Irving Schools Foundation celebrates kickoff for Legacy Gala


Preparations for this year’s Legacy Gala were in full swing at the Irving Schools Foundation (ISF) Legacy Gala Kickoff Party, which was hosted at the La Cima Club in Las Colinas on Thursday, Oct. 5. The Legacy Gala is the biggest event of the year for Irving Schools Foundation.

“The Legacy Gala is the culmination of all of the community support that we’ve received,” said Connie Dunn, chairman for this year’s Legacy Gala. “We’ve called on all our sponsors, and they are so generous to come back year after year to support the Irving Schools Foundation. The Legacy Gala is a night of celebration.”

The theme for this year’s gala is “Celebrate America.” To illustrate the theme, Dunn and other members of the gala committee wore dresses and outfits from different periods in American history, giving party-goers a few ideas for the gala.

“The Legacy Gala has always been centered around an exotic theme,” Dunn said. “One year was Paris, one year was Rio, and Russia was last year’s theme. We encourage our guests to consider dressing up like the theme of the evening. We’re giving you ideas with all of our costumes about how to dress for ‘Celebrate America.’”

Terri Oliver, the program and events coordinator for ISF, has served on the gala committee for the past four years.

“This is the primary fundraiser for the Irving Schools Foundation,“ Oliver said. “With this event, we raise money to help implement the programs that the district already has going and to supplement those programs. It’s really great for us to be able to help all the students of Irving ISD along with the staff of Irving ISD. It’s a very exciting time for us.”

Last year’s gala raised over $431,000. This year, ISF hopes to hit the $500,000 mark.

Christina Winters-Gears, chairman of the ISF’s Alumni Foundation, started the first Legacy Gala back in 2010 and has chaired five of the past seven events.

“I came up with the idea because we used to have a lunch in September, and it was a lot of work and we maybe raised $20,000,” Winters-Gears said. “We needed to have something at night with all corporations. We needed to have a live auction, silent auction, entertainment, and we needed to do a theme. That’s how it got started.”

Winters-Gears added that the theme “Celebrate America,” is not only very relevant, but also very meaningful.

“I think America is suffering from a lot of different avenues and I think celebrating America is very poignant right now,” Winters-Gears said. “We need to know that our country is so important, not only for us, but the rest of the world. I look at us as the stake in the ground for the rest of the world. I think we all need to pull together and support each other, and this is the perfect theme.”

Winters-Gears and everyone at Irving Schools Foundation encourages everyone to come out to the gala and not only support ISF, but to make a real difference in the lives of Irving students.

“To those that are given much, much is expected,” Winters-Gears said. “All of us are so fortunate just to live in the United States, and most of us here and the people who are coming to the gala are very fortunate people. We have an obligation to contribute.”

The 7th Annual Irving Schools Foundation Legacy Gala, “Celebrate America,” will be held Friday, Nov. 17 at the Four Seasons Resort in Las Colinas. Tickets are available via the Irving Schools Foundation website or by calling 972-600-5018.

About the Author

Ariel Graham
Ariel Graham is a freelance reporter and blogger. She graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronic Media & Communication in December of 2011. Prior to moving to Dallas, she worked for AM 790 KFYO in Lubbock, Texas, as a commercial voiceover actress, board operator, and producer for “Lubbock’s First News” & “The Chad Hasty Show.” She also wrote a weekly technology blog “The Geek Girl Report,” as well as various news stories and podcasts for the station. She is currently working on her new blog “Super Geek Girl Report,” and in her free time, she enjoys drawing, video editing, and playing video games.