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February 13, 2008 > A fair of excellence

A fair of excellence

By Vidya Pradhan

If the gloomy weather has been getting you down lately, here's a way to have a fun filled day at the fair in the comfort and warmth of the Fremont Marriott. The Fremont Education Foundation (FEF) is holding its sixth annual "Excellence in Education" gala on February 22, to promote and celebrate excellence in education in our public schools.

The Gala has two objectives - raising funds for the Innovative Education Grant program and honoring members of the community for their contributions in the field of education.
The Innovative Education Grants program founded in 1991, funds innovative classroom programs in grades K-12. For instance, last year, Antoinette (Toni) Schlobohm of Ardenwood School was one of the recipients of a grant to fund math and science activities like games, brain teasers, manipulative's, and science lab videos. Individual grants are awarded for amounts up to $3,000.

Each year, the Foundation chooses two honorees to celebrate - one from within the Fremont Unified School District and one from the greater community - for their outstanding contributions to education within Fremont. This year the honorees are Dirk Lorenz, the 2008 "Excellence in Education" Community Honoree, and Lee Glover, the 2008 "Excellence in Education" FUSD Honoree.

Dirk Lorenz, who owns Fremont Flowers, has been responsible for brightening many a teacher's day by sponsoring the little floral gifts that students can bring on their first day of school. Sandy Pantages, one of the previous FEF honorees, mentions that Dirk is responsible for the flowers in the front offices of schools on the first day of school. "He also helps kids make bouquets for Mother's Day for a small donation which directly benefits the Foundation and has designed the flowers and decorations for the newly created Fremont Opera's fundraising gala," she adds.

Lee Glover, the FUSD honoree, has taught choral music in Fremont since 1972 at Mission San Jose and Irvington high schools. Her choral groups are oft-requested performers at local galas and events. She has been vocal director for roughly 40 musicals and was named the Fremont School Management Association's Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 1985 and again in 1999. Lee Glover is retiring at the end of this year and FEF is taking this opportunity to honor her work and service to the community.

Themed as "A Fair to Remember" the Gala aims to enchant and inspire the attendees. The fundraiser is structured as a real fair with game and food booths and entertainers. Magician Phil Ackerly, who has baffled audiences for over 25 years, will be working his charm at the gala. Business associations in Fremont have taken up the challenge of creating and managing the game booths.

Greg Green, president of the Irvington Business Association says his association is designing and constructing a 'Plinko' like game for the fair with the help of Schaa's Lawnmower Sales and Service. While the details of the game are still being worked out, it promises to be one of the most unusual and fun games visitors to the gala can play.

Another new element in this year's event is the balloon raffle. Guests can buy a balloon for $10, secure in the knowledge that inside the balloon is a certificate worth at least $10 or more. Everybody wins! The prizes are all donated by local businesses.

Visitors are welcome to come to the gala dressed for a day at the fair, whether a renaissance event or a contemporary one. In addition to the games and the raffle, line dancing, fortune telling and great food stalls will keep everyone busy and happy.

Order your tickets online at

Sponsor a table using the form provided at

For information about other sponsorship opportunities, please contact Nina Moore at (510) 713-9940.

Fremont Education Foundation Gala "A Fair to Remember"
Friday, February 22
5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Fremont Marriott
46100 Landing Pkwy., Fremont
(510) 713-9940.

$75 per person
$50 per person for FUSD Teachers and Clerical Staff

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