Hundreds of parents, students and members of the community came out on Sunday to celebrate J.E.B. Stuart High School’s 15th annual “Taste of the Town” and auction in the school’s cafeteria. Area restaurants and businesses participated in what has become the high school’s largest and most profitable fundraiser.
Last year, the event raised $38,000 that purchased new library books and sports equipment for the Raiders’ football and lacrosse teams, as well as funded academic departments. With a goal of $40,000 this year, the monies raised will go towards a batting cage, football uniforms and several other student organizations and activities.
Stuart’s award-winning madrigal choir, Spanish Dance Club, as well as the band and orchestra provided entertainment while guests enjoyed samplings of local cuisine from over 30 local restaurants. Student volunteers and Raider cheerleaders wearing pink t-shirts and hairnets served attendees from the school’s cafeteria lines. Student servers were eager to supply the never-ending amounts of barbecue, salad and desserts in support of their school.
Also attending, as well as hosting the live auction portion of the benefit, were 11th District Representative and J.E.B. Stuart parent Tom Davis, Delegate Bob Hull of Richmond and Mason District Supervisor Penelope Gross. Davis and Hull auctioned off their own time with offers to host winners for tours of their respective realms in D.C. and Richmond — with lunch on-the-house included. Supervisor Gross pitched in with an offer of lunch at the Foxfire Grill.
Also up for auction were tickets to Redskins and Capitals games, vacation packages and behind-the-scenes tours of local attractions. Over 200 items were donated and auctioned off in a silent auction.
PTA Vice President of Fundraising and event Committee Chair Diane Weeks described the event as a great undertaking, but essential to the school’s continued success. Volunteers worked from the end of last year’s event until the day of this one to make sure the event only grew in its scope and success.
Supplementary funds provided by this benefit ensure that Stuart’s large number of extracurricular activities and sports, as well as additional programs like the after-prom “All Night Party,” continue to be available to students.
Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and National Geographic Magazine have all recognized J.E.B. Stuart High School for its academic improvement and success while being one of the most demographically and ethnically diverse schools in the nation.