Proceeds Benefit the Center Grove Education Foundation

Photography Provided

Third-year Executive Director of the Center Grove Education Foundation, Jennifer Rakow, has lived in Center Grove with her two boys and her husband since 2003.

The first Center Grove Education Foundation Gala was held in 2007. According to Rakow, it has since become the Foundations’ largest fundraiser.

“It’s an evening of dinner, dancing and entertainment,” Rakow says. “And it’s a wonderful opportunity for the community to come together to celebrate our work and raise funds for future projects.”

Last year, the Foundation was awarded more than $68,000.

As part of the Gala evening, a silent auction is held where businesses donate everything from experiences to product baskets and gift certificates. 

“Last year, we auctioned off more than 100 items,” Rakow says. “This year, along with our traditional auction items, we’re excited to be partnering with the American Fundraising Foundation (AmFund), a national charity that specializes in raising funds for deserving organizations, such as ours.

According to Rakow, AmFund will have 11 trips for guests to win in the Gala’s special “Trips of a Lifetime Silent Auction.” The auction includes possible trips to Costa Rica, Napa Valley, New York and Ireland.

Shifts in state funding and property tax caps have changed the way that public education is funded. 

“The need to raise privatesector funds to support our schools is more important than ever,” Rakow says. “Thanks to our donors, the Center Grove Education Foundation is able to provide additional curriculum resources and new technology for our students, along with up-to-date professional development training for our teachers and staff.”

According to Rakow, while some amazing projects were funded, there were many that had to be turned down.

“Those tough choices have challenged and energized us to continue our efforts to raise even more money,” Rakow says.

The Gala For the Grove is an adult-event for those 21 and older. The event will take place at the Indiana Roof Ballroom – located at 140 W. Washington St. in Indianapolis – on Saturday, April 13 at 6 p.m. Black tie is optional.

Proceeds from the Gala allow the Center Grove Education Foundation to provide additional learning experiences and resources for Center Grove students and teachers. Gala tickets can be purchased for $100.

For those who are interested in staying downtown after the Gala, rooms are available at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Indianapolis Downtown, which is attached to the Indiana Roof Ballroom. You can call 317-236-1800 and mention the Center Grove Education Foundation to take advantage of their discounted group rate. 

For more information, visit

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