BRAVO! looks to the future

PHOTO: The 2018 BRAVO! Committee: Front Row L to R: Marissa Nelson, Leslie McBride, Jessica Saad, Lindsay Goodman Back Row L to R: Martha McKitrick, Laura Daugherty, Lauren Rubin, Kelsy Harr, Heather Kabler, Abby Braun. Not pictured: Lisa Thiergartner, Jennifer Avoli, Melissa Bedolla, Tricia Gockstetter.

Last spring, the BEF’s annual BRAVO! fundraising event celebrated Bexley’s past, marking the school district’s 100th birthday. This time around, says event chair Leslie McBride, BRAVO! will turn its gaze to the future. “We celebrated what happened, and now we’re going to celebrate what’s yet to come,” said McBride, whose children are in first and fifth grades. The theme for the event is “To Bexley and Beyond.”

 There are some other changes in store this year. BRAVO! is scheduled for April 14, more than a month later than in prior years. In addition to the many tasting stations provided by local restaurants that are always a popular feature of the event, BRAVO! 2018 will include live music. The Big Rockin’ Blues Band, led by Bexley parent Mike Weinstock, will play later in the evening.

Online and mobile bidding will be back this year, with the auction opening for bids up to a week ahead of the event. And as always, the committee is looking at a variety of options for changing things up—and raising more money to support BEF’s grants to enhance learning for all Bexley students. In February, parent volunteers will raffle off a pair of tickets in each school building.

This year, the advance ticket price will increase to $60, the first increase in many years. The increase, McBride pointed out, is needed to ensure costs of the event, such as space rental and online bidding, don’t put too much of a dent in fundraising. 

As always, BRAVO! will feature a silent auction and a children’s art auction. While the later date gives the all-volunteer organizing committee a little more time to prepare, plans are already gathering steam, said McBride. “We have lots of good, committed people” helping out, she said. But there’s still time to get involved, and McBride hopes people from all sectors of the community will find a way to support this annual event. “Everybody benefits if the schools are great,” she said.

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