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Belton Educational Foundation raises $85,000 at annual Gala

The Belton Educational Foundation hosted its largest fundraiser of the year – the 2023 Magical Masquerade Gala and it was a huge success.

(Courtesy photo) Karen Fletcher, BEF Board President; Megan Baxter, Jon S. Ferguson Excellence in Teaching Award Honoree; Sonja Abdelgawad, BEF Executive Director.

An impressive $85,000 was raised to support children and education in the Belton School District. This year’s gala was particularly successful, thanks to the hard work and dedication of sponsors, attendees, and volunteers.

The Belton High School Jazz Band performed for attendees while they socialized and participated in a silent auction. The smooth and upbeat sounds of the jazz music created a lively and enjoyable atmosphere, encouraging guests to mingle and bid on auction items. The officers from the BHS Theater Club performed a moving and inspiring piece, highlighting true stories from recipients of donations; the performance resonated with all those in attendance.

(Courtesy photo) Kathy Avery, Kathy Morton (BEF Gala Committee Chair), and Patte Klaus Schreihofer, BHS Alumni in front of a backdrop designed with artwork from students at Wilckens STEAM Academy.

The Belton Educational Foundation recognized teacher Megan Baxter from Wilckens STEAM Academy with the Jon S. Ferguson Excellence in Teaching Award and a $2,500 grant. Ms. Baxter was chosen for this award because of the measurable impact she makes on her students and their achievement each year. She shared an inspirational message with the crowd, connecting her successful teaching practice with the district’s EPIC character education plan (Equity, Perseverance, Integrity, and Critical thinking).

The generous support of our community of donors, sponsors, attendees, and volunteers is what makes this annual evening event such a magical and successful venture in support of our schools. This collective effort hugely impacts children and education, in that it allows for the BEF programs to be possible. We are truly grateful for your generosity and support.

BEF programs include the Pirate Pantries and BackSnack program, mental health supports and You Matter Belton, teacher grants supporting innovative programs for students, new teacher grants, student scholarships and tuition assistance for dual credit classes, and more. To learn more about BEF, visit their website at


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