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News and Events

Fridley Schools Foundation hosts Black & Gold Gala
Posted 02/13/2020 03:03PM


The Fridley Schools Foundation hosted its third annual Black & Gold Gala on January 30, 2020 at Jax Café in Minneapolis. For over 20 years, the Foundation has been enriching educational opportunities for Fridley Public School students and supporting their higher academic aspirations as they build their individual roads to success. More than 150 community and staff members attended the fundraising event, participating in silent and live auctions and donating to support the mission of the foundation.

As the Foundation’s largest fundraising event of the year, the gala plays an essential role in raising money to support educator grants and student scholarships for graduating seniors. This year, over $30,000 was raised to enhance opportunities for district students.

“This year’s Black & Gold Gala exceeded our expectations,” said Foundation President Renee VanGorp. “We are so grateful to have raised a record-breaking amount at the event, which was evident with all the energy and Tiger Pride that filled the room throughout the evening.”

VanGorp added that she appreciates all Fridley alumni, current and retired staff, community members and sponsors who attended the event.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the partnerships with community organizations, as well as the individuals who are passionate in helping support our mission,” she said. “It’s amazing to see how connected everyone is to Fridley Public Schools. They are the key to our success and we are so thankful for their support.”

Bob Barnette honored with Golden Apple Award

This year, retired longtime Fridley Public Schools staff member and Fridley council member Bob Barnette was recognized at the gala with the Golden Apple Award. The award is given to a member of the Fridley Public Schools community who has made a significant impact for the Foundation.

Bob Barnette served as a teacher and counselor in the Fridley school district from 1958 until his retirement in 1996. Notably, Barnette is credited for creating the district’s scholarship program, FridFans. The formation of the Fridley Schools Foundation became a vehicle to host the funds raised. Barnette served as the chair of the Foundation, and has been a board member since its inception in 1999.

In addition to his work in the school district and Foundation, Barnette served on the Fridley City Council for 32 years, retiring in 2019. He continues to serve the district, assisting the Activities and Athletics department with many athletic events.

“We are proud to award Bob Barnette with the Golden Apple this year,” said VanGorp. “He is an inspiring icon, mentor and friend in the Fridley community and we congratulate him on his lifetime of service.”

Click to view the event photo album

The Fridley Schools Foundation would like to thank event sponsors ATS&R, architecture and engineering firm, as well as the Fridley Lions Club, a local organization that also supports Fridley Public Schools through scholarships, district events, and more.

About the Fridley Schools Foundation
The Fridley Schools Foundation is an independent nonprofit that supports the mission of Fridley Public Schools by providing enriching educational opportunities throughout the school district. Please visit www.fridleyschoolsfoundation.org to learn more.



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