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Imagine Gala Raised $126,000 For Mort Community School

May 10, 2017

For Immediate Release

Contact: Tanya Arja
Office of Communications

Tampa, Fla. – (May 10, 2017) – It was a fantastic night of celebration and fundraising for Mort Community School, as more than 150 guests came out for the Imagine Gala, last Friday night at the Tampa Bay History Center.

In all, $126,000 was raised. The money will support the Mort Elementary Teacher Leadership Academy, the after-school program and other school programs.

Hosted by the Children’s Home Society of Florida and honorary hosts Trey and Yesenia Burton, guests at the Imagine Gala were treated to a Kentucky Derby theme and entertained by the school’s chorus and the Little Kids Rock band.

Superintendent Jeff Eakins, School Board members Cindy Stuart, Sally Harris, and Lynn Gray along with Congresswoman Kathy Castor, Betty Castor and Sam Bell and Karen Castor Dentel, were in attendance along with representatives from Mort’s community partners.

The $126,000 includes a $40,000 match from Sam Bell and Betty Castor as well as a $30,000 match from the Burton family. Trey Burton, a former University of Florida football player and current tight end with the Philadelphia Eagles, donated the money for the after-school program at Mort Community School.

Mort Community School is a full-service community school that is focused on providing support and resources for students and their families, including daily basic needs like food, shelter, medical and dental needs, mental health services and parenting classes. The goal is to improve the overall health and well-being for students and their families through the help of outside agencies and organizations. Among the partnerships, Mort Community School is participating in an innovative four-year-program called the Teacher Leadership Academy (TLA) with the University of South Florida. The TLA is designed to provide professional development opportunities and advanced certification to teachers, which has seen positive results in transforming student success. 

We thank the following partners who also had representatives at the Imagine Gala: USF, Tampa Family Health, Florida Hospital, Tampa Innovation Alliance and University Community Development Center.


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