PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg USD 250 Foundation hosted its 2019 Feast and Follies event Wednesday at Memorial Auditorium.
“Feast and Follies is our primary fundraiser for the year, our signature fundraiser so to speak,” said Jeff Elliott, president of the USD 250 Foundation, a nonprofit that supports Pittsburg Community School District. $51,000 in scholarships was given this year to 51 students, in varying amounts. 2019 recipients of $1,250 scholarships, the largest awarded at Feast and Follies, included Amber Dial, Nicole-Marie Konopelko, Madison Nagel, Andrew Riachi, and Paul Worsley.
“Funds raised tonight by our corporate sponsors, attendees, and others will fund the scholarships. We also gave out $18,000 in grants and occasionally we’re able to do other things,” Elliott said. “Some of the scholarships are given by the foundation itself and others are given through donor-advised scholarships by individuals that use the foundation as a conduit.”
Feast and Follies 2019 began with a silent auction and dinner, followed by presentation of the scholarships, and finally a performance by Pittsburg High School performing arts students.
Homer Cole, a member of the PHS class of 1943, said he loves attending Feast and Follies and supporting the USD 250 Foundation, particularly because the cost of attending college is much higher today than it was in the past.
“When I went it was only $36 a semester,” said Cole, “but I got out in 1950.”
The Class of 1943 Scholarship was given this year to Madisyn Robison and Alyssa Sanders.
Dominic Stefanoni, recipient of a $250 Friends of the Performing Arts Scholarship this year, said it was especially nice to get the performing arts scholarship because he’s been involved in performing arts through his whole high school career, although getting a scholarship at all came as a surprise. “I was really excited, I didn’t even think I was going to get one,” he said.
Stefanoni said he has usually been involved in PHS’s three annual performances, including a play and two musicals, although he wasn’t this year because he was busy with other activities.
Stefanoni was part of the PHS Band’s performance at Feast and Follies, however, playing tenor saxophone.
“I love jazz, so it was really nice to play here,” Stefanoni said.
USD 250’s corporate sponsors also spoke favorably about the annual Feast and Follies event.
“The pillar of any community is education, and obviously our youth is our future, so it’s very important for us to support USD 250 and local school districts to make sure that we have a bright future,” said Commerce Bank Market President Brian Sutton.
Aside from the dinner, silent auction and the opportunity to meet with other donors at Feast and Follies, Sutton said the student performance is a highlight of the event.
“It’s fantastic,” he said. “They do an excellent job.” He also encouraged anyone interested in supporting local students to donate to the USD 250 Foundation and attend next year’s Feast and Follies.
“It’s a great event, it supports our community, supports our kids, and it’s very entertaining,” Sutton said. “You get to see the talents of the high school kids, and they’re phenomenal. So I would absolutely ask people to come out and give it a chance and, you know, have a good time doing it.”