BVAS Goes 'In the Black'

June 12, 2015 | Melanie Lawson

"SOLD!" was heard repeatedly during the ninth annual Boise Valley Adventist School (BVAS) fundraising gala on Sunday, April 26, at the Meridian Center at the Park. 

The theme of this year’s gala was "In the Black," which went far beyond a suggestion of formal wear for the event. "In the Black" referred to a goal of paying off an accumulated debt to the Idaho Conference. 

During the economic downturn a few years ago, the Idaho Conference stepped in to provide financial support to the school that allowed the school to stay open and keep its teachers. Since that time God has blessed the school, and the gala committee felt it was time to pay the conference back for its support.

The event was a collaborative effort of the community, church and school working to make this one of the most successful fundraisers to date. The teachers and their classrooms even got involved by creating baskets to be raffled.  

The evening opened with a raffle and silent auction followed by a catered dinner. Rounding out the meal was a dessert auction, with decadent treats selling for $250 to $1,000 each.

A highlight of the evening was the live auction, which consisted of 14 beautifully decorated tables donated by various church members, community businesses and school families. Paddles were flying as auctioneers from Corbett Auctions called out the bids. Those in attendance were astounded as several tables sold for as much as $1,600 each. 

The pinnacle of the evening was when Raul Castanon, BVAS school board chairman, dove into the park pond — suit and all — for an additional $1,000 donation. 

At the end of the evening, the gala had raised a record $48,000 toward getting "In the Black." One hundred and thirty people came together that evening to feel joy and pride in supporting the school and to create a community of caring. “Everyone played such a vital role in the success of this years’ gala. We are overwhelmed by their generosity and humbled by their faith in our staff, our ministry and our mission. The gala’s success was due to God’s impression on people,” says Gerry Essink, gala committee chairman. 

The evening was about much more than the money raised. It was about a community of people rallying to support a worthy cause, relationships that were built, a reputation that was repaired and connections that were made. The success of the gala went far beyond the money, and God’s presence was felt throughout the evening.