NEEF Starlight Gala breaks fundraising record

Mar 2, 2019 | News

The North East Educational Foundation raised a record-breaking amount at the 28th annual Starlight Gala held at the Witte Museum on March 1.

Cheerleaders and the Reagan HS drumline were on hand to greet business partners, elected officials, educational leaders and community members who teamed up to raise more than $220,000 throughout the evening. Proceeds raised will benefit North East ISD students.

As guests arrived, they browsed through silent auction items, posed in a fun photo booth and enjoyed the Johnson HS Jazz Band.

The event kicked-off with a warm welcome from Gala Committee Chair Amanda Crouch.

“Tonight is all about giving back because the children in the North East School District deserve the best,” Crouch said.

She added that the foundation funds classroom projects that enrich the education of North East ISD students. Last year alone, the foundation funded more than $300,000 for more than 60 grants across the district.

“As everyone is aware, this is a critical time for the future of public education and your presence here tonight is so meaningful for the teachers and children of the North East Independent School District,” Crouch said.

Hidden Forest Elementary School students Emerson and Berkley Prater followed Crouch with the Invocation.

After introducing elected officials and district leaders, it was time for professional auctioneer Scotty Gibbs to take the stage.

Gibbs kept guests bidding through live auctions that included a Decadent Dessert by Chef Gottardy, a Toast to Teachers and Gottardy’s Grant.

A surprise video featuring business and community leaders thanking Superintendent Dr. Brian Gottardy for this many year of service stirred emotions in guests who were happy to contribute to Gottardy’s Grant.

“Being in public education for 34 years and superintendent of the great North East Independent School District for eight years, I don’t get surprised too often anymore, but I was blown away tonight by your generosity all night long,” Dr. Gottardy told the crowd.

To close off the evening, Gottardy thanked everyone in attendance for their contributions.

“I mean that in two ways, obviously the money is nice, but I really believe a lot of what we do is about the passion that we have for education and the passion that we have for kids being successful whether that is in the classroom or outside the classroom,” Dr. Gottardy concluded.

NEEF extends a special thank you to the generosity of our sponsors listed below:


Energy Testing & Balance, INC.
Garza Bomberger & Associates
Joeris General Contractor
Pfluger Associates Architects
Terracon Consultants, Inc.

3Sixty Integrated
F.A. Nunnelly General Contractor
Lifetouch Photography
Satterfield & Pontikes Construction, Inc.
Schulman, Lopez, Hoffer & Adelstein, LLP
Alamo Architects
Guido Construction
Intelligent Engineering Services, LLP
Jefferson Bank
Nothing Bundt Cakes
O’Connell Robertson
Pape-Dawson Engineers, Inc.
Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.

Alpha Consulting Engineers, Inc.
Bear Oil Company
CDS Muery
CEC & Kaarlsen/Lammers
DBR Engineering Consultants
Firstmark Credit Union
Frost Bank Capital Markets
Hilltop Securities Inc.
Hughey Family
Intertek – PSI
Linebarger Attorneys at Law
Lopez Salas Architects/CFZ Group
Markesmen General Contractor
MTR – RSCR Engineers
PBK Architects
PErsyn Engineering
Platinum Wealth Solutions of Texas
Raba Kistner, Inc.
Stifel, Nicolaus & ompany
Zachry Corporation

Alamo Beer Company
Copa Wine Bar
Lifetouch Photography
Platinum Wealth Solutions of Texas

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