A Night to Shine raises $53k for WAPS


One of the most intense blizzards of the season could not keep a sold-out crowd away from celebrating and raising money for the Foundation for Winona Area Public Schools (WAPS) and public education in Winona. Guests entered Visions Event Center enhanced with movie-themed décor ready to raise their paddles for academics, arts, athletics and activities for WAPS.

Mary Bergin kicked off the celebration as this year’s 2019 Legacy Award winner. The Legacy Award is presented to a citizen or organization that shows exemplary support and commitment to the foundation’s goal to enhance education with dedication to our community of learners. With nearly 40 years of operational, accounting and systems management experience, Bergin currently serves as vice president of Knitcraft Corporation in Winona. She believes everyone can give back to their community with their time and talents, which in turn will reap the benefit of tremendous personal growth. Congratulations Bergin for this well-deserved award.

Guests perused the ‘60s black and white movie-themed art, enjoyed centerpieces of antique historic reels, and appreciated forged metal reel sculptures adorning the space, all for sale, and sure to find a place in a home theater or study. Over 150 donated items from generous businesses and personal donors enhanced the evening and led to one of the most prospered auctions ever. Eager guests, with positioned bid paddles, got their workout as friendly banter and competition on the live auction, flush with varied donations from mouth-watering dinners to guided fishing tours, earned over $15,000 for the cause.

WNB Financial and Merchants Bank once again showed their support for the foundation and public education by offering up their lead sponsorship, as well as, many corporate and community donors.

As guests hoping to beat the storm paid for their items and cashiers were kept continually busy, the A Night to Shine event could undoubtedly be considered a success!! Fifty-three-thousand dollars will be rolled out in the fall to all of WAPS for academics, arts, athletics and activities. For more information on the foundation contact Shelley Milek at 507-494-1004 or www.foundationwaps.org.


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