The Jackson R-2 School District Foundation will be hosting its 10th annual Red & Black Affair on Saturday, Feb. 2, at the Jackson Civic Center. The event is one of the Foundation’s biggest fundraisers each year and has traditionally sold out months before the event.
With catering by Tractors Classic American Grill and a live performance from Shades of Soul, Foundation Director Merideth Pobst said the event is a “party for a good cause.”
“The event is full of games and attractions that allow people to have a good time, while also raising money that will directly impact students and the classroom experience at Jackson,” Pobst said.
Pobst added that the event has grown substantially since its inaugural event in 2009.
The event was originally held in the A.C. Brase Arena Building in Cape Girardeau, because there was no event space big enough for the event in Jackson at the time. The gala moved to the Jackson Civic Center in 2016, less than a week after the center’s grand opening.
“The first year, I think there were maybe 100 people,” Pobst said. Now there are over 550 attendees each year. With the higher attendance, the Foundation is able to raise $55,000, compared to the $3,000 raised in 2009.
Pobst attributes this growth to the Foundation Board who help organize the event and the community continuing to support the schools. She said that Jackson has grown so much over the years that almost everyone who lives here has a tie to the School District – as an alumnus, parent, employee or through community involvement.
“I think people realize there is a need, and they want to give to something that they believe in and feel a part of,” Pobst said. “I think the school is a great way to feel good about the gift that they give, because people can see their dollars at work.”
The foundation provides programs aimed to expanded educational opportunities for students, including teaching and learning grants that fund special classroom projects proposed by teachers in the district.
The foundation also funds the Power Pack program, which helps meet the nutrition needs of students over weekends, and the Student Activities Fund, which helps students with limited financial means participate in school-sponsored activities and trips.
“We used to fund more technology projects, but over the years the district has been able to take on a larger focus on technology,” Pobst said. Since the district has implemented initiatives like the One 4 One Chromebook program, the foundation has been able expand their technology funding to robotics, coding and drones.
Tickets for the Red & Black Affair are $70 per ticket, with tables of eight and sponsorship opportunities available. While there are still some tickets available, Pobst said those who want to attend should contact the Board of Education Office as soon as possible.
The doors open at 6 p.m., with the program going from 6:30 p.m. to midnight. Attendance is limited to those 21 and older.