By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
The Viper Nation Academic Booster raised more than $100,000 at its annual gala celebrating 10 years of giving. Numerous local couples attended the formal event in downtown Austin at the Bob Bullock Museum on March 7.
“I’m happy to report we were able to raise over $100,000.00 to further enhance education opportunities at our schools,” said Willaim “Biff” Farrell, Viper Nation board president.
Guests arrived to photographers at the red carpet with music filling the night air from the award-winning Vandegrift drumline.
After the dinner, Leander ISD superintendent, Bruce Gearing, gave the community address sharing the importance of education to prepare students for the changing marketplace.
“It was a great night highlighting the success of our students, teachers and administrators,” Farrell said. “I think all of our parents enjoyed interacting with our principals and Dr. Gearing.”
Principals from all of eight LISD schools in Four Points were popular guests.
Mike Howard — Vandegrift’s director of bands who took the Viper band, and its 400 members, to the national spotlight last fall — was the celebrity guest. He conducted the popular “heads or tails” game.
“The gala was such a fun event, and it was so exciting having the Viper drumline welcoming guests, Dr. Gearing speaking and having all of our principals participate in the festivities,” said Contessa Weinheimer, Viper Nation executive director.
There was lots of excitement during the live auction and the dance that followed.
Viper Nation expressed gratitude for all those who made the night possible including donors, guests and workers. The night was orchestrated by the gala committee: Nicole Korensky, chair, Cathy Sunu, photographer, Leila Banse, Anna Fretel, Carrie Hall, Rebbecca Kemp, Kathy Tovar and Keri Wootton.
“Planning has already started to make next year bigger and better than ever,” Weinheimer said.
Photos by Cathy Sunu Photography, and Vandegrift students Laura McClintock & Camille Forster