Thursday, May 19, 2016

Uncorked 2016: Bigger and Better Than Ever!

Tahlequah Public Schools Foundation held its annual Uncorked event at the Armory Municipal Center on May 5, 2016. It was a successful and fun evening recognizing our grant recipients, celebrating our schools and kicking off the fundraising campaign for 2016-2017 school year.
a few of the TPS employees we celebrated at TPSF Uncorked
TPSF treasurer Lisa Czlonka was thrilled with this year’s event. “We did amazing!  Uncorked raised over $10,000. Our generous community recognizes the value of educators and the importance of supporting our schools during this time of financial cutbacks.”
2016 is the sixth year for the Uncorked event and the fourth location.  Last year the organization sold a total of 78 tickets. This year they presold 191. 
Do we need a larger venue?
“You need to go bigger next year,” preschool teacher Angie Aldridge said. “The Sequoyah bunch had fun. We’ll be back.”
Czlonka said, “I spoke with the teachers and one told me she’d lost her voice and felt like she’d been at a concert because it was so much fun.”
Sequoyah paraprofessional Angela Sherron agreed.  “I loved the variety of the auction baskets. Also, I felt like Tahlequah came out and supported us. There were a lot of TPS employees as well as community members.”
Sommelier Heather Ezell and Dirk Van Veen of Mary's Liquor scout wine selections
“We had sommelier Heather Ezell this year, which added to the excitement for our foodies,” PR director Brandi Barnett said. “She was one of several contributing factors that aided in selling tickets and selling out of wine that night.”
Board member Kim Copeland had an additional theory to the night’s success. “The event had a great coordinator which brought in substantial funds.”
“When you have a foundation you truly believe in, it’s not hard to ask people to support it,” said Mesha Sanchez, event chair. “I’m so proud of our community for seeing the value of Tahlequah Public Schools Foundation and completely going above and beyond. The crowd this year was not in it to make a deal. Our donors stepped up because we stepped up.”
Local businesses and eateries donated thousands of dollars worth of auction items, door prizes, and food.  Napoli’s, Rib Crib, and The Branch donated to the general admission side while Mary’s Liquor and Reasor’s provided the wine and food pairings.

a few photos of the popular VIP area with the beverage and food pairings
The money raised by Tahlequah Public Schools Foundation is awarded to teachers in the form of grants. In January, the TPSF Prize Patrol made its rounds to the schools and announced recipients. They included a hands-on science lab in the preschool, a summer arts academy in which 3rd -8th graders will perform Seussical the Musical, and robotics instruction at the high school level.  Teachers can submit online now for next year.
TPSF donated almost $30,000 for the 2015-2016 school year. 10 % of those funds came directly from TPS employees who donated each month from their paychecks. TPSF hopes to give more money in grants this year, but that depends on donations.
American Fidelity, Reasor’s and Mary’s Liquor were 2015-2016 TPSF partners and the foundation is seeking partners for this next school year starting at the $5,000 and $10,000 levels. 
“Of course, any donation is appreciated at any time,” said Barnett. “Every penny adds change.”
Make your tax-deductible donation today. Learn more by going to, follow the blog at, or like Tahlequah Public Schools Foundation on Facebook. Donate online or mail donations to TPSF, 1 Plaza South, PMB #276, Tahlequah, OK 74464.  You can also select TPSF as your charity on, and a percentage of your purchase will be donated.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

How do I win those prizes?

If you've followed us on our Facebook event Uncorked 2016, you've seen all sorts of posts about the fabulous donated items you can win at #TPSFuncorked.

But how do you win them?

Some will be silent auction items. Win them the  good, old-fashioned way by out-bidding someone else on a bid sheet. That's right. Go ahead and pretend to be nonchalantly standing nearby while you secretly watch that sheet like a hawk and out-bid anyone who tries to outbid you.  It's all in good fun, and the money will benefit Tahlequah Public Schools Foundation.

Some of those fabulous prizes will be door prizes. Since this is a celebration of schools, all TPS employees will receive one door prize ticket.  Everyone else can purchase one for $5. If you see something  you like, simply place your ticket in the little bucket beside it for your chance to win.  Don't like those odds?  No problem!  We will sell you more tickets! $5 per ticket or 5 tickets for $20.  Remember, it's all for a good cause. 

And we have fabulous prizes.  

So, bring your sense of fun and your wallet. We take cash, check or credit cards.

But even if you don't have money to spare, please drop by to thank the school employees who are for giving so much every day.  Unless you're in the VIP Uncorked area (tickets at the door are $30 each), you have free general admission to enjoy the food donated by Rib Crib, Napoli's, Reasor's and The Branch--and thank a TPS employee.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

School Employees are Our Unsung Heroes

They sweep the floors.

They dish out food.

They answer phones.

They teach our children.

They lose sleep thinking of how to make life better for kids who can't do it themselves.

Thank you to the custodians, the crossing guards, the police officers, the cafeteria workers, the receptionists, the paras, the administrators and teachers who believe in our kids.

They believe in our foundation, too.

10% of the money we donated to this year's grant recipients was donated from Tahlequah Public Schools employees, who participated in payroll deduction.

They believe in us enough to trust us to put their hard earned money where it belongs.

Thank you.

If you believe in us, too, please donate.

Mail checks to:
Tahlequah Public Schools Foundation
1 Plaza South, PMB #276
Tahlequah, OK 74464

or click here to donate online

or use Amazon Smiles when you order online and check Tahlequah Public Schools Foundation as your charity and we will automatically get a donation

or join us this Thursday, May 5, 2016 at the armory from 7-9 to celebrate all who work in our schools.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Celebration of Schools on May 5, 2016

And we appreciate our administrators and support staff, too. Tahlequah Public Schools wouldn't be the same without you.

Celebration of Schools: Uncorked 2016 is a time to say "thank you" to all the people who answered the call to help educate our community's children.

Please join Tahlequah Public Schools Foundation this Thursday (Cinco de Mayo!) from 7-9 at the Armory.  Meet this year's grant recipients--and watch a video featuring their coolness--and thank all the other school personnel who make TPS great.

If you work for the schools, you get a free door prize/raffle ticket. If you're a 2015-2016 grant recipient, you get free access to the VIP Uncorked room. So, teachers, administrators, and support staff, bring a friend who doesn't work for the schools.  Have them buy you more door prize tickets.  Or an auction item.  You deserve it.