Fort Dodge Community Schools Foundation to host ‘Go Big, Go Dodgers’ event this Saturday

-Messenger file photo
Fort Dodge artist Isaiah Degen works on painting during the Fort Dodge Community School District Foundation's annual fundraiser "Go Big, Go Dodgers," at Soldier Creek Winery in 2023.

As the executive director of the Fort Dodge Community Schools Foundation, Nik Moser is always looking for ways to build positive momentum in the district he serves.

Moser feels like now, more than ever before, he’s far from alone in that pursuit.

The FDCSF’s “Go Big, Go Dodgers” event is this Saturday evening in Fort Dodge. It’s back at the Laramar Ballroom — an original, long-time home for the annual fundraiser.

The timing of both the location change and the night’s scheduled festivities couldn’t be better in Moser’s eyes, given the recent stream of positive news surrounding the Fort Dodge Community School District.

“I just think it’s a great opportunity to celebrate being a Dodger,” said Moser, a 2001 FDSH graduate who is in his fourth year as the organization’s director. “If you look at what our leadership is doing for the teachers, students and just throughout the community in general, it’s a very exciting time for (the present and future of) Fort Dodge.

-Messenger file photo
Mary Kay Daniel gets some of the food from Olde Boston’s during the Fort Dodge Community School District Foundation’s annual fundraiser “Go Big, Go Dodgers,” at Soldier Creek Winery in 2023.

“Speaking from both (a professional perspective) and as a parent with children in the district, I’m really proud to be a part of it. We have the recent employee bonuses, the (4%) raise news (for district teachers in each of the next two calendar years), the Dodger Stadium renovation…it’s encouraging to see consistent investments in our people and our facilities. And as a Foundation, we’re happy to do our part and help the district continue to grow and move in the right direction.”

The “Go Big, Go Dodgers” event will offer a wide variety of activities, with live performances by local musician and teacher Jared Benson and artist Isaiah Degen, a Fort Dodge Senior High graduate.

The festivities begin at 6 p.m. at the Laramar Ballroom, located at 710 First Ave. N.

“It’s great to be back at the Laramar,” Moser said. “This was there for a long time back 15 or 20 years ago…we’re looking forward to having more space and hosting at an iconic Fort Dodge venue.”

Tickets are $20 each for district employees and $40 for non-district employees.

Red and black attire is encouraged. There will be heavy hors d’oeuvres, live and silent auctions, games, prizes and other forms of entertainment.

“We have a really focused local flair to a lot of our auction items,” Moser said. “There will be signed pieces from Drake Ayala, Jalen Adams, Asle Thorson, Audi Crooks…we have so many great kids (from the area) doing terrific things at a very high level right now, and we wanted to recognize that. We also had a number of (regional) businesses step up and get involved like usual.”

A handful of destination vacation packages are also being offered as the auction headliners.

All proceeds from Saturday’s event support the Fort Dodge Community School District.

The Fort Dodge Community Schools Foundation was first established in 1985 to help educators and students go above and beyond what district funding allows, with grants for professional development, technology and other educational needs. Since 2011, the FDCS Foundation has granted nearly $1 million to projects in the schools that enhance the education experience for students in the Fort Dodge Community School District.

“We just really feel like we’re in a good place right now, with (new superintendent) Josh Porter providing stability and positive leadership at the top,” Moser said. “That makes my job easier, makes the Foundation’s job easier, and pushes everything in the right direction. Josh understands and values the role the Foundation plays in our district. He’s been very active in working with us and making sure we’re growing together. That’s huge.

“We have a lot of big projects in the works, from the Anatomage Table (a technologically advanced 3D anatomy visualization and virtual dissection tool for anatomy and physiology education) for health students all the way down through meeting other classroom needs for so many of our teachers and kids. This is our biggest fundraising event, and helps the Foundation support the district as a both a complementary and supplementary resource.”

Current FDCSF board members include president Hope Brown; vice president Dan Scott; secretary Kelly Hinds; as well as Joe Vonsak, Lindsey McKinney, Jennifer Pederson, Kyle Bartlett, John Daniel, Rick Lamoureux, Susan Ahlers Leman, Zach Mason, Holly McClintock, Amy Pingel and Troy Schroeder.

Tickets for Saturday may be purchased in advance on the foundation’s website at https://www.fdcsfoundation.org/go-big-go-dodgers-event. Tickets are available at the door the night of the event as well.

The live auction link is online at https://tinyurl.com/GoDodgersAuction.

Sponsorship is also available through the FDCS Foundation website.


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