But attendees were there for a reason far greater than food and merriment – to benefit Davis County’s youngsters.
The Davis Education Foundation’s annual gala at the Davis Conference Center, here, featured entertainment by Paige O’Hara, the voice of Disney’s automated heroine, Belle, in the critically acclaimed “Beauty and the Beast.”
The veteran Broadway performer, opera singer and recording star entertained as attendees finished an elegant four-course meal, all in a royal-like setting.
Meanwhile, laughter mixed with the mystery and power of magic was delivered to the audience by Brad Barton. His life was turned around by a Greek wrestling coach who transformed a skinny rebel and created a world class athlete.
Nearly $500,000 has been raised over the past year to support a variety of programs in the school, giving funding beyond what tax dollars can provide.
Thanks to donations, big and small, from individuals and businesses, such programs as Child Spree are possible, the audience was told.
That program received enough funding to provide coats and other school necessities for 120 students in need.
Several businesses were singled out for their support. Lakeview Hospital, a platinum sponsor of Friday’s event, was thanked for its Midnight Madness all-night softball tournament sponsorship that netted more than $7,800. Chevron, the other Platinum sponsor, was also praised for its support.
The Sportsplex in Kaysville provided more than $7,000 through a “10 for 10” promotion, while Entertainment Publications, which produces a popular coupon book and online coupon service, donated $1,545 and counting.
Deals That Matter, meanwhile, which provides the “daily deal” online, was thanked for its more than $15,000 donation. Both the Deals That Matter and Sportsplex donations will continue.
On average, Davis educators spend about $1,500 of their own money per year to provide learning tools for their students, Foundation Executive Director Brent Severe said.
And in lean budget years, such as this one, millions of dollars have to be trimmed from the school district’s budget, the audience was reminded. It’s help from outside sources that works to close the gap.
“Dedicated volunteers are working to meet the needs of this generation, aided by private support,” said Foundation board member Vanett White.