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Celebration of Champions

14 Apr 2013

The Asheville City Schools Foundation will honor exceptional leaders of the Asheville City Schools district at the annual Celebration for Champions, to be held at UNCA Sherrill Center, Sunday, April 14th at 6:00 pm. The winners chosen from a group of a dozen community-selected nominees, include Gina Gallo through her nonprofit leadership with the United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County, who has continued to be an advocate for the support and success of middle school students in new and comprehensive ways, former Co-Director of Asheville City Schools Foundation, Leah Ferguson and Asheville Grown Business Alliance’s founder, Franzi Charen two community partners who founded the “Go Local Card” campaign raising funds and awareness for schools and local businesses, Norma Palmer with PAWS on a Mission who has been arranging therapeutic dogs to come to Hall Fletcher Elementary two days a week for the last five years, and Tracy Dew who is a parent whose tireless volunteerism led to the creation of the Community Outreach Coordinator position because of her many efforts.

For the first time ever, a fifth award will also be chosen through an online voting poll that will be posted on the Asheville City Schools Foundation’s Facebook page. This “Community Choice Award” will be announced at the Celebration of Champions event and selected from several of the nominees. “The Community Choice Award, is all about engaging our community in the decision making process-because these are their schools’ true heroes.” says Kate Pett, Executive Director of the Asheville City Schools Foundation.

Celebration for Champions is the Asheville City Schools Foundation’s signature annual event. Since 1989, Celebration has raised money for the Foundation’s cornerstone programs: student scholarships, professional development opportunities for teachers, and parent and community involvement. The Celebration of Champions award encourages individuals and organizations to engage with city schools and recognize the value a thriving public school system provides for the whole community.

The public is invited to celebrate the entire group of nominees, which includes Zach Wetmore and Phillip Padilla of the Asheville Fire Department, Tim Hanlon, a parent at Ira B. Jones Elementary, Ray and Debbie Gurriere volunteers at Hall Fletcher Elementary, John Ptak a volunteer at Isaac Dickson Elementary, Jim Wallis a volunteer for Asheville City Schools, Everette William Clark a volunteer for Asheville City Schools and Asheville High School’s SERVE club volunteering with Isaac Dickson’s Bright IDEAS program.

The mission of the Asheville City Schools Foundation is to promote educational success for all students in Asheville City Schools by engaging the entire community to support enriching and innovative educational activities. For more information about Celebration of Champions or the Asheville City Schools Foundation, see our web site at

Contact: Erica Bell
(828) 350-6139

Asheville City Schools Foundation
85 Mountain St.
P.O. Box 3196
Asheville, NC 28802