation and this community, which are so supportive of our schools,” District 200 Superintendent Mike Moan said.

The Foundation distributes money raised at the event in the form of Impact Grants requested by District 200 educators for things such as field trips, playground or music equipment, guest authors, college visits and many other endeavors. Last year, the Foundation awarded $37,000 in Impact Grants and has awarded more than $600,000 since it was founded in 1993.

"Each year, we look forward to allocating these funds toward the creative plans that our teachers and education staff have dreamed up to enhance the education of District 200 students," said Foundation co-chairperson Al Wilson.

Teachers apply for the Impact Grants at the start of each school year, and the Foundation awards the funds to the chosen recipients in the early fall.