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Gala deemed a success: Annual event raises money for Mesquite ISD foundation
A crowd filled the Mesquite Arena on Feb. 23 for the Lone Star Legacy Gala and Concert Series. The event is an annual fundraiser for the Mesquite ISD Education foundation. - Photo courtesy of Mesquite ISD
One of the major annual fundraisers for the Mesquite ISD Education Foundation is the Lone Star Legacy Gala and Concert Series. This year the event featured a performance by country musician Clay Walker. The event was held at Mesquite Arena on Feb. 23.
"It was really successful event," said Randy Lewallyn, foundation director. "The foundation board is ecstatic about the event. It's a great team effort and something we are very proud of. It has really established itself as an annual community event. The financial support we receive from the community is really wonderful."
The event this year began with a barbecue dinner served to those who purchased table sponsorships. The dinner provided a chance for people to socialize and an opportunity to purchase "blinky" pins and diamond raffle tickets to benefit the foundation.
"Our table sponsorships this year were equal to last year's numbers," Lewallyn said.
Country singer Imaj took the stage during the latter portion of the dinner and performed several songs from her debut album in addition to several covers. In addition to being a country singer, Imaj is a novelist.
The foundation board took the stage along with the family of Dr. Ralph H. Poteet. The foundation dedicated this year's gala to the former superintendent, who passed away last year. The board presented his widow, Anne, with a bouquet of roses after a video tribute that highlighted some of Poteet's accomplishments within the school district and the city. In addition to being a former superintendent, Poteet was instrumental in the building of the Kids Quest playground at DeBusk Park. Poteet chaired the committee of volunteers who built the playground.
"The one thing that stood out to me this year was the tribute we paid to Dr. Poteet. It was a very meaningful thing to do and really showed why we do this. The tradition of education in this district is amazing," Lewallyn said.
The foundation then switched into fundraising mode with its live auction, which raised more than $27,000. The auction included items such as trips and sports memorabilia and suites for upcoming Mavericks and Stars games.
"The auction was very productive. We feel it helped us accomplish our mission to use the event as a vessel to raise money to feed back into the school district," Lewallyn said.
The foundation also has an ongoing online auction that wraps up on March 1. To bid on an item visit www.mesquitefoundation.org.
Following a longer-than-expected delay due to Walker's fan club meet-and-greet, the performer took the stage and filled the arena with energy.
"There were so many people in his fan club meet-and-greet that it impacted his schedule a bit," Lewallyn said. "It was something we learned from and will be prepared for if it happens again."
Walker played a staple of his hits in addition to a few cover songs.
"Clay Walker put on a great show and really connected with the audience. We have gotten several compliments about his performance," Lewallyn said. "He's just a great performer."
For information on the Mesquite ISD Education Foundation, visit www.mesquitefoundation.org.
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