Today I got to meet Bridget Burris. After a morning coffee and five minutes of chatting with her about the mom guilt we all feel, I know it’s clear she’s going to be my new best friend. She is the definition of fun. It’s no wonder she stepped up to chair The New School’s annual Spring Party on Feb. 13 hosted at the Arkansas Air Museum with an appropriate theme “Love is in the Air.” Her enthusiasm for the school (and raising money for a great cause) is contagious. Quick! Nonprofits … scoop her up to be a part of your organization now!
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A native of South Africa, her cheerful accent made the conversation lighthearted. Bridget and her husband Ben have been in Arkansas for 12 years, but they’re still pretty new to this corner of the state. With first- and second-graders at The New School, Bridget says making the switch from public school to private school was one of the best decisions she’s made. “After the first week at The New School, my son came home and said, ‘Thank you mom. I love it here,’” she said. “That was the best feeling because we’d obviously made the right decision. We’ll never leave! Plus, The New School … it’s like a family.”
While Bridget isn’t new to fundraising, she’s passionate about helping kids and it shows. After taking the reins from longtime event organizers Tonia McMakin and Linden Siems (who are both still very involved), Bridget is changing things up this year.
The Spring Party will start at 6 p.m. on Feb. 13 with a cocktail hour and a seated dinner at 7 p.m. with Catering Unlimited serving the delicious spread. In the past, attire has been fairly casual but because the event is Valentine’s Day weekend in a gorgeous new setting, Bridget and the committee have upgraded to cocktail attire. From what I hear, people are pretty excited about having Little Rock band The Big Dam Horns (a 12-piece band) at the party to shake things up on the dance floor. Tickets are $75 each or $600 for a table.
One thing I love about the Spring Party (aside from raising money for the school) is bidding on the fabulous auction items. And, you are not going to want to miss these. A few things up for grabs: a luxury weekend in Napa Valley sponsored by Centennial Bank complete with airfare, limo ride, hotel and of course, visiting some of the best vineyards; an eight-day trip to four-star resort in Mexico; a two-week South African hunting Safari; original paintings by renowned artist George Dombek; and a cocktail party for four with $1,000 gift certificates to Romance Diamond Co.
A unique part of the fundraiser (and what speaks to the uniqueness of the school) is having teachers who are willing to donate “gifts of time” for parents to bid on. Things like a day of playing paintball or a storybook picnic or getting an excused tardy because you went for donuts with your favorite teacher are all part of the packages. And lastly, each class has a classroom parent who helps organize a class basket that always garners a lot of excitement. The class basket themes range from home goods from Euna Mae’s and a VIP experience at the LPGA to Rock ‘n’ Roll themed items and a Family Fun Night, complete with games and goodies.
Last year’s Spring Party raised money for things like choir shirts, a 3D printer, an arts endowment and kick-starting 10 athletic programs, complete with basketball uniforms for the kids – something the school never had before. So what are you waiting for? Love is in the Air and you need to be a part of the fun! For more information or to purchase tickets to the Spring Party, please contact Sarah Elder at firstname.lastname@example.org or 479.521.7037.
Special thanks to Spring Party sponsors Arkansas Dentistry & Braces, 3 Monkeys Children’s Boutique, Centennial Bank, 28 Springs, B&D Design Services, Roller Weight Loss & Advanced Surgery, Prewitt Wealth Management, Ozark Orthopaedics, Hatfield Properties, Parkhill Clinic for Women, Frez-N-Stor, Allison Architects, Henry Eye Clinic, Stephens Insurance, PBS, Bic, Legacy Capital Group, Seaside Pools, KNWA, NWA Media, Fox 24, Citiscapes and 3W Magazine.