Village of Germantown — In May, before Germantown High School students walked away with diplomas and walked into their chosen fields, 89 were awarded more than $127,000.
The scholarship funds were made possible by the Germantown Community Scholarship Fund’s (GCSF) annual dinner and auction fundraiser.
Like every year, funds from this year’s event, to be held Thursday, Feb 2, at the Hilton Garden Inn, 11600 W. Park Place, will be strictly used for Germantown High School seniors.
“I don't know of any other communities in the area that offer a scholarship program of this magnitude, and we want to make sure that GCSF can continue to assist our deserving high school graduates for many years to come,” said GCSF committee member Sherry Riesterer.
The group, which has been around since the early 1980s, is made up of community volunteers, local businesses and board members.
To date, they’ve raised and awarded more than $2.4 million to Germantown students. In 2004, the organization also started raising funds for teachers (the GCSF Teacher Grant Program). Over the years, 35 teachers have received grants totaling $17,500.
Riesterer said there are a number of criteria evaluated when awarding the scholarships to students every year.
“It’s actually a specific scholarship committee that looks at all the applications, and we look at everything from grades to extracurricular activities, whether that be sports or other programs like national honor society, employment and any volunteer activities,” Riesterer said. “We have students come in and they go through an application process, and then a panel evaluates all the information.”
Students can also take part in the annual dinner and auction by volunteering for a day or night shift to ensure the event runs smoothly.
Last year, GCSF’s dinner and auction fundraiser was at max capacity with 350 people in attendance.
The group will continue its use of the latest technology in auction bidding with a specific app that attendees can download to their phones.
“All of the silent auction items that are up for bid are in the app, so they don’t have to keep getting up from their table,” Riesterer. “They can set up their bid with whatever increments they want and whatever max dollar they want. It will ease them through the bidding process. That has been really nice, really well-accepted by everyone last year.”
The sit-down dinner is $65 per person and $750 for a VIP table of 10. The deadline to RSVP for the event is Wednesday, Jan. 25.
To register for this year’s event or find out more information, visit bidpal.net/gcsfdinnerauction.