The Westerville Education Foundation (WEF) recently announced that funds raised from the auction of local celebrity art will benefit the newly formed Westerville Student Education Foundation (WSEF). Celebrity art will be auctioned later this month during the WEF’s annual gala, An Artful Affair.
Celebrity Artists were inspired by the news that the sale of their artwork would benefit the WSEF. Westerville City Council Chair Michael Heyeck offered to match the winning bid on his artwork up to $1,000. Westerville Mayor Craig Treneff followed by pledging up to a $1,001 match for the sale of his art, and Westerville City School District (WCSD) Board of Education Member Nancy Nestor-Baker also pledged up to a $1,002 match for the sale of her art.
Earlier this year, leadership from the WEF and WCSD worked with students from all three high schools to found the WSEF. The mission of WSEF is to give students the opportunity and resources to take the ideas they have for improving their schools and community and turn them into action and impact.
This initiative represents a focus of the WEF to support student ideas with its funding and other resources. Last fall, WEF funded the Warrior2Warrior peer-mentoring program, proposed by Westerville North Senior Kendall Wright. This spring, the WEF provided grant funding for a program called Stop the Bleed, proposed by Westerville Central Senior Payton McCarthy. WEF Executive Director Colleen Moidu said that student leaders and projects like these are what led the organization to create the WSEF.
“Our students have unique and sophisticated perspectives on issues that affect them and our community,” Moidu said. “They are ready to make positive changes in the world and our goal with the WSEF is to support them, in collaboration with the district staff and community, to have an impact now.”
Some of the issues the WSEF plans to support include recycling/composting, mental health, inclusion of our diverse student body, and school safety. Student members of WSEF recently created and released a video promoting their organization and cause: https://youtu.be/N3Isi6jhydY.
“What is happening with the WSEF is incredibly innovative,” said Dr. John Kellogg, WCSD Superintendent. “As far as I know, this is the first student-led Education Foundation.”
Around the same time that the WEF began working with students to create the WSEF, a group of 20 local celebrities and community leaders gathered at the WEF’s Celebrity Sip and Sketch to create original pieces of artwork to help the WEF fund innovative projects in Westerville City Schools. Celebrity artwork also will be on display at Mount Carmel St. Ann’s over the summer, recognizing the Celebrity Artists and the purchasers of their artwork. The initiative recently earned coverage in the local newspaper: (https://www.thisweeknews.com/news/20190129/westerville-education-foundations-leaders-hope-brush-strokes-yield-bids).
Tickets are still available for An Artful Affair, presented by Education First Credit Union, Mount Carmel St. Ann’s, and Alliance Data. The event is being held at the Lakes Golf and Country Club on Saturday, April 27, 2019. In addition to the celebrity artwork, there will be close to 100 pieces of high-quality artwork from local professional and practicing artists, live music, food and fun. For a preview of the artwork and to purchase tickets, visit the event webpage at www.artfulaffair.info.
An Artful Affair Sponsors include: TRIAD Architects & Facility Solutions, Fifth Third Capital Markets, Nationwide Children’s, WASA - Westerville Area Soccer Association, DCTS - Dayton Cincinnati Technology Solutions, Robert Woodruff, 2K General Company, Dr. Larry and Cynthia DeVese, Elford Inc., First Commonwealth Bank, GCI - Geotechnical Consultants Inc., Heiberger Paving Inc./ Mid America Sports Surfacing ,Jericho Financial, Gallagher Benefits, Nichols & Company CPAs, Northstar Family Dental, Osborn Engineering, Rich & Gillis Law Group, SchoolPointe Inc., Associated Insurance, BDO USA LLP, Bradley Payne Advisors, Gandee & Associates, Gordon Food Service, Hutta & Hutta Orthodontics, i9 Sports, Limbach Company, The Lynch Family, Nancy and Todd McFarland, Stifel Public Finance, Vertical Communications, Kenneth L. Wright, Westerville Area Realty Association.
For more information, contact Colleen Moidu at ExecutiveDirector@WestervilleEducationFoundation.com.