Jeans and Jewels fundraiser for District 834


Photo by Rachel Steil

Several Stillwater Area High School attended the Jeans and Jewels fundraiser to support District 834. “It’s fun for providers and teachers, and that makes it a good fundraising idea,” said junior Megan Ellison.

Alex Eitzman

The Partnership Plan, founded in 1989, has been supporting District 834 Stillwater Public Schools through projects and programs to enhance education for their students. As an non-profit organization, The Partnership Plan donates grants to teachers to improve lessons and teachings that are not possible to achieve with the regular budgets. During the 2013-2014 school year, 32 grants were awarded generously and 4.5 million dollars overall have been invested. On Saturday March 8, they will host their eighth annual Jeans and Jewels fundraiser, celebrating 25 years of funding for Stillwater Public Schools.

We conducted a live auction and a Call for Need. During the Call for Need, everyone gave and we raised $34,000,” said Lee Valksvik, the host of Jeans and Jewels.

This special event took place at the Prom Center in Oakdale, Minn. starting at 6 p.m. Individual tickets costed $75 and included all the great features this fundraiser had to offer. The event consisted of a cocktail hour with a champagne bar, candy buffet, wine raffle, photo booth, fancy sit down dinner and music by Stillwater Area High School’s talented, chamber orchestra Con Amici Orchestra.

Con Amici was asked to perform because this is what we’re made for. As a group we are talented and were able to pull a group of songs together, perfect for a benefit like this,” said junior Megan Ellison, a violist in Con Amici.

The main event of the evening was the live and silent auction. A few of the prizes guests could auction included a weekend at North Shore log cabin, North East Minneapolis Brewers tour, MIMI Yacht dinner cruise, Minnesota Twins suite, dinner at the Lake Elmo Inn with Chuck Logan, VIP parking at Stillwater Area High School, Imagine Dragons concert tickets, golf at the White Bear Yacht Club and many more.

At the event, we played the Head and Tails game. We sell beads you wear around your head. When we play the game, everyone with beads stands up and puts their hands on their head or “their tail.” We flip a coin, if it’s heads and your hands are on your head, you continue to play. If not, you are out. We continue until one person remains and that person receives $500 cash,” said Valsvik.

The proceeds from the annual event funds the programs and activities for The Partnership Plan to increase the learning environment for Stillwater students. Funds contribute to classroom grants, district wide enterprise and improvements in classroom technologies such as the STEM labs.

It’s fun for providers and teachers, and that makes it a good fundraising idea,” said Ellison.

This year, the Jeans and Jewels’ host was Lee Valsvik; a fellow Stillwater Public Schools parent. Valsvik speaks on KOOL 108 9 2 p.m.during the week and is a regular on KARE 11 Saturday mornings with Belinda and Rena. Prior to KOOL 108, she was on Cities 97’s morning show for 10 years and KDWB’s morning show for 12 years. She has been hosting Jeans and Jewels for years now and hosts many other banquets and events throughout the Twins Cities.

As host of Jeans and Jewels, I am the voice in the room. I help with the Silent Auction. Announcing how much time is left to bid and then I announce the close of the silent auction,” said Valsvik.

Jeans and Jewels is an effective, beneficial fundraiser for Stillwater because the proceeds help an important cause and it involves the community with the action taken towards improving Stillwater Schools. The Partnership Plan is always there with a helping hand for encouraging educational development. After a night full of fun, families can left the event with great prizes and reassurance that their money has great purpose in the Stillwater community.