Grape Escape Is Grand Success

WSVEF Event Raises $113,000 for Local Schools

A very rainy Saturday night did not dampen the fun, excitement, and generosity at the White Salmon Valley Education Foundation’s (WSVEF) 9th Annual Gorge Grape Escape.  Some 200 people turned out to Skyline Hospital for the big event, and they dug deep into their pockets, raising over $113,000 to benefit White Salmon Schools.

“The results exceeded our expectations of the night,” said WSVEF Board President Jason Spadaro.  “We’ve been working hard the last couple years to expand our reach in the community, and it appears to have paid off.  The community stepped up to help our schools, and the outcome is uplifting.”

Participants enjoyed an amazing gourmet dinner and appetizers created and donated by Paul Beneventi.  One reveler was heard to remark the next day that she “dreamed about those scalloped potatoes last night!”.

Dozens of people vied for prizes from hats to trips at the Wine Toss and Match 2, while most participants made sure they had tickets in the “Grand Raffle” to win the coveted prizes.  And the bidding was brisk, energetic and downright competitive for the event’s exciting auction items.

“It’s gratifying to live in a town that places such a high priority on our schools and our children,” said WSVEF Executive Director Anne Marie Slater.  “The monies from this that go to our endowment fund, and the grants that will be made because of these donations, will help our children for years to come.”

At least 25% of each donation goes into the Foundation’s endowment fund, and approximately $40,000 a year goes to the schools through the granting process.

The WSVEF has granted, or secured granting, for 112 programs in our local schools totaling over $1.3 million since 2006.

Generous sponsors of the event included:  Insitu, SDS Lumber, ICE, Northshore Medical Group, Best Western PLUS Hood River Inn, Zepher, CenterPointe Community Bank, Cardinal Glass, Lesley Haskell at Jaques Sharp Law, Matt Hanson at Proactive Financial Management, RiverHood Rentals, Wilcox & Flegel, Mengis Capital Management, Skyline Hospital, Harvest Market, McCoy Holliston Insurance, Columbia Bank, Republic Services, Adams & Hood Metal Fabricators, and RiverHood Rentals.

The WSVEF is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation dedicated to enhancing the quality of public education within our community by creating a stable source of supplemental funding for curriculum enhancement and investment in our teachers.   For more information, or to make a donation, visit or call (509)493-1175.

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