BPSF fundraiser brings in record total

Sal Guerrero, BPSF president

More than 400 diners enjoyed a “Fiesta Breakfast” from Crazy Jose’s in Beaumont on Tuesday, Oct. 21, making this year’s Beaumont Public Schools Foundation fundraiser the “best Fiesta Breakfast ever,” according to executive director Beth Rhoades.

“This is our biggest fundraiser yet,” Rhoades said as the end of the breakfast event neared. “I think we’ve raised close to $24,000.”

After the final count, the group did indeed break their old Fiesta Breakfast fundraising record with $25,035 raised this year for students and staff of the Beaumont Independent School District – more than twice the funds raised in 2013.

The BPSF is a separate entity from BISD that gives awards to certified staff and students for innovative learning ideas. The mission of BPSF is to “recognize creativity and excellence in the Beaumont Independent School District,” according to the group’s literature. Since its beginning in spring 1993, the BPSF has given more than $202,000 in funding to 303 students and certified staff. The funds raised at this year’s Fiesta Breakfast go toward the group’s mission, and will provide grants for BISD students and staff this school year and, with the group’s growing endowment, into perpetuity.

Community members filed in and filled up on authentic Mexican cuisine at the Oct. 21 event. Former Beaumont Mayor Evelyn Lord, judges Bob Wortham and Larry Thorne, BISD superintendent Vern Butler and numerous city leaders attended the event. BPSF board president Sal Guerrero said he was very pleased with the turnout and the community’s support.

“I think it’s nice that they came out and showed their support of the foundation,” Guerrero said. “This is our major fundraiser. We collect those dollars to give out the grants we give to students and teachers. Typically, they (the grants) are under $1,000. They are for creative thinking and things that enhance education, something that is not provided by the school district. It could range from a sheep heart to … things to enhance reading for Pre-K students.”

“A lot of the materials provided by the grants help with STAAR testing too,” Rhoades added.

“We don’t want to do just everyday things,” added Guerrero. “We want to do things that wow the kids and will affect the most.”

Rhoades said many of the items provided by the grants may be used multiple times over several years. An example is the $1,000 grant received by Roy Guess Elementary teacher Stacy Hopkins for supplies for her project “Talking Hands, Hearing Eyes.” Hopkins requested learning materials to benefit hearing impaired students in her class including sign language dictionaries, “multiple meanings” posters, metaphor and idiom workbooks, “Street Speak” guide series, and other related resources meant to increase the oral, signed and written language of deaf students, items that may be used for hearing impaired students for years to come.