‘After the Buzzer Bash’ fundraiser planned for Feb. 7

Thursday, January 30, 2020

SIKESTON — When the final buzzer sounds during the Sikeston versus Poplar Bluff basketball game on Feb. 7 at the Sikeston Field House, patrons are encouraged to continue their support at a new fundraiser for the district.

Sikeston Public Schools Foundation will host the inaugural “After the Buzzer Bash,” which begins directly after the game at Sikeston Jaycees Sponsor’s Building.

“We’re really excited about this new event and hope for a good turnout,” said Amy Blanton, executive director of the Foundation. “We’ve had a really good response from sponsors.”

The event is very casual, Blanton said. There will be appetizers, drinks and music, and attendees must be 21 years and older.

“The tailgate we have in the fall is really centered around being a family-friendly event, and that happens before the football game, and Foundation members were talking about doing something after a basketball game and having an adult-only event,” Blanton said. “So, that’s how this came about. Plus, there’s so much community support for basketball.”

This new event will replace the 5k sponsored by the Foundation in the spring, Blanton said.

“The SPS Foundation typically hosts a 5k event in the spring, and we’ve just seen the trend of the 5k going down. People are doing more half marathons and full marathons,” Blanton said.

Even if individuals don’t make the basketball game on Feb. 7, they should still feel free to attend the bash, which will begin at 9 p.m., Blanton said.

Tickets, which are $25, will be available at the door, but people are encouraged to purchase them in advance, Blanton said.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the R-6 district.

Over the past five years, the Foundation has contributed $128,000 back into the Sikeston R-6 classrooms through teaching grants, Blanton said.

“We’ve already received several teaching grant applications for this year,” Blanton said. “Teachers can apply for those grants, and we have a subcommittee of our Foundation board that goes through a process to award the grants.”

The Foundation announces winners of the classroom teaching grants in the spring after R-6 teachers have followed the grant application process.

“We hope to take away some of that financial burden for those teachers who are having to purchase some items for their classrooms, and the more money we can raise, the more we can help,” Blanton said, adding this year’s classroom grant applications are due to the Foundation by March 2.

From STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) materials for individual classrooms to Chromebooks and iPads, funds provided by the Foundation have been used to purchase a wide variety of items and experiences for R-6 students, teachers and their classrooms, Blanton said.

Through the years, the Foundation has also helped fund the “Makers’ Space,” which is a learning space, at both the high school and junior high libraries as well as a three-dimensional zSpace computer, she said.

“We’ve provided funding to send our senior music students — in band, orchestra, choir — to the St. Louis Symphony,” Blanton noted.

The Foundation has also donated $750 to help fund scholarships for Girls State, and it also pays for the entire SHS junior class to the ACT, Blanton said.

The Foundation and district are fortunate to have community support, she said.

“Our community is amazingly generous, and our local businesses are so supportive of all of our endeavors,” Blanton said. “They are so generous to give back to the schools through us by sponsoring our events.”

For tickets or information about sponsorships, contact Blanton at (573) 472-2581, ext. 1217.

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