The Mukilteo Schools Foundation 2019 fundraising breakfast was a rousing success. The breakfast was held at Mariner High School in celebration of Mariner’s 50th birthday. And yes, we had cake and candles for the staff and a shout out to all Mariner graduates in attendance!
The program was emceed by Mark Wright of King 5 News and the Keynote speaker was Sandra Vea. Sandra was born and raised in Seattle. She earned a B.A. from the University of Washington, an M.Ed. from Western Washington University, and an M.A. from Seattle University. During the course of earning degrees, she developed skills in research and writing. She has worked as a public educator for 25 years and is a Counselor at Mariner High School.
When Sandra met and started dating her partner Alan Abe in 2007, she was eventually introduced to his parents, Masao and Doris. Sandra took an interest in them, they were like living history books, in her mind, and so whenever she spent time with them she would interview them, informally. After Masao or Doris would share pieces of their lives with her, she would then spend time researching. This included contacting historians, reaching out to professors, and reviewing books and literature pertaining to Japanese-American history. Sandra eventually published Rising Son: A US Soldier’s Secret and Heroic Role in World War II to chronicle Masao’s military history. Sandra shared photos and documents from her research during her presentation.
The breakfast program also included an announcement establishing the James Abbott Foster College Fund. Mr. Abbott is a Microsoft employee and graduate of Mariner High School. While he was a student he was in foster care and credits his interactions with Mariner High School teachers that set him on a path to college and a successful career in the technology industry. Mr Abbott shared his experiences with the audience and received a standing ovation when he announced the $54,400 fund. The fund consists of his personal donation and a Microsoft Matching Grant. The fund will be directed towards supporting the Mariner student population as they prepare for their lives after high school.
Three Mukilteo School District teachers who received Mukilteo School District Grants during the 2018-2019 school year – Michelle Harris of Aces High School, Lani De La Cruz of Mariner High School, and Adam Gross of Fairmount Elementary School – shared pictures and stories from how the grants were used in their classrooms.
The program was rounded out by an appeal from donations by Jerod Grant, a Racial Equity Consultant at Cultures Connecting and graduate of Mariner High School. His appeal helped the Foundation reach it’s goal of $50,000 in donations at the breakfast.
The breakfast was catered by Mukilteo School District Nutrition Services by Sodexo and event planning support was provided by Synchronicity Events. Music was provided by Mariner High School’s Chamber Orchestra and Avant Blues Jazz Choir. Guests left with a Mukilteo Schools Foundation Supporter coffee mug as a thank you gift.
We hope to see you next year at the 2020 breakfast on Wednesday, November 11th at Mariner High School.