Go Big, Go Dodgers

Annual fundraiser helps teachers, students accomplish big things in the classroom

-Messenger file photo by Hans Madsen
Catherine Casey, of Fort Dodge, carefully pulls out one of the sticks while playing a game of Kerplunk with her husband, Merv, during the annual Go Big, Go Dodgers fundraiser held at Fort Frenzy in 2018.

Programmable robots, metal workshop tools, and headphones are just some examples of materials that have enhanced learning in the Fort Dodge Community School District.

And each of those materials are things the Fort Dodge Community School Foundation has gifted to teachers, which in turn has benefited students.

But the Foundation wouldn’t be able to provide teachers and students with these instruments without its annual event, Go Big, Go Dodgers.

Go Big, Go Dodgers is the Foundation’s biggest fundraiser of the year. It will be held Friday at Fort Frenzy from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Cost is $40 per ticket.

-Messenger file photo by Hans Madsen
Vera and Howard Hartman, of Fort Dodge, look over some of the silent auction items available at the annual Go Big, Go Dodgers fundraiser for the Fort Dodge Community School Foundation during the 2018 Go Big, Go Dodgers.

The event includes food, cash bar, tailgating games, and a live auction.

A private airplane ride to Des Moines that includes dinner at 801 Chophouse, a Dodger football experience, Dodger cheerleader experience, tickets to Tree Town Music Festival in Forest City, and a dinner for eight with Chef Michael Hirst, director of the Iowa Central Community College culinary arts program, are among the items that will be auctioned off.

Big games such as giant Jenga and Connect Four will be played.

The popular local band Lone Tree Revival will be performing. According to the band’s social media page, they are a rock band with a funky back beat and soulful horn section. Members include Dan Cassady, trombone; Tim Miller, trumpet; Steve Nelson, saxophones; Sean Minikis, guitar and vocals; Jeremy Ober, guitar and vocals; Jeremy Pearson, bass and vocals; and Dean Davis, drums.

“This year we are really excited to have Lone Tree Revival,” FDCS Foundation Director Molly Nelson Molly Nelson said. “They are local legends. They play anything from Bruno Mars to Chicago, rock and roll, R&B.”

FDCS Foundation President Jennifer Pederson said the fundraiser is a chance to support staff and students.

“This is a celebration of our amazing 3,700 students and nearly 600 staff members,” Pederson said. “We are asking business leaders, parents, staff and the entire community to celebrate with us by either attending the event or making a donation to support our schools.”

In 2018, gifts to the Foundation put $46,000 into classrooms. Gifts to the Foundation have helped put more than $380,000 into classrooms since 2011.

“Our teachers have amazing ideas for enhancing education in our schools,” Pederson said. “Gifts to the FDCS Foundation allow them to add educational items that aren’t covered by the district budget.”

Cooper first grade teacher Jeanna Gronbach added programmable robots called CleverBots to her classroom after receiving a grant from the Foundation.

“The students love them,” Gronbach said. “They are not only increasing their technology skills, but what may be even more important is what they are learning about collaboration, communication and problem-solving. We are very appreciative of the Foundation and everyone who helped add these to our classroom.”

To buy tickets or for more information visit fdcsfoundation.org or contact FDCS Foundation Director Molly Nelson at 574-5327 or mnelson@fdcsfoundation.org.


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