Windermere High School is hosting a new event this weekend: the first-ever community gala.
The gala, hosted by the school’s Parent Teacher Student Organization, will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, March 25, at the Orange County National Golf Center.
Although the idea originally started as a parent prom, PTSO President Christine Crenshaw said the organization decided to change the focus of the event in order to make the event more inclusive. Any adults from the community are welcome to attend the event, not just WHS parents.
The goal of the gala is to raise as much money as possible to benefit teacher and student grants.
“We were able to get very close to $4,000 in teacher grants this year and we wanted to be able to hopefully double that next year and continue to increase that,” Crenshaw said. “A school of our size, we really are hopeful to be able to give a lot of our teacher grant money away each year. Also, we would like to start the next school year with student grants. We are a PTSO, not just a PTO, and we want to give back to not only the school faculty, but the students, as well.”
The community gala will include a silent auction, a live deejay, an electric dance floor, a buffet-style meal and beverages.
Crenshaw said the PTSO plans to make the event an annual happening.
The school’s PTSO has currently 1,200 members, the biggest ever in WHS’s history.
Since the school opened, Vice President Jeni Roop said she has seen how hard the organization has worked to help faculty, staff and students, and she had an immediate desire to be a part of that.
Vice President Christina Yacavone said she enjoys outfitting the children with exciting spirit wear to represent the school.
Crenshaw said her goal is to continue to watch the PTSO grow in membership, and to be inclusive of not only parents and faculty, but getting more students on board, as well.
“I really think it’s important as a parent, or even as a community member, to be involved in the local schools and the future of our community,” she said. “We want to be able to give back and support the community as best as we can.”
In the past, the PTSO has only been able to give away a few hundred dollars in teacher grants, so the jump to $4,000 for the organization was huge.
“I am passionate about the WHS PTSO because volunteering my time to support our students, teachers and staff will make a difference in the success of our high school overall,” Lisa Lukes, secretary on the PTSO board, said. “I am dedicated to staying involved as a parent and community member to support our high school in an effort to enhance the quality of the educational experience for all students.”
Vice President of Membership Marcy Ready said she is also passionate about being a part of the PTSO.
“It’s wonderful to help make positive impacts on the students, staff and community through our involvement,” she said.
“It’s a great honor and a pleasure to be a part of serving the parents, teachers and students of this school,” Treasurer Sage Shiraishi said. “It also gives me a chance to embarrass my daughter once in a while.”